Speekee series 1 - puppets, animation, Spanish children and much more
You'll know by now that Speekee is video based Spanish learning. Yes, the videos - there are 41 of them - form the 'bedrock' of your child's Spanish learning, but should they be perceived as a standalone resource? Can you, as a parent, expect your child to sit down and watch Speekee videos and become fluent in Spanish?
It may sound fanciful to answer that second question with a Yes, but it's certainly the case that a lot of Spanish can be memorised by younger children immersed in Spanish with our videos; videos which include no English if you discount the optional subtitles (also available in Spanish; for more about the subtitles click here).
I have come to the conclusion that the minds of children aged, say, between 2 and 7, are in the perfect state for absorption of a foreign language. They use their senses without prejudice and this innocence leaves them open to language in a way which rarely happens to adults (read more on this subject here).
I know from so much parental feedback over the years that children in this age bracket pick up a great deal of Spanish from Speekee's videos, especially from the songs whose melody/word combination is very 'sticky; so sticky in fact that parents themselves have often said they can't the songs out of their own heads!
So it's clear that Speekee series 1, featuring its puppets, songs, animation and that all important ingredient real Spanish children, works on its own thanks to a mixture of right content and a 100% focused viewer.
Speekee series 2 is, by necessity, a different proposition. Children aged 8-12 have developed likes and dislikes, their brains are no longer functioning as they were when they were younger, their ability to concentrate fully on video sequences is affected by myriad distractions.
All this we knew when we developed the second series three years ago. We stuck to our mantra of 'edutainment' - and again feedback has confirmed that the humourous nature of each episode has been a hit - but we had to factor in the likely level of child engagement, so we emphasised the use of video alongside lesson plans for parents and school teachers. The curriculum for parents, known as Accelerate, can be found here. The curriculum for Spanish school teachers can be found here.
There are lesson plans too for series 1 in the form of our ever popular FastTrack curriculum, but the point I wish to emphasise here in this blog entry is that if you as a parent are willing to accompany your child on their Spanish learning journey then it's a certainly they will progress considerably further. You needn't know any Spanish yourself - you will both learn together (-: (-:
See you soon!
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