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Español para chicos y grandes, 2nd Edition Review by Melissa Batai

Includes:
• Español para chicos y grandes, 2nd Edition, Level 1 Textbook
• Manual de gramatica y ejercicios, 2nd Edition, (Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises Manual) Level 1
• Poemas para chicos y grandes, Level 1 (Vocabulary Building Coloring Book)
• Español para chicos y grandes, 3rd Edition Teacher Resources
Rita Wirkala
Elisa Wirkala
All Bilingual Press, LLC
(206) 368-2576
609 N. 90th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
http://www.allbilingual.com

Español para chicos y grandes, Level 1 is an interactive Spanish course for schools, children and parents, appropriate for use from second grade through middle school. This set includes four different books: the textbook (Español para chicos y grandes), Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises Manual (Manual de gramatica y ejercicios), Vocabulary Building Coloring Book (Poemas para chicos y grandes), and the Teacher Resources.

This program is interactive and based on immersion. The only sections written in English are the instructions for each activity. Students first do the exercises for the lesson in the textbook. Then, they move on to the exercises for the same lesson in the Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises Manual. The Vocabulary Building Coloring Book can be used after the lessons are completed in the other two books. The coloring book is meant to reinforce what was learned in the other lessons in a fun way—through poetry and coloring. The Teacher Resources contain still more activities for each lesson for additional practice as well as an answer key to the textbook and Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises Manual. Students learn through a variety of activities, many of which involve listening to a native speaker. When buying this program, you can choose between purchasing physical CDs or simply accessing the information online at All Bilingual Press. While this program is used in schools, it’s also perfect for homeschoolers. It will likely appeal especially to visual and auditory learners.

We tried out this program with my son who is in 7th grade and had a bit of previous Spanish exposure. He enjoyed the program because there were many colorful visuals in the book and it was multi-sensory. In addition, he liked listening to native speakers pronounce the words in Spanish and then trying to say the words himself. As a parent, I appreciated that there were many levels of learning. By using the four different books that come with the program, learning was reinforced constantly. In addition, I liked that the lessons weren’t too long and that the answer key is in the Teacher Resources book, not in the student books. Finally, I found the company very customer friendly. One of the books I received did not have a CD. I called the company, and they explained that the material is also on the website. They answered all of my questions and were very approachable.

There is nothing that I dislike about this program. I think it’s a great way to learn Spanish. I do prefer to have a program that lays out a schedule for the lessons, so I would appreciate if that is added in future editions of the book, but not having it really wasn’t an inconvenience. The books very clearly state how to approach the course and what lessons and activities to do first.

Too often, foreign language programs focus heavily on reading and writing the language at the expense of being able to speak it. This program does focus on reading and writing, but listening and speaking is also a very important component, giving students a more well-rounded Spanish education. I’d highly recommend this program to parents with upper elementary and middle school students.

-Product review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016

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