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How many lessons would you want your Spanish curriculum to have?


Cindyg
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I would want daily lessons. Of course, review of newly learned material could take up some of those days. Incorporating a memory system would be a great way to do that. Since your other thread, I've been thinking. My problem with most Spanish programs is that they seem isolated from real life and practical application. I don't see how doing Spanish as a school subject once or twice a week (or even daily) from August through May will lead to fluency. I think for fluency, you need to be speaking (and for us, reading and writing) Spanish daily year round.

 

You could also give tips and lists of resources for practical application and learning. For example, DS8 just started putting his DS games on Spanish mode. I'm shocked at how much he is immediately able to translate due to familiarity from having played the games in English before. Also, I have this book and it's good but I find the concept as valuable as the actual book. Most movies these days have the capability to enable Spanish subtitles. It makes for fun and painless learning.

 

So, I guess my answer is 365 lessons. :D I'm only halfway kidding. I can see how that would be a challenge to create. Can you think of a way to add real life, every day practice as part of the program?

 

...says the person who just placed another big order for removable labels so that her house isn't in need of a vat of Goo Gone once we learn all this Spanish... :tongue_smilie:

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I'd want either one lesson per day (about 180 days, since we have a required "attendance" in my state), or 36 lessons (one lesson a week) with 5-6 days worth of material--maybe a review day, new vocab, grammar, games and fun stuff, cultural information, etc. A day that focuses only on conversational usage would be nice, maybe with an audio component. I'd want enough that we could do extra days, or slow down and focus on whatever we need the most. And then, (you did ask) I'd like summer supplemental games/activities etc so that we could keep what we've learned, but not necessarily move forward.

 

 

But really, I'm not asking too much, am I?:D

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I wouldn't want so many days because there are too many days that we do field trips, etc. I'd want about 140 lessons (4 days a week for about 34 weeks) and some fun review games to use in the summer so dc didn't forget everything before the next September. Maybe having 34 lessons with 4 days of work and a review day would be better. Then if we had a field trip, we could skip the review day, but if there was nothing planned that week, we'd have something to do.

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I don't think it is critical how many lessons are in it, 20 weeks, 30 weeks, etc. Most people will use it and then continue with the next one at their own pace, right? So if you have 10 books with 20 weeks of daily lessons, some people with work through them in 4 years, some people will spend a year on book 1.

 

Here are some additional thoughts I've had while trying to find a workable program for us - (feel free to stop reading here, since you didn't ask for any of this additional rambling!! :D)

 

I wouldn't want it to spend much time on things like colors, 1-10, family, dog/cat, etc. The vocabulary that starts almost every other workbook, video or basic program out there. Don't linger on them, they are so easy to find time to practice and a lot of kids already know them (another introduction to colors and I may scream). However, an index in the back would be VERY helpful - Spanish/English/page # or English/Spanish/page #

 

Maybe lessons centered around going to the park, setting the table, washing/drying/folding/putting away clothes, going to the grocery, planting a garden and other common household activities. Include a LOT of vocabulary but it doesn't have to all be explicitly taught, perhaps highlight the basics for specific review later. This helps for people who enter at different levels but still want to get something "new" out of every lesson.

 

It should introduce some conversational verbs early-ish. "Put this on", "Please don't yell", "Let's run/walk/jump/skip", today we are going to the ___, etc. might be useful phrases that would allow for some regular practice and more natural discussion during the day. I am a proponent of whole to parts language for older children, but I think with lower elementary age parts to whole makes more sense. They can say most of what they need by knowing the "I" and "you" tenses. At some point the connections can be made to the infinitive and the commonness of all the endings - if it sounds like "to run" and ends in -mos, it is talking about all of us. However, please, have a table in the back of the book that shows the infinitive and the present-tense forms of the verbs that are introduced. That way the book can be written for someone with one child but adapted by someone like me with twins (as an example), or used by the adult to learn some whole to parts. (I hope I'm not using the whole/parts thing totally wrong....)

 

I would like it to also have some practical sections, like learning to read. This doesn't have to start with lesson 1, of course. Spanish is fairly straightforward phonetics-wise (I think), and so once children are starting to read in English (presumably), reading in Spanish is not a "hard" thing.

 

Along the lines of reading Spanish, it would be nice to have a section that explains the words for mathematics. Not teaching it, but perhaps presenting some of the vocabulary that gets used. Plus, minus, greater than, less than, more, less, etc. depending on what approximate grade level you are writing for - although please include additional "non-required" vocabulary that the parent can trot out later, multiply and divide for instance.

 

Ideas for outside games, like "hide and seek" terminology, perhaps ideas for outdoor Spanish scavenger hunts (rock, stick, insect, bird, etc.), are there Spanish jump-rope rhymes? (although my first-graders can't jump rope, much less chant in any language at the same time...) Perhaps a chant for swinging on the swing set. Also, ideas for indoor games might be handy for play (Chutes and Ladders, counting games with dice?) and vocabulary reinforcement (write today's vocabulary on paint tape pieces, stick it to the floor and then jump on the word I call out - or something)

 

I'll stop here, more than you wanted to know anyway.:tongue_smilie:

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I prefer actual seat work to only be 1-2 times per week...maybe 20-30m worth. Then the rest of the days to use for using the vocab in real life, maybe using memory tools a few minutes each day (like chanting conjugations or songs for remembering rules/usage/verb endings, etc.). This makes it doable and memorable and the using it beyond a worksheet makes it retainable. I like to work with the words verbally BEFORE they read/write them.

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I wouldn't want so many days because there are too many days that we do field trips, etc. I'd want about 140 lessons (4 days a week for about 34 weeks) and some fun review games to use in the summer so dc didn't forget everything before the next September. Maybe having 34 lessons with 4 days of work and a review day would be better. Then if we had a field trip, we could skip the review day, but if there was nothing planned that week, we'd have something to do.

 

I'd like something similar, but maybe even only 32 weeks (4 days/week). I don't like a curriculum that we can barely finish during the school year, and that isn't even counting trying to fit in field trips, snow days, etc. I like the idea of fun review lessons at the end (maybe 15 or so) - that way you could either tack onto the end of your school year to finish in May/June OR do over the summer to keep it fresh. Or skip it if you wanted to!

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