Product: Speekee TV
Do you speak Spanish?
Well, why yes, I do with help from Speekee and his friends! Speekee is an adorable Spanish puppet that teaches children 2-10 how to speak Spanish* through a series of 10 online videos. As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a 2 month membership to the Speekee website so I could try out this Spanish immersion program with my children. I’ll admit that when I received it not long before the holidays that I tossed it aside to look at later. I didn’t have any huge desire to sit my kids in front of the computer screen to watch videos with all activities going on for Christmas. After coming back to it at the start of the new year, I will admit that I wish we’d started this program earlier on because they kids LOVE it and I even find myself singing the tunes from the episodes. What can I say, Speekee is catchy.
Speekee is a total immersion program so there is no English spoken in the videos. There are English and Spanish subtitles but they are most for the parents/teachers benefit as the are quick. My son reads fast enough so he was able to tell his younger sister what certain words meant when she asked. The conversations that Speekee and his friends have are simple and take place in familiar places and situations. There is also significant repetition throughout each episode and through the whole series of 10 videos making it easy for children to pick up and remember words. Before long, your child will be singing along with Speekee (and you might even find yourself singing “Dondé Vamos?” as you are doing the dishes one evening). In addition to the videos, there are also worksheets that go along with each lesson. We chose not to print these off but I used them to test the children orally. They are a tad on the easy side but make a nice addition for younger children.
This program was developed with 2-10 year old children in mind. My children are 5 and 7 years old and they both really enjoyed the program. My 9 month old is sitting beside me as I type and is watching an episode and he is clearly captivated by it as well. While I not one for TV for young children, I kind of appreciated language programs for children especially when the people speaking are native speakers of the language as children language skills are just exploding at just a young age. My daughter is speaking a lot of Spanish around the house these days and my son goes around translating her (but doesn’t speak it himself). Considering that we only used this program for three weeks and only used the first four episodes, I am impressed and wish we had started sooner.
Speekee is also available on DVD (though you may want to check your DVD player as the company is based in the UK and not all North American players are able to play the PAL format DVDs. The DVD package includes 4 DVDs (ten lessons), a CD of 34 tracks of music found in the episodes, parents guide and Spanish/English dictionary. Schools can also purchase a 2 year Spanish curriculum for Speekee that includes DVDs/worksheets, online resources and more. For more information on these products please visit the Speekee website.
We have been quite happy with Speekee TV and find that the price of 7.50$US/month is reasonable, however, if your DVD player will play the PAL format DVDs then that is also something to consider because if your children are like mine they will want to watch the lessons over and over again. I’m amazed at home much the children are picking up from each subsequent viewing on the lessons but I guess that is the beauty of immersion learning.
Make sure to check out the Speekee website for yourself but be warned you may find yourself singing in a foreign language!
*American readers might want to note that the Spanish that is taught is that of Spain and not Latin America, however, they are very similar.