The Beth and Jim Conversations 17
[Jim] Having watched the video testimonial on your website Beth, I was struck by the relaxed and fun interaction between the Boca and Boca’s ‘user’ (for want of a better word!). It seems like you only have to slip on the Boca Beth puppet and you can instantly be transformed into a budding Spanish speaker. Is it really so simple? What is is about hand puppets and language learning?!
[Beth] It’s funny Jim! Every time I walk out on stage to conduct a keynote on the topic of how important it is to raise a generation of bilingual children I have BOCA the puppet on my hand. I do that for two reasons – one it’s part of the building of my brand and two it’s part of the methodology I promote in my Boca Beth Program and product line.
Let’s address number one first: As a business owner I always knew it was risky choosing the name of the company to be something that includes my name in the title. That makes the brand – some would say – not viable, not sustainable. If I were to be injured or to pass away, then how does the brand continue forward and move on? Knowing that, hearing the naysayers, I also knew of very famous brands here in the United States and abroad named after people (Betty Crocker, Captain Kangaroo, Mister Rogers to name just a few). You take BOCA the hand puppet and combine him with my first name, Beth, and you have the name of my children’s bilingual product line. I have been told by parents in Australia that their children wake up asking to watch Boca Beth, by teachers in Texas that their students ask for their favorite Boca Beth songs, and by toddlers in Puerto Rico screaming out for BOCA!!! It’s a brand I have built, and I feel confident it’s been done through consistent use of the puppet BOCA pictured on all letterhead, packaging, movie clips and more mixed with the use of alliteration adding my name after BOCA’s.
Let’s address number two now:
Puppets are used in therapy sessions with young children often to elicit verbalization. What I mean by that is many specialists know that if you want to get a young child to open up to you as a stranger working with that child, try using a puppet. Whether it’s speech therapy, counseling sessions or language class the majority of young children respond positively to hand puppets, and many experts enlist the aid of hand puppets to get the child to feel comfortable and to ‘open up.’
Another thing that I have found over the ten years of sharing my Boca Beth Program and product line is many adults use BOCA on their hand as their ‘scapegoat’ for not having command of the second language. When they have BOCA on their hand and they mispronounce a word, it’s not their mistake, it’s BOCA’s (or so the adult brain translates it to be), and the adult feels more comfortable using the puppet to help introduce a second language they themselves are not fluent in.
When we had BOCA designed for us by a famous puppet designer, never did I imagine that last benefit being on the list!
Speekee TV is available at http://www.speekee.co.uk/online.php – the first two weeks are absolutely free. Subscriptions are $7.50 per month thereafter, and you can cancel any time (-;
Boca Beth Bilingual Products are sold online at http://www.BocaBeth.com – we offer award-winning CDs, DVDs, coloring/activity books that are presented in both Spanish and English with FREE shipping available.