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  1. Wow! I had not realized that. I will keep that in mind as I work on this project.
  2. Of course that's not a joke, it's a lovely idea! You are one smart lady. :D I really like the idea of theming units around daily life instead of lists of objects. And the parrot... okay, that's just funny... :lol: Too perfect! I will make sure to keep the parrot vote in mind. Thank you!
  3. Money, huh? That's a fun one! I have seen the California standards before, and they're good! I think I like the ACTFL standards best, personally, but the CA ones have a lot in common with them.
  4. Oh, books. I love books. Children's books are often much more complex grammar and vocab-wise than you would think, but there are certainly options here, and that would be similar to the readers I'm looking to produce - real stories, real pictures, with questions afterwards to encourage comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Have you looked online to find children's books in your language?
  5. This is a wonderful idea! I hope that you and your little one get a lot out of this course.
  6. This is excellent. :iagree: With my classes, I would often ask for a combination of oral responses in Spanish and written responses in English. I can see why the writing would be more of a challenge with little ones.
  7. I really like the idea of skits - maybe based on the stories. :) I am not sure how you arrived at the idea that I want to focus on grammar from my original post about creating an immersion program, but I would like to clarify - this is NOT a grammar-focused program. I think that grammar is an important concept that should be learned frequently in very small chunks (IE: identify the subject in each of these 6 sentences) to reinforce to children that grammar is simple and has everything to do with using the language every day. "Saving" it until the end only makes it seem like a difficult and cumbersome task. BUT - the main focus of this program will be learning to speak Spanish. I don't think that the Foreign Service method of teaching languages is appropriate for children at all. The government's goals are entirely different - they have a period of only a few months to get adults to a basic level of conversation before sending them off to another country. So of course it makes sense to use the adults' fully-developed sense of grammar to teach them sentence "formulas" that they can use in various situations. However, these adults are not truly acquiring the language - unless they spend a lot more time listening to and practicing the language once they arrive in their immersion environment, they will never be fluent. The goal of comprehensible input is to provide children with real, contextualized language that they can understand from the beginning. This is similar to the period of your child's life in which he or she can understand you and follow directions, or even respond with hand gestures, but may not be able to produce full sentences or even clear words yet. After a period of hearing (and hearing while reading) the language, he or she will begin to produce on his or her own. This is very, very different from the "formulas" the government uses. Your child will begin to produce sentences that you never taught, because he or she really understands the language and can create something that just "feels right." So yes, there is a lot of reading, because your child needs examples of correct language before producing his or her own. There is also a lot of listening and responding to stories with just one or two words, an action, or a hand gesture. The conversation will come, but not immediately. I'm sorry this is so long, but I don't want you or anyone else to get the wrong idea about this program before I even begin. I hope this helps clarify.
  8. So, I guess I should explain a little bit more about what I'm envisioning. In my head, I see this as a multi-modal learning experience. I did some formal research about vocabulary acquisition, and found that students who used more than one "mode" of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc) acquired vocabulary better and retained it for longer. I would like to create something that incorporates movement, pictures, listening, reading, grammar, and speaking. Perhaps the format could look something like this: -a list of vocabulary words for the unit with audio pronunciations -a video of me telling them a story with gestures and props, with pauses for student responses to verbal questions -a follow-up reading passage or two focusing on the same vocabulary words, with audio and accompanying comprehension questions -a short grammar page, using examples from the reading -suggested additional practice activities for using and studying the vocabulary That would be a basic unit, and then occasionally I would include a game, a purely audio story, or a "conversation" practice recording. After a few months of learning, I would also provide some speaking and writing prompts and practices. I would like to theme each unit around the adventures of two or three characters. Right now I'm throwing around the idea of two kids and their pet penguin/monkey/chinchilla. This would keep the lessons contextualized and I believe it gives students a little more intrinsic motivation to learn than your typical foods/colors/clothing textbook. This is very similar to how my classroom functioned. I taught mostly 9th-graders, and my students were listening to me speak 90% Spanish on day 3 and reading on day 10. By the end of the year they could speak for about 2 minutes without prompting and write a couple of paragraphs independently. Specifically, I need to know: 1. What kind of time would you want to spend on Spanish each day? 2. How much of the time would you want to spend with your kids during the Spanish lesson? 3. How important is culture for you? Would you want cultural information provided in the book? 4. Would you rather have everything in order in a book, or would you rather choose the order of activities yourself? 5. Would you rather have a professionally bound book, or a less-professional binder full of individual sheets of paper that can be removed, copied, moved around, etc? 6. What sort of topics are you and your children most interested in? What do you talk about a lot? (NOTE: CANNOT be copyrighted characters like Disney cartoons or specific superheroes, but could be general ideas like "princesses" or "superheroes".) Can't wait to hear more wonderful ideas! :bigear: :bigear: :bigear:
  9. You're a lady after my own heart. This summarizes the theory just perfectly. I love TPR and TPRS and would certainly use them (or a version of them) in any program I made. I also think Pocoyo is great, but I think I could run into copyright issues if I tried to use it in a comprehensive program. I wouldn't have thought of lessons for the car! I guess a lot of parents probably do spend a lot of time driving around with their kids. Smart idea!
  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is exactly the type of information I need, because I didn't realize any of those things about homeschool parents. Would other parents agree? :bigear: I was already thinking of DVD + Audio + reading as a winning combination, but I wouldn't have thought that it's preferable to have everything in order and in one place. And ditching the teacher's manual... I like that. Perhaps the teacher's suggestions could be printed right in the same workbook? It's not like you need to keep your methods a secret from your kids. One other question - I completely understand about limited funds. I, too, have limited funds at the moment. ;) What would you (or anyone else) think of home-produced videos? Obviously, I would make sure the sound quality was good, but producing videos myself would reduce costs for me and for parents.
  11. I love the idea of families learning Spanish together! I know the reason many Spanish teachers are hesitant to switch to immersion or comprehensible input methods is because they are unsure of their own language skills. Surely this would be even more difficult for a parent who only had a couple of years of language classes. Since, as you say, many parents may not want to learn the language, it might be better for me to create a program in which parents CAN learn with their kids, but do not have to devote extra hours learning the language beforehand. As far as labels go, DEFINITELY. Labeling just my classroom took hours. Thanks for the input!
  12. Oh, dear. I think that I've done this wrong. I need to figure out how this forum works before I start replying!
  13. Buenas tardes a todos, My name is Katie Baker. I am a Spanish teacher interested in creating a Spanish immersion program for homeschoolers and their parents. I became interested in this project after my sister, a homeschool teacher, mentioned to me that there were very few Spanish programs for kids geared toward full fluency in the language. My colleagues and I are practitioners of Comprehensible Input methods of teaching language - we believe that students can acquire a second language through immersion in COMPREHENSIBLE language input. This means simplifying the vocabulary used to the bare basics at first and gradually adding more vocabulary and complex structure as the learners grow and develop. The formula is input before output - students must hear and see the language before they can produce it themselves. I am posting here because I am in the process of creating a curriculum, but I want to tailor it to the particular needs of homeschoolers. I don't want to duplicate a program that is already out there, and I want to create something that people could really use. Ideally, what would you like to see in a Spanish curriculum for your kids? I am open to all sorts of ideas. Mil gracias, Srta. Baker
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