The Beth and Jim Conversations – 3

[Jim] ¡Hola amiga mía! ¿Qué tal? I am very well, and very busy with my two kids now they are on their school holidays. Those holidays last for three months, and with it being so hot here in Summer we are never too far from water. Poor Maggie though, she’s just got an ear infection and is not allowed to swim for seven long days )-:

[Beth]  Life is going GREAT Jim!  One of our three children will join us on a trip to New York and Canada later this week.  I don’t speak French – only English and Spanish – but hope to pick up a few words in Canada while we are there.

[Jim] We were talking last week about how we got started with our products: Boca Beth and Speekee. Let’s dive into more detail shall we?

[Beth]  Love how we are sharing with our customers the beginnings of our companies.  I recall your brainstorming was shared on a long roll of paper.  How cool is that?!?!?

[Jim] Yes, your memory serves you well. Speekee was born on a paper tablecloth… well, in a manner of speaking!

Once we had brainstormed our ideas we decided that a quality selection of language was key. We knew how confusing products out there could be with their choice of Spanish for young learners, so whatever our program was going to look like, of one thing we were sure: only the most necessary Spanish would suffice for our target audience.

So we looked at other products and used our own experience in language teaching (my wife and I being linguists and teachers) to come up with – for what became a ten part series – a relatively short list of vocabulary. That vocabulary was to be introduced and then repeated again and again. Sounds boring? Not if the repetition is done cleverly!

Next week I’d like to talk about the Spanish children who got involved with the project.

Beth you were going to tell me about Piggyback songs. I am fascinated to know – what on earth are they?!

[Beth] Piggyback songs are songs written to melodies of familiar children’s music. Think of the upbeat Barney theme song that opens each show  … that song is written to the tune, the melody of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

[Jim] Ah, I see!

[Beth] As I started writing songs for my Boca Beth Program I would take for instance the tune “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and write new words to match the beat while introducing a brand new concept of how to say “Hi” and “Bye” in English as well as “Hola” and “Adiós” in Spanish.

Little children (being the sponges that they are between the ages of birth to five) soaked up the new songs quickly, asking for more and more with each visit I made to their preschool.

[Jim] Well done Beth! I am sure the familiarity of the tunes really helps the children memorise your songs fast.

Until next week. ¡Adiós!

[Beth] Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Speekee TV is available at – 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 – we offer award-winning CDs, DVDs, coloring/activity books that are presented in both Spanish and English with FREE shipping available.

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1 Response

  1. July 13, 2011

    […] Beth! Last time around you filled me in about Piggyback songs: taking the tune of a known song and remoulding it with […]

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