Friday, January 21, 2011
TOS Review - Speekee Lingua 4 Ltd
Hola, soy Linda!
My family recently had the opportunity to review Speekee, as part of the TOS Crew.
Speekee is an immersion approach to learning Spanish. Filmed in Spain with Spanish speaking children, Speekee is geared to ages 2-10 using puppets, songs and lots of repetition. There are English/Spanish subtitles available (and we used them ;) ) but the point is total immersion in the language. Each lesson takes you on a real world exposure to life in Spain. We visited the park, school, the market, the beach, etc. While there, vocabulary is introduced specific to the place we are visiting. Along with the location specific vocabulary there is a lot of built in repetition of common phrases and sayings. This is done through the characters speaking to each other or through catchy songs.
The ten episodes are available either through DVDs (check compatibility as they are made in the UK and most US households don't have players that are compatible), or through their on-line version of the program, which is the program we received. For $7.50 a month (which includes a free 2 week trial, so you can try it before you buy it) you have access to the ten episodes of Speekee along with numerous worksheets to reenforce the vocabulary covered in each lesson.
Our take on the program? My first impression, Speekee was a bit freaky.
We don't use a lot of puppets in our education here in the US like other countries do, so the whole concept of puppets teaching Spanish was a bit foreign (excuse the pun) to me. However, even though I'm not fond of puppets, guess what? It works! My kids, all of them, ages 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 and even the 13 year old really liked Speekee and I will admit, Speekee grew on me as well. :)
I have a video of my 2 year old asking, quite emphatically for "Speekee" "Please Mama, Speekee?" over and over and over. While watching each episode, she is completely engrossed and at the end will wave and attempt an "Adios" as Speekee says goodbye. The rest of my family can be found throughout the day singing the songs we've learned on Speekee. The tunes are catchy and simplistic enough (and repeated in each episode) that you can't help but learn them. I can honestly say that we have all learned more usable, everyday Spanish, in the few weeks of using Speekee than we have with any other program. It's fun so while you are entertained, you are learning without realizing that you are learning. Which, in my opinion, is the best way to learn. :)
The customer service is exceptional. The company was extremely responsive to any of the Crews questions and suggestions, answering any issues people had within 24 hours. This included checking into and creating Wii compatibility so you can view the on-line version of Speekee through your Wii system. (we just used our computer as I'm not technically savy enough to figure out how to use our Wii that way!). I was extremely impressed with how willing they were to work with us and to make sure their product provided exactly what individual families here in the US might need.
For a basic, introductory course to Spanish my family loved Speekee and they are not looking forward to when our subscription ends. They are hoping we'll subscribe so they can continue to learn more Spanish with Speekee!
To see what others on the Crew thought of Speekee, click here.
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.