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Takalani Sesame To Become First Fully Multilingual Program

In a groundbreaking move in support of the government's mother-tongue-based education policy, the award-winning South African children's program TAKALANI SESAME will soon be on air in almost all of South Africa's official languages. The "applied language" approach, begun with the launch of the show's fourth season and based on broadcaster SABC's language policy, calls for each TAKALANI SESAME episode to be produced in several official South African languages. SABC will dedicate a specific day of the week to a single language.

The current season (on air until November 9) includes seTswana (Tuesdays), tshiVenda (Wednesdays), isiZulu (Thursdays), sePedi (Fridays) and English on Mondays on SABC 1 and Saturdays on SABC 2. Season 5, airing in early 2008, will see a new choice of languages including isiXhosa, xiTsonga, seSotho, Afrikaans and a continuation of English. This strategy celebrates the rich diversity of South Africa and allows children to access content in their mother tongue, a practice which is of tremendous educational value.

The new 130x24 season continues to follow a holistic approach to children's early learning and development by covering educational objectives across the domains of literacy, numeracy, and life-skills. The educational objectives are informed by the National ECD Curriculum. As before, TAKALANI SESAME will present its educational messages in an entertaining way, to engage its young viewers.

"The new season of TAKALANI SESAME showcases the diversity of South Africa," said Charles Owen, head of the Children Genre at SABC. "While the series utilizes many languages, it has one key message -- to meet the needs of the children with relevant content, to allow our young viewers to see their lives reflected onscreen with people and situations that that they really encounter daily."

The TAKALANI SESAME partners recently committed to the renewal of the series, ensuring educational programming in South Africa for the next five years.

TAKALANI ("be happy" in TshiVenda) SESAME is brought to the children of South Africa through a partnership with the Department of Education, United States Agency for International Development, Sanlam and SABC Education. Takalani Sesame is produced by Kwasukasukela under the creative direction of Sesame Workshop in collaboration with the South African partners.