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Tracy

1 Spanish curriculum for 2 very different learners?

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Is this even possible to find?

I have a 15yo dd who is 2e and  is a visual-spatial learner who prefers immersion-style learning and who has some significant executive skills weaknesses. She has completed 2 years of the Michel Thomas curriculum (conversational Spanish). Writing is very laborious for her, and most things take twice as long as the average learner. But to improve in Spanish, I believe she needs some work in written translation, because she is just not learning the conjugations by practicing them verbally. 

My 12yo ds is my audio-sequential learner who just finished the Spanish with Children series. He is gifted and can speed through any written work. He has a good grasp of basic grammar and a decent vocabulary, but conversation is extremely difficult for him. So he needs some conversational practice to improve.

I have a Spanish degree and am relatively fluent in Spanish. I had hoped to teach Spanish to my kids but have found that I really need a curriculum. Although my kids have very different strengths and weaknesses, they are at about the same level, and I would love to find a curriculum that I can use for both. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you!

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I think Avancemos might work for both. I have my oldest working through Breaking the Barrier which I love, but not everyone is capable at the pace set by BtB. I teach Avancemos at a hybrid school and I will be using it with my son next year. There are more conversation exercises and there is an extra workbook that provides a lot of great additional practice. Plus there are a lot of online components that help with practice. It is a little slow for an advanced learner, but probably a solid option to keep them together. 

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The ULAT?

"visual-spatial learner" - check, ULAT is videos which use hand gestures to teach vocab and grammar
"immersion-style learning" - check, ULAT is entirely immersion
"significant executive skills weaknesses" - my kids with executive function weaknesses thrive on the ULAT's entertaining videos, structured exercises and constant review.
"Writing is very laborious for her" - ULAT focuses first on building strong speaking and listening skills, and then on reading.  You would have to supplement writing.
"She is just not learning the conjugations by practicing them verbally" - The way the ULAT uses hand gestures for conjugations may really help. 
"audio-sequential learner" - check
"but conversation is extremely difficult for him" - ULAT really emphasizes getting students speaking.  It is also great to work though with multiple students because there are some assignments like interviewing a classmate.
"Although my kids have very different strengths and weaknesses, they are at about the same level" - My oldest, who is 11,  is a strong intermediate speaker (able to read age-appropriate novels in Spanish with only minimal support), and I still feel he is getting a lot from ULAT even though I started him at the very beginning.  ULAT introduces verbs and other vocab in a unique order, and then proceeds to actually use the language for interesting things.  My kids love the lessons where Señor Nesbitt talks with his "brother" (it is actually just him on a split screen) and they tell stories, discuss their jobs, bicker about who is better at various things...and better looking 😀, etc.

There are 15 free lessons on the website, and it is an incredibly cheap program overall at.

Wendy

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8 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

My kids love the lessons where Señor Nesbitt talks with his "brother" (it is actually just him on a split screen) and they tell stories, discuss their jobs, bicker about who is better at various things...and better looking 😀, etc.

My DD uses this at your recommendation and she, too, always giggles when he talks to his "brother". Yesterday he and his brother reenacted the Abbott and Costello "Who's on First" routine. Hilarious!

OP you might check out Spanish Now! (Silverstein, et al) if you think a worktext would be helpful. The pace is slower than BtB and the cartoons/stories at the beginning of the chapter are humorous. You can, of course, skip the easy stuff your dc already know. I've never made it all the way through the book, my dc become resistant about halfway.

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On 5/12/2020 at 1:40 PM, wendyroo said:

The ULAT?

"visual-spatial learner" - check, ULAT is videos which use hand gestures to teach vocab and grammar
"immersion-style learning" - check, ULAT is entirely immersion
"significant executive skills weaknesses" - my kids with executive function weaknesses thrive on the ULAT's entertaining videos, structured exercises and constant review.
"Writing is very laborious for her" - ULAT focuses first on building strong speaking and listening skills, and then on reading.  You would have to supplement writing.
"She is just not learning the conjugations by practicing them verbally" - The way the ULAT uses hand gestures for conjugations may really help. 
"audio-sequential learner" - check
"but conversation is extremely difficult for him" - ULAT really emphasizes getting students speaking.  It is also great to work though with multiple students because there are some assignments like interviewing a classmate.
"Although my kids have very different strengths and weaknesses, they are at about the same level" - My oldest, who is 11,  is a strong intermediate speaker (able to read age-appropriate novels in Spanish with only minimal support), and I still feel he is getting a lot from ULAT even though I started him at the very beginning.  ULAT introduces verbs and other vocab in a unique order, and then proceeds to actually use the language for interesting things.  My kids love the lessons where Señor Nesbitt talks with his "brother" (it is actually just him on a split screen) and they tell stories, discuss their jobs, bicker about who is better at various things...and better looking 😀, etc.

There are 15 free lessons on the website, and it is an incredibly cheap program overall at.

Wendy

Thank you so much. This really looks perfect for us, and really quite affordable. And it so happens that my dd has been secretly learning French, as well. Do you know if she will have access to both Spanish and French lessons?

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29 minutes ago, Tracy said:

Thank you so much. This really looks perfect for us, and really quite affordable. And it so happens that my dd has been secretly learning French, as well. Do you know if she will have access to both Spanish and French lessons?

Yes, we have a subscription (which we use for the Spanish lessons), but I just tried to watch a French lesson, and it allowed me to do that too.

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2 hours ago, wendyroo said:

Yes, we have a subscription (which we use for the Spanish lessons), but I just tried to watch a French lesson, and it allowed me to do that too.

Steve seems like he is working his way up the "tech-savvy" learning curve, in which case this feature might go away at some point. 😄 That said, it may be that his intent is to have all materials available to subscribers. Does he teach the French lessons also? I have another dd starting on French this summer...

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12 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Steve seems like he is working his way up the "tech-savvy" learning curve, in which case this feature might go away at some point. 😄 That said, it may be that his intent is to have all materials available to subscribers. Does he teach the French lessons also? I have another dd starting on French this summer...

Yes.  If you read his (long!) treatise on language teaching, he talks about how he envisions this system being used to teach many languages to speakers of many other languages with only minor tweaks.  He thinks that is the advantage of cueing with images: the same sequence of images can represent the same thought regardless of the learner's native language, and can then be represented by words in any language being taught.  So from what I have seen, the Spanish and French lessons are nearly identical, all that changes is what language he speaks while teaching them.

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14 hours ago, wendyroo said:

So from what I have seen, the Spanish and French lessons are nearly identical, all that changes is what language he speaks while teaching them

Wow. I knew he had a lot of Spanish background, but I missed that he also spoke French. I like his philosophy.

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Given that there is only one subscription tier, I assume that allowing both Spanish and French to be studied for the same price is deliberate.

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia

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