The Beth and Jim Conversations – 2
[Jim] Hi again Beth! ¿Qué tal?
[Beth] ¡La vida es super bien! / Life is great! I gave my farewell keynote over the weekend and had a blast sharing my passion for 2nd language learning fun.
[Jim] Last week you mentioned it was really heating up there in Florida. In Southern Spain we are experiencing extraordinarily hot weather. You know, when it gets so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk?!
[Beth] El clima / the weather … it’s been very strange lately around the world / el mundo.
[Jim] So, onto the theme for this week: How we each got started with Speekee and Boca Beth…
My wife and I were approached by two friends – both musicians, and one an IT whizz – who had bought a video series for their young daughter to learn Spanish. It didn’t come cheap and they were right to expect a price-quality match. But they didn’t get it.
(The product in question I shall keep anonymous for obvious reasons).
[Beth] I believe Jim I know exactly what program you looked at because we had purchased it for our daughter and had to return it!
[Jim] Still, since they were not linguists, they couldn’t be sure about that quality, so they came to my wife and I. And we checked it out. And our opinion was that it fell short in many areas. Among the oddities: an unnecessarily wide range of Spanish language, from the simple to the very complex; an outdated storyline in an outdated style; and a lack of engagement with the viewer.
What happened next? We came to the conclusion that between the four of us we could make something better for children to learn Spanish, so we went into business together! Speekee was born!
Have you ever seen those long long rolls of paper tablecloth from which you cut a strip for each table? Well, first we spread one out and brainstormed our ideas, then we began to crystallize everything into what would be necessary. We decided early on that quality language content should be number one.
[Beth] I love the image of the long roll of paper as your brainstorming area and conceptualization board – WILD!
[Jim] How did you get started with Boca Beth? I’m intrigued to find out!
[Beth] I remember one day back in 2001 when we had just enrolled our daughter in a nearby preschool to begin some social interaction fun after being cared for by either my husband, me, a family member or a babysitter during the first full year of her life. I was a bit hesitant to enroll her, but the care provider in the one year old room was fabulous, and I was going to be the music resource teacher for that particular preschool center so I felt I would have a great handle on her care.
Now, don’t get all excited! “Ms. Music” became my nick-name, but I did not inherit some amazing musical talents overnight! I don’t sing like Carrie Underwood, I don’t write songs like James Taylor nor do I profess to have the moves of Gloria Estefan. What I do have is this overly warm and sincere love of teaching young children that they ‘get.’ Wherever I travel with my Boca Beth songs the children warm up to me within minutes, they find themselves singing and dancing in both languages and most often want to hug me good-bye at the end of the class or concert! I love it!
The moment I began sharing my piggyback songs at my daughter’s preschool was the moment I knew I had found my calling!…..(I will continue this next week with an explanation of what a Piggyback song is!)
[Beth] Happy Educating! ¡Sea feliz educando!
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.