My sons are 7yo and I think we’re ready to try Spanish again. They are both Guatemalan but left their native country at one year of age, so they have no natural Spanish. I speak fairly well, my daughter even better, the rest of the family a little less, but we all speak it better than they do! We’ve tried several things, primarily personal teachers and me talking phrases to them but they weren’t interested. We even spent six weeks in Guatemala, hoping to make it sound more natural to them. I’m just now getting clues from one that he is receptive to learning Spanish. I prefer something we can do at home (instead of personal tutor) so we’re not tied to someone’s schedule. I did not like Rosetta Stone (we returned it). I am interested in La Clase Divertida because so many people seem to like it, but I can’t find any samples online. I’d love to hear from users of La Clase Divertida about your experience and how the program works…or from others who have another program to recommend.
If it was me, and most of my family spoke some level of Spanish, I would just make certain times “Spanish times” and make a game out of everyonbe has to speak Spanish. Immersion is the most natural way to learn.
Yes, but none of us are fluent, nor native speakers. I want them to hear a native accent and correct grammar. I do speak nouns and phrases for them, we break into Spanish daily for small things (Ven aqui, no me gusta, nos vamos, donde esta mi bolsa?, que quieres, etc?) – or ironically to talk over the children’s head if my daughter isn’t around – but nothing formal and they need more to make a language of it.
Thanks for the reminder, though, that I should be simply speaking it more. It will help me too.
We have used La Clase Divertida, first with my 2 oldest and now again with my 7 and 9 yos. We like it. My friend is also using it with her 11 yo. It is video based. Basically in the video you see a class of students he is teaching. There are lots of opportunities to “interact” with the class, eg by answering questions or singing along with them. My kids really enjoy the video. Each lesson also has an extra bit thta might be a craft, cooking segment, or bit of history. There is an audio CD to practice with which we don’t use because I can’t find mine. I just spend a few days doing basically what they do on the video–asking questions, singing the songs etc. There is also a workbook which I also don’t use because I am more interested in getting my kids to speak and neither is great with writing at this point. It is very family oriented in that they expect the parent to watch along with the child.
What age is La Clase Divertida geared towards? I’m looking for something for my 5th and 8th graders…barely any Spanish so far. Thanks:)
I am not familiar with La Clase Divertida, but I have used The Learnables Spanish1. My older sons really liked it. It might be helpful for your family.
We used La Clase Divertida in our co-op. Honestly, I and my 3 girls thought it was boring…. I know a lot of people like it, but we found it babyish and just plain silly. I also didn’t like the fact that he is not a native speaker, and it felt disjointed to us. Not “usable” in regular conversation, so it was really just words or phrases, but nothing more than we could just already do ourselves. Just our opinion of it. My girls were 8, 7, and 5 at the time, I believe.
One of the things we also didn’t like in a co-op setting was that no one worked on it at home because we didn’t have the stuff to go along with it nor the video, but that wouldn’t happen in your situation since you’d be at home. But something to think about anyway.
No experience with La Clase Divertida, either, but I have two free online resources you may want to look at. Both are immersion.
Salsa Spanish http://www.gpb.org/salsa
First Step/Next Step/Another Step Spanish http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/LanguageIndex.cfm?CFID=1959659&CFTOKEN=19854458&jsessionid=56308a1a3f26e2bdd6f67268584557d55593
We have used Salsa and my son loves it. (He’s nine now; we started using it when he was 7 or 8). I want to use the First Step next, but we will see.
I would say La Clase Divertida ia geared at ages 5-14. I think it depends what you want the Spanish for. We are almost done with year 1 with my two little ones. They can say/answer questions like: what is your name? what is your favorite color? what pets do you have? who is in your family? and variations on those such as what is your favorite animal’s name? As I recall from when my older ones did it, the rate of intorducing new words and ways to say things picks up considerably in the 2nd and 3rd years.
Thanks for the info., considering these! Anyone use Mango? Our library doesn’t have it, but I’m checking to see if I can use it through our neighboring library. Thanks!
I’m still deciding between La Clase Divertida (though I don’t like that it isn’t a native speaker) and La Espanol Facil at this point. I called Pimsleur to see what age they recommend people starting their program and she said the company response is age 14 though she has noticed her 7yo picking up the German she herself studies. I have used Pimsleur for the first two levels and they have been my favorite, by far. Unfortunately I have given my level 1 away but I’m going to try to get it back to see if my sons respond to it. They did like the demos for La Espanol Facil, the Junior version, so right now that is our top choice but I’m still pondering. Likely we’d get the Jr version plus the CD of songs for a total price of $105 incl shipping. I’ve looked for it used but haven’t found it. (Anyone here want to sell it, by chance?) After I had made this decision I saw that La Espanol Facil considers itself CM based, but have already read many comments here saying it is not and that it is not well done. Unfortunately there are always great and horrible reviews of all the programs for children! It seems like someone should be able to put together an excellent Spanish program for children.
We are presently using La Clase Divertida. I was thinking about La Espanol Facil at the time, but when I attended the local curriculum fair I bought La Clase Divertida on a whim after meeting the teacher. I started to question if I made the right decision later. We never covered it that year, but we have done some off and on this year. DD8 loves it! One thing this curriculum stresses is teaching children how to share the Gospel in Spanish after completing the curriculum, which is what DD wants to do. She desires to be a missionary in a Spanish speaking country. She loves the crafts, although simple, and the songs help her to remember what she is learning. I think you can visit their website to view video clips as examples of what you will find in the curriculum.
Please excuse me for coming in 4 years after the question was asked & commenting but I really needed to add something.
I am a native Spanish speaker, I spoke Spanish before speaking in English.I speak Castilian which is a bit different than that spoken in Mexico or the Caribbean. Even with all these things I found La Clase Divertida to be a very good curriculum. The teacher’s accent was good & there were some native speakers in some of the videos as well.
In 6th grade I was unwillingly added to the Spanish “foreign language”, class which I thought was so dumb, because I could read & write Spanish & really would have preferred to take cooking or art. I digress; the point is that my teacher was from Guatemala & had a pretty thick English accent. She argued with me about every single word I said. That’s because she didn’t speak Castilian. What I am getting at is that just because someone is a native speaker, doesn’t mean they are very good teachers at all.
I had an Italian born/French teacher, her accent always messed with me because it was so clearly not a French accent. Two years later my following French teacher had an amazing French accent. I couldn’t believe she spoke English so well. It turned out that she was Cuban & French was her third language. She had spent a semester abroad & really dove deep into her immersion course.
I think my point is clear, you don’t have to be a native speaker to be a good teacher & I say this as a native spanish speaker myself.
On the “silliness” of the videos, I personally value it & like it. Yes, it can be silly & even corny, maybe. However it’s always the silly/corner things that stick like crazy glue in my kid’s minds. Isn’t it always though?
Just like a water cycle song my older kids thought they were too cool for & their five year old brother learned & surpassed them both with. The “silly” singing, dancing, etc…integrates all learning styles at once & helps cement hard to learn or remember things.
I find my kids think things are less “silly” if I too am getting involved & seeming like I am enjoying myself. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that my kids don’t have to pretend to be cool for a group of peers. They can be silly & kid like even if I have to motive them a bit to do it.