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Your favorite Spanish program


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In the past we had free access to Rosetta Stone Spanish. Sadly,we no longer do. Our umbrella school will give us Muzzy or Risas y Sonrisas to use, but I am not really excited about either. Muzzy is cute, but maybe too gentle (passive is probably the better word). From the online clips of Risas y Sonrisas it looks like there is a lot of translating ("ball is pelota") rather than direct learning (seeing the ball and thinking pelota) - very inefficient.


So what else out there would you suggest??? Should i just fork it over for Rosetta Stone again?



Just some background info: My oldest had who years in a Spanish Immersion school, and my middle had one year - they are familiar with pronunciation and read well in Spanish, but their vocabulary is limited. Dad is a fluent speaker, I am not (but understand a lot).

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I second Salsa, but my son is 4. He's been telling me yes, no, hello, goodbye, counting to six in Spanish and we've only watched a few episodes.


If Salsa is too childish for your kids, I haven't tried it but Instant Replay at knowitall.org has a few different programs.


First Step Spanish: http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/program.cfm?SeriesIDpassed=43

First Step Again: http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/program.cfm?SeriesIDpassed=57

Next Step Spanish: http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/program.cfm?SeriesIDpassed=52

Next Step Spanish Again: http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/program.cfm?SeriesIDpassed=87


These were longer and live action instead of puppets so I couldn't get my young son interested but I didn't try that hard since I found Salsa and he loved it!

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  • 2 weeks later...
IFrom the online clips of Risas y Sonrisas it looks like there is a lot of translating ("ball is pelota") rather than direct learning (seeing the ball and thinking pelota) - very inefficient.


I have an MA in language teaching and experience in the classroom and tutorial settings. I was always taught that translating like that is inefficient, and avoided it. I struggled for a long time to figure out how to get my oldest daughter to get started in Spanish.


Then one day at the library she discovered a tape with songs that said things like, "Red is rojo, red is rojo, verde green, verde green." I held my nose (knowing it would do no good) and checked it out for her. The next thing I knew, she had a growing basic vocabulary in Spanish and was interested in the more communicative activities that I had been trying to do with her all along.


Since then I have discovered that translation can be useful in many ways, and can often be the most efficient way to practice something - but it should be far from the only method used in a program.


I have never used Risas and Sonrisas but I just got it in the mail today and have been looking over it. It introduces many topics with a song that has translation, but from then on it deals with pictures, questions, and other strategies.


It doesn't have step-by-step lesson plans for the homeschooler, but it does tell you what to cover in each lesson and the guide contains lots of ideas for doing things, plus the demo CDs show things in action. I don't know how this would work out in practice, but I'm definitely going to be trying some aspects of this program out this fall in my own home.


I'm also going to look at the links that everyone else has posted. Thanks!

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