Does anyone have a recommendation besides Rosetta Stone? Cost is an issue.
Have you looked into El Espanol Facil? I haven’t used it personally, but have heard several CMers say it is CM friendly. Plus, it’s designed to be used across the ages of students and one level can last a couple of years. Might be a possibility.gr8tfulCMmomParticipant
We’re using “The Easy French” and it was written by a lady that follows the CM approach. It’s wonderful. They also have a Spanish curriculum as well, but I have not used it. You can check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/5samcfBookwormParticipant
I always hate to give a negative review of things, BUT . . . Think carefully before getting El Espanol Facil. I heard so many positive things about the French program that I was a charter purchaser of the original program . . . and I was extremely disappointed. It was silly, didn’t really teach very much, and even worse, it was riddled with errors. One other user and I tried to get those errors addressed, but we have no idea if they ever were. I sold it and tried something else. I would really at least ask for assurances that those errors have been corrected.
Cindy, my dream is the Auralog “Tell Me More” program, which is supposed to be a better version of Rosetta Stone (which I had, my kids completed the first level, and which we were also dissatisfied with. Either I’m really picky or it’s just really hard to get a good program . . .) Anyway, it is also quite expensive and I have not purchased it yet–it may be a while. 🙂
Anyway, this past year we used a program we got on CurrClick–in fact, we got the book for free and just purchased the audio from them. It was called Speedy Spanish. I liked the Bible verses and hymns; my younger sons liked it, my oldest thought it was silly. This year I am doing a combo, of some audio files, CD games (a set I got on Ebay for $16 called Instant Immersion Spanish) and this fun book for reinforcement:
I’m using an approach in a book called How to Learn Any Language by Barry Farber, and he recommends finding audio, one or more types of books, and a newspaper or magazine. So we are collecting these sorts of things to try on our own.
Well, here’s the thing: I am wondering what to expect as an end product. Will I have students that are fluent in a language or simply familiar with it? I suspect the latter since we are not a bi-lingual family and we do not have the opportunity for immersion that I *think* fluency needs. Don’t we lose what we do not use? Does the result really have as much to do with the curriculum itself or the effort put into it?
So, I’m wondering…I can pay a really high price for one of these curriculums or I can purchase a less expensive/less popular one. Will I get highly different results?
Then there is the college entrance requirements. Should I be happy with just fulfilling that requirement? I am on the fence here! I do not want to waste time and/or money.
Thanks for thinking this through with me.
Well, I will be brutally honest and confess that I simply do not think true conversational fluency is possible without CONVERSATION. I think you can learn parts of the language. I think you can learn to read well, and write relatively well, on your own. But I don’t think it’s possible to get to the point of real conversational give-and-take in the short bursts available during oral conversation, without practicing this.
I began learning my second language at 8, in a gifted program in school I wanted to learn French, and they brought in a French war bride who spoke to me only in French, and expected me to answer. And I learned, very rapidly.
Fast forward to what we are doing now–I want to learn Spanish. I work very hard on it. I read fairly well. But when someone walks up to me and begins speaking rapid-fire, I do not cope well. I need to practice— A LOT MORE! I do well with our Latin studies, but then I have the time to think the Latin through, since we primarily read and write it.
Now–is it a waste of money to do a program? No, I don’t think so. Exposure to a language helps immensely, even if you aren’t yet conversing. For some language learners, it can take a while even to get the concept of DIFFERENT WORDS. I cannot tell you how many students I’ve seen argue “Well, why do they need another word for “dog”? “Dog” works just fine!” And even in COLLEGE. 🙂
I think that if you have college bound students, a foreign language is critical. Many colleges insist on two high school foreign language credits. If this is your only goal, though, I see no reason why you cannot use a less-expensive program. And, even if fluency is the objective, a less-expensive program, coupled with diligent study, and finding a place for conversation, can still yield good results. And, for Spanish, all you really have to do is look around. Try watching videos on Spanish. Find a friend–at church, at the library, at a Mexican restaurant–and try to strike up a conversation. Most Spanish-speakers in this country are absolutely THRILLED if someone is trying to learn their language and they will happily ignore your mistakes and try to help you. I have friends who chat in internet chats in foreign-language chatrooms who manage to improve their skills since it is quite rapid. If you look, you can find the opportunities to bolster that book-knowledge that will get you the necessary credits and expand into real conversation.
So by all means search for a less expensive option if you want. I think any effort in a foreign language is valuable.
Thanks for the input ya’ll. Michelle, I was told I tend to be ‘brutally honest.’ I said that I prefer to call it ‘verbally efficient.’ 🙂
We use visual link spanish. I paid under $100 for it. It is so much fun. It is done on the computer and we have cd’s that can go with us in the car. It teaches you how to read it,write it and the correct pronunciation of the words. I also get an email every now and then with extra things to go with the program. One of them had a challange to strike up a conversation with someone who speaks spanish. They don’t expect you to know everything that is being said but you will be able to understand some of the words.My kids and I have learned quite a bit using this program. I was able to read a baby bib printed in spanish and was so excited. I can see how speaking fluently wouldn’t happen without exposure to the actual language you are trying to learn. But I think this program is a good start on that.. Just my opinion though. I’m almost positive that you can get a free sample by going to the visual link spanish website.. They also take payments and if I’m not mistaken there is a money back guarantee.. Hope this helps
The Tell Me More program was mentioned a while back. It is on sale this week, half off, through the 27th at http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org.
I tried it and didn’t really like it. (Maybe I didn’t give it long enough.)
I was driving 1 Hour+ to and from work, so I had better that 2 hours a day to do something, So I learned Languages.
My favorite was LangLearner He’s a little cheesy, but the examples were very good, and it did start to stick pretty quickly.
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