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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Maryland: Study Shows Indian “Sesame Street” Show Improves Preschoolers’ Skills

A study led by University of Maryland School of Public Health Professor Dr. Dina Borzekowski, found that “Galli Galli Sim Sim,” the Hindi language adaptation of Sesame Street in India, was linked to gains in literacy and numeracy among young children, as well as advances in “social and emotional tasks and identifying healthy foods.

 This study, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, is the largest randomized controlled study conducted in a low- or middle-income country to rigorously assess the impact of an educational television show on child development.

Thirteen hundred students from 99 preschools in Lucknow, India were divided into three groups: A high-exposure group watched “Galli Galli Sim Sim” five days a week for 12 weeks, the low-exposure group watched the show twice a week along with other programming, and the control group watched only popular TV programming available to Indian children, like “Tom & Jerry” and “Chhota Bheem.”

The research team asked children to name “Galli Galli Sim Sim” characters from a card containing images of 16 characters. They found that the children with the most exposure to “GaIli Galli Sim Sim” were scoring 16 percent higher on recognizing Hindi letters, 23 percent higher on naming shapes and 11 percent higher on identifying good behavioral strategies.

Dr. Borzekowski was especially encouraged by the improvements in “socio-emotional” strategies. “Galli Galli Sim Sim,” which premiered in 2006, recently added content on sensitive issues like bullying, conflict resolution, “good touch/bad touch,” jealousy and even what to do if you get lost in the market.

“Those with higher receptivity scores were more able to name effective ways to resolve difficult but also typical situations,” Dr. Borzekowski said.

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