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Questions for homeschool Spanish book adaptation

Guest JakeD

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Guest JakeD

Hello, hive mind!


As my username suggests, my name is Jake. :001_smile: I work for Evia Learning, a foreign language textbook creation and distribution company based in Holland, MI. Although our books are typically used by colleges, some private high schools do use our book packages with great success. At the moment we have two German books out and a first-year Spanish book (Ritmos, see los-ritmos.com ) coming out this fall. The reason I'm here is because we are investigating the possibility of adapting Ritmos to high school-level home school use. The first step in doing that is finding out what actual home-school instructors want and need out of a Spanish program, so I'm here to find out what you all think!


Let me tell you a little bit about Ritmos first. It is not your typical textbook. In fact, you could almost say there is no "textbook" at all, at least in the traditional sense. Instead, the package includes a write-in cuaderno and a software CD. An instructor edition is in the works. We also provide (free) grammar worksheet PDFs online for users, and we hope to add some lesson plans from college classrooms and additional supplements within a few months. What makes Ritmos most different is its strong focus on cultural learning alongside language learning. After all, how can you truly talk to Mexicans or Spaniards or Chileans if you have no idea what their lives are like...or worse, think they live in the Stone Age? So we have incorporated relevant, realistic cultural learning into both the book and the software. Of course, we also focus on realistic language comprehension and production. One main resource we use are hundreds of interviews done with native speakers throughout the world on many topics. So students will read and listen to native-level Spanish from day 1, with appropriate "scaffolding" to help students succeed. (i.e., written scripts or fill-in-the-blanks with tough listening activities that they could not otherwise accomplish, etc.)


That's what the program looks like for traditional college users. Perhaps the most basic question I have for all of you is: what modifications could we make to the existing program that would help you use Ritmos in a home school setting? In order to break that down a bit, here are some more specific questions:


-How many students are in your typical Spanish class?


-How do home school instructors without any experience in a foreign language prefer to teach foreign languages?


-What are some of the most useful or essential parts of the curricula you currently use?


-I have read on the forums here that there is some concern about whether high schools or colleges in the state of Florida fully accept home school credits. Are there other accreditation concerns you consider when choosing a book to use?


-How much does price factor into your decision of which book to use? Ritmos sells to college students at $160 including tax, S & H, and that's for two semesters of learning. How does that compare to curricula home school instructors use now?


Thank you all very much in advance for your help! I will try to respond to comments. (Note to moderators: I hope I am not violating user terms by doing some research here! Please let me know if this post is out of bounds and I will try to edit it appropriately.)




Edited by JakeD
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