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I'm thinking of ordering Spanish 1 of SYRWTLS from Book Depository (free shipping???? How? AND they're cheaper than amazon.ca and Galore Park - how so???). From what I've read and researched, it contains more grammar training than other programs for middle grade kids. Would you say it's sort of like LC 1 and LC 2 (which will be completed by June here and then we're moving on to Henle 1) in the grammar training and grammar/vocab. memory work? If not, can it be adapted this way? How many lessons are in each level? How long does it take to go through Spanish 1? Spanish 2? Spanish 3? How long does it take to do a lesson each day? Is it reasonable to assume a child could do all three levels from grades 6-8? Why or why not? Or is it more towards high school level Spanish? What would you transition to in high school after doing level 3? What types of helps are in the TM?

 

Thank you!

Edited by Colleen in NS
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I am going to assume you are going to buy the cd. I also will assume you have read through the sample chapter on the GP site. Carefully look through the Tale of Content. The first unit is very simple and probably found on every beginner Spanish book. Unit 2 is where it begins to really pick up. If you go to the sample they show you unit 4. At this point you are on page 87 and about half way through the book. The student has been introduced to A LOT of vocabulary and A LOT of grammar. I briefly used LC and neither my dd nor I liked it. We felt there was not much real practice to what you were learning and definitely not enough explanations. To us the lessons were simply to memorize what they have taught but not to necessarily understand it.

 

Where GP differs is in just that. They explain clearly and then give exercises that assured we got it. Take the sample exercises. 4.10 wants you to write the sentences in English. 4.11 wants you to read the letter then answer the questions below that pertain to the letter. 4.12 wants you to listen to the cd's story while you answer true or false to the printed questions. 4.13 wants you to pair with a partner (and this is where your Spanish or a friends/relatives Spanish will help) and ask and answer questions orally. 4.14 shows you someone's daily routine and then ask you to write your own in Spanish using what you have learned so far. All this and more so that you practice some radical changing verbs and reflexives.

 

Each unit has a focus and they slowly built on each other. DD did half of book 1 and then backed up and redid 2 chapters because she went too quickly in some parts and did not bother with the vocabulary or verb tenses and got lost. Now she is half way through book 2 and I suspect she will finish it by the end of this school year. A typical child will take a year or longer to finish one book. I really think review and memory work should be added to the schedule if you really want mastery. (That is something LC did do well:D)

 

Also at the end of each unit there is a longer assignment (deberes) that should be done with no rushing. For example in chapter 4 they are to produce a display and an oral presentation illustrating the life-style of someone living in a Spanish-speaking country. In Unit 6 they were to prepare a newsletter report type of thing with all their extra-curricular activities.

 

Most units have 30 or so exercises (some less some more) put this is not a do the next exercise kind of book. Some days you could do 2 exercises in a day and some exercises may take 2-3 days. Don't rush it.

 

My plan for when dd is done with this series is to create a Spanish literature program for her. I have a few resources I picked up when I was in Ecuador last and a few I have my eye on for next time I go. I also have been adding some of her favorite books in Spanish to her reading list. I started last year, after we returned from Ecuador and she had acquired more Spanish from just being there, with pciture books and have slowly added more difficult books. She recently read Super Fudge entirely in Spanish. She understood most of it. I had her read some aloud for pronunciation and then she would tell me what was going on. My library has been a great source for these books.

 

Well I think I have given you enough to ponder but if I have confused you further feel free to ask more questions! This is a topic I enjoy talking about.

 

FYI, we have looked at other products and none are as thorough as this one.

 

HTHs,

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I really think review and memory work should be added to the schedule if you really want mastery. (That is something LC did do well:D)

 

Does the TM tell you what to do as far as scheduling review and memory work? Or would doing it LC-style work (writing vocabulary cards and grammar form cards and cycling through them regularly, adding in new ones as they come)?

 

Also at the end of each unit there is a longer assignment (deberes) that should be done with no rushing. For example in chapter 4 they are to produce a display and an oral presentation illustrating the life-style of someone living in a Spanish-speaking country. In Unit 6 they were to prepare a newsletter report type of thing with all their extra-curricular activities.

