Practice Content Analyses by counting how many times Steve signs a word (In American Sign Language), sounds simple right? Wrong!
I definitely have a lot of respect for people who have to do this on a larger scale. I don’t think I could sit through an episode of Blues Clues enough times to get everything that happened in the episode down on paper. I can’t even start to imagine the number of pages you would have to have ready to completely analyze an episode.
I never noticed the Sign Language being used in the show, and I was young enough to have once been an intended audience member (meaning a watched a good amount of Blues Clues in my time). This really explains why my sister-in-law is a big fan of the show; she is working towards becoming a teacher for children with disabilities, and knows ASL because her sister was born deaf.
I think the show could definitely give children a cursory understanding of sign language, they would have to be taught more outside of the show but they would certainly be able to greet and interact, to an extent, with people who are deaf.
Content analysis is certainly one way to determine what message a show is trying to get across and can certainly help with tailoring that message to make it more effective. For instance my group found that often Joe would use variations of signs when referring to the same thing, or would do a sign and then never repeat it again which made us question whether it was an actual sign or a made up one. By seeing how many times this occurred it becomes clear how they could improve their presentation, or gives insight as to how or why a certain episode or series or episodes were ineffective.