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Speekee Accelerate (Spanish Curriculum) Review by Erica BeyeaJim Porter
tel: +44 (0)113 815 4567
Swift Cross Farm
Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 4LQ
It has been said that the best method for a child to learn a foreign language is through immersion, especially where they learn words that are relevant to everyday communication. The Speekee Accelerate program attempts to do just that by offering a forty week video program for children, using common words and phrases through repetition to teach the Spanish language. There are two lesson tracks available, one for ages 4-7 and the other for ages 8 and up. A monthly subscription gives access not only to both programs, but also to Speekee TV which includes fun short videos that review the vocabulary words that were taught, and also to Speekee Play, which uses games for review and reinforcement.
Each week of lessons gives four separate videos that surround the concept of the week, whether it is Spanish introductions or simple vocabulary words such as colors or numbers. The videos are simple and short, and feature a group of children interacting with each other, using the Spanish words in place of English. It is fairly easy to tell what the word is replacing, because of the group of children acting it out on the video.
Most weeks include simple pdf worksheets to be printed that allow the students to write or draw the new vocabulary words, further reinforcing them. Videos can be watched as often as desired, by as many children in the family who wish to see them. The game area is best used by just one child as it tracks their progress though. The company will be adding audio clips in the near future, to aid with pronunciation.
We used this program over the summer with my eleven year old daughter, who has already gone through some beginner Spanish instruction. We found the videos to be entertaining and mostly pretty easy to understand. She enjoyed watching other children perform in the videos, and thought the videos were a fun way to learn the Spanish. She would have preferred having more written work to accompany it, but I feel that the videos are a productive way to reinforce the language, especially to younger children. My daughter frequently repeated words and phrases that she learned in the videos, using the Spanish equivalent of a word in conversation, just like the children on the videos were doing. She delighted in ‘teaching’ us the new words as she used them in everyday conversation. Though there is not a large vocabulary base taught in the videos, I am pleased to realize that the words that are taught are retained well by the students, and I believe that is primarily because they are using them in the context of everyday conversation so they become a second nature.
A subscription to the Speekee set of programs costs $7.50 per month, and the account can be used on any device that can live stream the videos. I feel this program would be most effective with younger children, especially those who are just being introduced to the Spanish language, to gain a good foundation in the use of common, everyday words.
-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016