 

Something like this sounds more like a project. Do you think it's a necessary part of the course for some reason, or, if grammar and vocab (along with conversation practice and listening) were my main focus, could it be boiled down to just doing an oral speech and the written report?

 

Most units have 30 or so exercises (some less some more) put this is not a do the next exercise kind of book. Some days you could do 2 exercises in a day and some exercises may take 2-3 days. Don't rush it

 

This gives me a better idea of how long. It *could* be done in a year if we are diligent.

 

My plan for when dd is done with this series is to create a Spanish literature program for her.

 

I've collected a few Spanish books (they're harder to come by here in Canada) - picture books, a Bible that I had a long time ago, and a few dictionaries. I bet ds would like to try reading these after he gets some knowledge under his belt.

 

But the high school thing is what I'm wondering about. For example in Latin: a MP rep told me the other day that Henle 1 covers all the Latin grammar, and the rest of Henle is mostly applying grammar and doing readings. So I figure, if we finish Henle 1 by the end of 8th grade, we've accomplished something significant and can move on to more application. Is that the case with SYRWTLS by the time you finish book 3? Does it cover all grammar so you could move on to reading, or is there more grammar to learn in some kind of high school Spanish course that you should do first? Meaning, is SYRWTLS sort of like PL, LC1, and LC2, in that they gently prepare you for Henle 1 (I think they are very introductory grammar and vocab).

 

Put another way (I sure hope you can understand what I'm trying to get at!): is SYRWTLS just introductory to higher level Spanish study? If so, how? Is it introductory to high school Spanish? University level Spanish?

 

feel free to ask more questions! This is a topic I enjoy talking about.

 

I hope you don't regret these words now, LOL!!:lol::lol::lol::lol: and Thank you so much for your help!

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Here's a link to the same post I made on the curric. board - with a conversation between me and Laura Corin, who was trying to help me understand the British use of GP materials. Hopefully, it'll help clarify my previous post to you - what I'm trying to figure out. Thank you so much for helping me! I'm trying to see the bigger picture and plan things out ahead of time.

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76517&page=2

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Does the TM tell you what to do as far as scheduling review and memory work? Or would doing it LC-style work (writing vocabulary cards and grammar form cards and cycling through them regularly, adding in new ones as they come)?

 

The TM is just an answer key and the transcript of the audio cd. Using example 4.12 from above the TM entry that correlates it, looks like this.

 

Exercise 4.12

Pupil's Book: Pager 88: Audio CD 2 tracks 4-8

Audio CD 2 track 4:

1. Me llamo Alfonso. Me despierto a las seis y media y me lavo en seguida.

My name is Alfonso. I wake up at 6:30 and I wash at once.

 

Audio CD 2 track 5:

2. Soy Laura. Me visto en mi dormitorio y luego desayuno.

I am Laura. I get dressed in my bedroom and then I have breakfast.

 

ETC. ETC.

 

There is not a schedule or any other teacher helps. In the beginning of the unit both the Student book and the TM lists what the objective of the unit is and what you will be learning and what the expectations are for the end of the unit. That really is the only direction given.

 

The way we do review around here varies with each child. DD needs to write it to remember so she creates her own flashcards using index cards. She has chosen a different color for each unit but I don't think that's necessary. She reviews these, on her own, daily before doing the next exercise. DS who is just beginning the series is not a writer and much more of an auditory learner so he just reads them to himself before we go over the lesson. DS only does Spanish 3 times a week. DD does Spanish 5 times a week. She is language motivated.

 

Something like this sounds more like a project. Do you think it's a necessary part of the course for some reason, or, if grammar and vocab (along with conversation practice and listening) were my main focus, could it be boiled down to just doing an oral speech and the written report?

 

Absolutely a project but it will help them learn about the Spanish culture. I did skip some of these as my children are infused with the Spanish culture but then I realized it is bigger than what they encounter. There are so many countries that encompass the Spanish speaking world that there is much to learn and appreciate. They can be skipped, but it has been a nice break and of course I make them do it all in Spanish....just another place to practice.:D

 

This gives me a better idea of how long. It *could* be done in a year if we are diligent.

 

It can be done in a year, but also don't rush it. Pace it at your student's speed. You don't want to rush through it so that it can be accomplished on schedule while sacrificing knowledge. You will only be forced to go back later.

 

 

I've collected a few Spanish books (they're harder to come by here in Canada) - picture books, a Bible that I had a long time ago, and a few dictionaries. I bet ds would like to try reading these after he gets some knowledge under his belt.

 

Keep collecting!

 

But the high school thing is what I'm wondering about. For example in Latin: a MP rep told me the other day that Henle 1 covers all the Latin grammar, and the rest of Henle is mostly applying grammar and doing readings. So I figure, if we finish Henle 1 by the end of 8th grade, we've accomplished something significant and can move on to more application. Is that the case with SYRWTLS by the time you finish book 3? Does it cover all grammar so you could move on to reading, or is there more grammar to learn in some kind of high school Spanish course that you should do first? Meaning, is SYRWTLS sort of like PL, LC1, and LC2, in that they gently prepare you for Henle 1 (I think they are very introductory grammar and vocab).

 

I have never seen Henle and only briefly LC 1. I can not compare. What I can tell you is that at the end of SYRWTLS you will be able to read, speak, write, and think in Spanish. At what level will depend on how much you practice outside the home. Simply doing the exercises will only achieve moderate success. Think language classes in high school.....

 

Put another way (I sure hope you can understand what I'm trying to get at!): is SYRWTLS just introductory to higher level Spanish study? If so, how? Is it introductory to high school Spanish? University level Spanish?

 

I would say that after SYRWTLS you could move into a higher end Spanish course or a college level course, not an introductory course. I beleive something more intermediate...AP perhaps. This course is definitely high school level stuff but where you leave off and where go afterwards will depend on your goals and on your child's motivation.

 

SYRWTLS covers a lot of grammar but I don't think it covers ALL of it. I have this and this bookmarked for further research. This book is on my To Buy list. I think I will have dd start is after Book 2 is finished while studying book 3. This one has me intrigued as well, but I will have to study it at a bookstore first before I decide. Some of the reviews are not positive. I would not be looking for an instuctional grammar book but more of a reading immersion type text after SYRWTLS 1-3. I hope I have helped cleared that up? :confused:

 

 

:lol::lol::lol: and Thank you so much for your help!

 

No problem really!!! I have learned so much from so many here that I enjoy giving back even just this little.

 

Really I am :bigear: ready to respond.

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There is not a schedule or any other teacher helps. In the beginning of the unit both the Student book and the TM lists what the objective of the unit is and what you will be learning and what the expectations are for the end of the unit. That really is the only direction given.

 

The way we do review around here varies with each child. DD needs to write it to remember so she creates her own flashcards using index cards. She has chosen a different color for each unit but I don't think that's necessary. She reviews these, on her own, daily before doing the next exercise.

 

OK, but it sounds like I could make this work, esp. now that I have a general idea of a study pattern from doing LC1/2. whoohooo!

 

Absolutely a project but it will help them learn about the Spanish culture. I did skip some of these as my children are infused with the Spanish culture but then I realized it is bigger than what they encounter. There are so many countries that encompass the Spanish speaking world that there is much to learn and appreciate. They can be skipped, but it has been a nice break and of course I make them do it all in Spanish....just another place to practice.:

 

OK, you're right. :) I'm not much for projects/displays, but I could do them if it means practicing speaking/writing/reading.

 

I have never seen Henle and only briefly LC 1. I can not compare. What I can tell you is that at the end of SYRWTLS you will be able to read, speak, write, and think in Spanish. At what level will depend on how much you practice outside the home.

 

I would say that after SYRWTLS you could move into a higher end Spanish course or a college level course, not an introductory course. I beleive something more intermediate...AP perhaps. This course is definitely high school level stuff but where you leave off and where go afterwards will depend on your goals and on your child's motivation.

