Our homeschool family is always looking for a way to learn Spanish, having moved cross country several years ago to New Mexico and when offered the opportunity to review Excelerate SPANISH Streaming from Excelerate Spanish we jumped on it.
Excelerate SPANISH Streaming is completely different than any other Spanish curriculum we have ever used. We have used workbooks, audio recordings, and once, a game.
Excelerate is what I would consider to be somewhat immersive. Right from lesson 1 in Spanish 1, the teacher is giving words, phrases and sentences along with gestures to go along with them. She tells the students to follow along, using the gestures and movements. This method is called Total Physical Response (TPR). brain functionality and linguistics show that TPR facilitates foreign language acquisition for all age groups. TPR aids in learning languages by activating different parts of the brain.
The videos are engaging, and the teacher is pleasant. As you can see in the video below, the TPR method is explained.
When we first learn to speak as babies, we do it with immersion. I remember that our oldest son “The Batman,” really spoke no words at all when he was age two (this is when we adopted him). I seriously spoke complete sentences to him, as I did things. For example, I sat him in his high chair next to me while washing the dishes, and said everything as I did it (This is a plate. I’m putting it in the soapy water and scrub it. I’m putting it under the running water to rinse it. I’m putting it into the drain tray so it can dry.”) This child who we were told might never learn to speak now runs his mouth All. The. Time. So, for babies, this is how language is learned, and how many grown people learn. This is learning with speach and movements, or TPR. I never knew this had a name!
In the beginning, there is no pressure at all to speak until you are ready. The words and action movements are repeated, and students remember and associate the actions with the words from then on.
One good thing, as homeschoolers we can take all the time in the world, repeating things until we get them. In an institutional school, you get only so much time, and then you must move on. With us, while sometimes we can keep up with the suggested schedule, more often than not we can’t. This is one of the “can’t” times. The teacher goes way too fast for us to complete a lesson in the time allowed, so we have to repeat, repeat, repeat. But that’s OK, because we learn at home!
I had “The Puzzler” log on and try to learn Spanish.
Normally, he would set up at the kitchen table with his Chrome Book and a pair of head phones, so that he could hear and not be distracted by everyone elses noise. It turned out that my son is very self conscious about doing the motions, and would not do them at all if anyone else could see him. It is taking him a long time to go through the videos.
We were given the Excelerate Spanish Streaming to review, but there are also workbooks available for purchase. Given that the video lessons are in an actual classrom and part of the lessons direct the students to pull out their workbooks and use them, I think it would have benefited “The Puzzler” to have them.
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