I’ve always loved languages. I learned Korean and English concurrently as a small child, but unfortunately my parents dropped the Korean when I started school so I wouldn’t get confused.
In middle school and high school I took both French and Spanish, and I even tried taking some Korean language classes.
Recently, my 6-year-old expressed a desire to learn to speak Spanish (aside from the few words that they learn from Dora, Diego, and Handy Manny, of course!). My grasp of Spanish is enough that I can piece together a couple of basic sentences, but I certainly wouldn’t be able to teach him without some help.
We were given the opportunity to review the Great Commission Language Junior Level Spanish curriculum as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The Junior Level is aimed at kids in grades K-3, and you receive a Spiral bound teaching book and 2 CDs.
Each audio lesson has 2 tracks – the first is a conversational track, and the second is just the vocabulary from that lesson. The speakers are native Spanish speakers (from Nicaragua and Venezuela), and the lessons center around 2 characters – a girl named Belicia and her (talking!) dog, Chichi.
Now, on the one hand, it can be a little difficult following along with a native speaker. What I like about this program, is that the first speaker will say something in Spanish, and the second speaker will sort of echo it back in English in a natural sounding way.
For example, Belicia will say “Estoy delante de la casa” and Chico will respond “Oh, you are in front of the house.”
Throughout the book, there are activities to help with comprehension, including instructions on how to make several different lapbooks! (we LOVE lapbooking!)
We are still in the first several lessons, but I see several different Spanish songs (with lyrics in Spanish and in English), as well as Spanish recipes throughout the book. I love that this program immerses you in the language and the culture in so many different ways.
With the drawings in the book, the audio tracks as well as all of the activities, it seems like they’ve hit on all of the different learning styles. The book itself is non-consumable (so you can continue to use it year after year and with multiple kids!), but there are printable sheets available on the 1st of the two CDs.
From the website:
“Way more than a computer game that simply teaches words, ¡El Español Fácil! has everything you need to succeed at teaching Spanish! If you want to go beyond “getting by” on a missions trip, then you need to understand the Spanish people, their culture, and their expressions. Every lesson includes Spanish Cultural Notes and Trivia. Spanish idioms (an English idiom would be “Six of one, half a dozen of another”) are used in the stories, explained, and kept in your students notebook. The aim of ¡El Español Fácil! is to turn you into a truly bilingual person, able to go into business with, or present the Gospel to, the Spanish speaking world.”
I love this program, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for help teaching a language (or even for learning it yourself!).
¡El Español Fácil!, Junior Level sells for $69.95.
The other programs available are Spanish Level 1, French Jr., and French Level 1. To read more reviews about these language programs, check out the TOS Crew.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this program to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation in exchange for a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.