Over the Summer we have been working on some exciting new changes to the Speekee website; changes which will be especially welcome to professional teachers as well as parents who are acting as teachers from home.
Although I am not in a position to give away much information at this stage, I am happy to confirm that audio files for all the Spanish language taught across hundreds of activities will be part of this new look. What this means is that you, as a parent or teacher using Speekee, will not just read about the language presented in the the lesson activity, you will also have the opportunity to click on the relevant words and phrases to hear exactly how they are spoken. True enough, activities are usually accompanied by video clips which feature the language anyway, but I know as a teacher myself that being able to play audio language clips at will is very helpful indeed; excellent for example if I want the children to listen and repeat something.
At Speekee central we love how our product is a perfect fit for the internet. We also love the fact that learning Spanish with Speekee is not exclusively done through the internet medium. We offer children the opportunity to learn a great deal of Spanish online, and of course all our lesson activities are accessed by our customers via the Speekee website, but we also derive so much pleasure from knowing that parents and teachers are fully participating in the delivery of the Spanish.
So, there are two points of contact for the young Spanish learner: the internet and the adult. Here we see how children of different ages can be left alone to naturally absorb Spanish simply by watching the Speekee videos:
Here Dad is involved in a passive manner:
Participating primary teachers can do all sorts of things with Speekee, including when they are offline:
It's a joy for me to see how an online based product can evolve. Back in the early '90s when I qualified as a language teacher, our principle learning resources were in book form. That was fine as far as it went, but in a match-up between the printed page and its online counterpart, the website easily wins in the Flexibility category.
And that means my job is ever interesting. Just the other day I was in conversation with an enthusiastic primary Spanish teacher whose job it is to lead a small team of teachers unfamiliar with the language they are about to teach. As you'll imagine, teachers new to Spanish are likely to feel nervous about the prospect, while apprehension on the part of their guide is also natural.
During our chat, I was able to run through some of the key features of the upcoming changes I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, but I was also able to glean some very useful feedback from the teacher; about her concerns, her requirements. Some of those needs have already been addressed, and I'm happy to say that others soon will be. Why? Because Speekee is an online Spanish resource, and as such we can tinker with it according to customers' needs. We would be fools if we didn't do that. I mean, who doesn't want to make their product better and better?!
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