My eighth grader and I had been discussing a four-year high school plan for him, and he decided that he wanted to learn Spanish for his foreign language requirement. We had been planning to wait until next year to begin, but when we were offered the opportunity to review Excelerate SPANISH Streaming from Excelerate SPANISH he decided that it would be a good idea give it a try and become more familiar with Spanish before high school.
While I took several years of Spanish in both high school and college, many years of not using it meant that I had forgotten much of what I once knew. Therefore, I was excited about a program that utilized steaming videos and would not be very parent intensive. In addition to utilizing spoken and written words, this program uses a system called Total Physical Response (TPR). Per their website, “Studies in brain functionality and linguistics show that TPR facilitates foreign language acquisition for all age groups. TPR activates various motor cortices of the brain, making it easier to learn Spanish than you’d ever thought possible!” This system is most simply described as adding motions to each word to help you remember the words.
We received both level 1 and level 2 and my son is utilizing level 1. In level one each lesson consists of a 30-45 minute video class. In looking over the videos in level 2, it is set up similarly but the videos are a bit longer, ranging from about 40-60 minutes. They also include more conjugation practice. The lessons introduce Spanish vocabulary in a story format. So, at the beginning of each lesson the teacher introduces all of the vocabulary needed for a story by telling you the words, writing the words on the whiteboard, and teaching movements to go with the words. Then she begins to put them together to tell a story. For example, in the first lesson the story was about a man who was waiting for a bus, he waiting a long time before getting frustrated and using a taxi.
My son really enjoyed how she used the stories and motions to practice the new vocabulary. However, he felt that it went too fast and he needed to watch a lesson multiple times before achieving mastery. We were watching a lesson each week but after the second lesson we realized that he really needed to watch the same lesson multiple times so we went back to lesson one and watched it a couple of times. He liked the concept and enjoyed the program but I do not know that we will be able to finish an entire course in a year’s time based on the need to watch each lesson multiple times. I am hoping that as he gets more familiar with the format and his Spanish vocabulary increases, it will be easier to pick up on the new vocabulary.
There are optional workbooks that are available to go with this program. The program can be used as a stand-alone program without the workbooks, but personally I think that if you were using the program for high school credit, you would need the workbooks to round out the program.
If you have a student who learns best through movement or needs material presented in multiple formats (auditory, written, and kinesthetic) this might be a great fit. Keep in mind that it moves very fast in each lesson but with the streaming format you have the ability to re-watch lessons as often as you need to for mastery. Be sure to click the graphic below to check out the other Crew Reviews to learn more about their experience with Excelerate SPANISH Streaming.
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