This conversation with Annie, who teaches primary Spanish in the UK, began with a question from me: What do your classes like about Speekee?
Here’s her detailed summary of her reply (almost word for word):
- They really like that they can ‘graduate’ from series 1 to series 2 where the Spanish children are all grown up [some of those children appear in both series]. They love that!
- They love hearing the Spanish children talk. They are less intimidated by hearing the Spanish children talk than hearing from me saying a whole load of target language to them
- They like the songs
- They accept it because the children are clearly Spanish
- I do the early Speekee stuff until year 5. When they are about 9/10 years old they suddenly start doing the older version and it makes them feel quite grown up
- The listenings work really well. It’s brilliant for them to do lots of them and start to realise that they can understand
- All of the videos are brilliant because the class notice everything that’s different between Spain and the UK
- They relate to the experiences, such as ordering food and drinks in a cafe. Some of the class members have experienced such situations in Spain
- They laugh at all of the videos, they think they are hilarious. They either laugh because they Spanish children are being silly or they laugh because it’s actually just funny. But it doesn’t matter either way because they are engaged. The class absolutely cracks up at the game show episode where the presenter says “Fantástico” where she flicks her hair back and does that little F thing with her hand
- They like all the dressing up and roleplays etc
- I use the videos as a springboard to be able to teach more difficult primary Spanish when required
- The videos are the strongest part of Speekee
- More worksheets needed!
- More games involving language needed!
- The Alphabet episode, when the kids were making the letter shapes, was very helpful. It was amazing how it helped with their pronunciation
- More pronunciation practice would be helpful
- I find French a lot harder to teach because I don’t have something fun like Speekee to teach it with
- The songs and music are really powerful
- The target language is brilliant. There is a huge drive in education now to up the amount of target language used in class
- The fact the teacher doesn’t have to say all the stuff in Spanish [Speekee and the Spanish children do that] is great news for teachers with a weak grasp of Spanish
My thanks to Annie the primary Spanish teacher!