 

This is SO helpful to know. On my other thread, Laura Corin (formerly Laura in China), who is familiar with GP products, too, AND is familiar with British schools that GP books prepare you for, pretty much said the same thing.

 

I hope I have helped cleared that up? :confused:

 

You've cleared up everything I've wondered about so far!

 

No problem really!!! I have learned so much from so many here that I enjoy giving back even just this little.

 

Really I am :bigear: ready to respond.

 

Yes, I'm eternally grateful for these message boards!!!!!!

 

Do you offer phone conversational practice? ;)

 

If/when I get these books, I'm going to show our Nicaraguan friend. He'll probably be impressed, because he liked the other (adult level) grammar book I showed him. He has taught Spanish classes in the past, elsewhere.

 

Thank you again! I'll know who to look for with future questions!

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I have not seen this program although I did find out about it about the same time. I went with SYRWTLS because I was already using other GP products and love their methodology. Just looking at the samples I can tell you they make a mess of the you - familiar and formal, singular and plural. There are two ways these are used depending on the country you are in. SYRWTLS teaches the Spanish used in Spain so they never talk about the "you" used in South America which I find completely accepted. Some programs try to explain both ways and make a mess of it as Breaking the Barrier has done.

 

HTHs,

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  • 2 weeks later...
I am nervously awaiting their arrival:willy_nilly: so you can tell me what you think!!!

 

I've had a quick look through them, and I like them so far! It's different than the way LC2 teaches, but I think I know how to adapt it to the way I'm used to with LC. I can make up flashcards for the vocab and the grammar structures and drill every day, and I guess just work our way through the exercises. And maybe have ds write some things out every so often. I do like the way things are explained so clearly in it. I'm pretty sure I can make it work in much the same way as LC works. Much more to my liking than the Learnables!!

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Thank you Patricia! We're in Mexico but so isolated that the kids don't get any language interaction unless we go into town or bring workers out to work on our palapa. I've been looking for two different levels of instruction (for the younger and older kids) and have been thinking of Spanish For Children as I am fluent and can just correct anything. I'm still looking for the younger kids but SYRWTLS looks like a fit for the boys (olders).

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I am so glad you like it! We tried the Learnables early on and they just about killed our joy for Spanish.

 

If you have any troubles, you know where to find me!

 

Oh, you betcha I'll be looking for you if I need help! Thanks!

 

We started a couple of days ago, one page a day. I made up some flashcards of conversational sayings, numbers, a few verbs and nouns, and I'll finish them up this week from the vocabulario list. I'll categorize them like we do for LC2, and do flashcards each day. Then the exercises and CD. Ds said yesterday and today he really likes Spanish now. He elaborated on what he likes about this one compared to Learnables. I'm so glad we found this! I figure even if we can't get with a native speaker very often, we'll at least learn some vocab and grammar and I can get by with teaching him pronunciations - nowhere near what a native speaker would do, but it works for now.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I think this program is perfect for your olders. Some things will be different because of the Spain factor (different words for some familiar objects), but otherwise perfect in my opinion.

 

Thanks again - I've finally been able to institute (largely due to a post you made on your blog) a Spanish day, every other day, where I speak Spanish all day to them. We've tried an hour, we've tried 1/2 day and neither work - one kid will get a day of Spanish and another will get 5 minutes. I'm still waiting for SYRWTLS to get here - I'm hoping another week and I'll have it - and we'll see. For now, we've been doing the free Rocket Spanish and Sr. Jordan's You Tube vidoes.

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  • 1 month later...

We're on our 2nd day of SYRWTLS and the constant references to the CD are driving me crazy. For now, i'm just making stuff up and adding to some of the exercises. I'm also doing most of it orally but he did some written stuff through 1.9.

 

Will the CD become necessary at some point? I'm pretty fluent, so I'm just making up a lot of stuff. It looks like the answer key has a complete transcript of the CD?

 

For 1.20 I'll be changing all the festivals to Mexican dates so the CD would have been useless for that anyway.

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