I took two years of Spanish in high school and two years in college. I know how important it is to learn a foreign language, but I also know how difficult it can be to learn that language. We were recently given the chance to review Excelerate SPANISH Streaming, and I was intrigued by the premise since Excelerate SPANISH claims to help students learn by teaching them hand movements to go with many of the words, which is better able to help students retain the information.
About Excelerate SPANISH
Excelerate SPANISH was developed by Caryn Hommel, who earned a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University. In addition, she taught Spanish in the public schools for 10 years. She began homeschooling her own children in 2003.
How Excelerate SPANISH Is Different
Excelerate SPANISH is different than other Spanish programs I’ve seen because Hommel gives almost every word a corresponding hand motion. For example when she teaches the word, “parada,” which means stop, she holds out her hand in a stop motion. As she adds more vocabulary and goes through the words or tells a story, she and the learner say the word and do the hand motions. According to the Excelerate SPANISH website, “Gestures and motions act as ‘concrete stimuli,’ helping students to internalize the Spanish vocabulary and structures.”
Workbook Is Essential to the Program
In addition, the program utilizes a workbook. We did not receive the workbook, so I can’t speak to that content, but I can tell you the workbook is used in about 1/3 of each lesson. Therefore, if you plan to use this program, I would say that the workbook is essential. (Plus, for someone like me, I need to see the words on the page to help reinforce the learning.)
Quizlet Helps Reinforce Learning
In addition to the program itself and the workbook, you can go to Quizlet and find ways to reinforce what you’re learning from each lessons such as practicing flashcards to learn the words in a rote fashion or to play games or take quizzes.
Two Levels of Excelerate SPANISH
Excelerate SPANISH has two levels. We worked with level one, which included learning basic rules about different scenarios. (Each lesson is based around a story.) For instance, the first lesson was about waiting at a bus stop, and the second lesson was about a mishap that occurs while fishing.
Level Two includes higher level words and scenarios, and, unlike level one that was based mainly on the immersion method, in level two, Homell explains more concepts to lead to deeper understanding.
Each level has 24 lessons, and the lessons run approximately 30 to 40 minutes long.
Our Thoughts on Excelerate SPANISH
My daughter (11 y.o.) had difficulty remembering the vocabulary; she thought too many words taught at once too quickly. We had to replay each lesson several times. Quizlet helped her, but it also helped me see how little she retained.
Within a few times of hearing the story, I could easily understand it, so this program is great for learning to understand in Spanish. However, my daughter had trouble producing any of the words or knowing what they mean outside the video.
Finally, some of the words seem unnecessary for a beginner to learn such as “lure” and “hook” for fishing. While it is good to eventually learn these words, it seems like there are more important words for beginners to learn.
I was one of 45 people to review Level 1 or Level 2 of Excelerate SPANISH. To read more reviews, click on the link below: