Friday, January 21, 2011

TOS Review: Spekee

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Product Description:

Speekee TV is designed so that children can learn Spanish in their own time and at their own pace.

  • 10 episodes, over 150 minutes of pure Spanish learning
  • Learn Spanish from real Spanish children in real Spanish locations
  • Features songs, animation and puppets
  • Optional subtitles in Spanish and English
  • Free activity sheet downloads
  • Great fun and extremely effective
  • Created by specialist language teachers

image Product Review:

In the videos exclusively Spanish is spoken. When I first turned on the videos I thought “The kids are never going to pay attention to these, they can’t understand them.” However, they watched the first videos with no problem at all.

Treyton’s only questions the first time watching a video was “What does Spekee mean?” Spekee is the main character.

After the video, I reminded him how to say “My name is ____” (mi llamo ____) and “I love you.” (te quiero).

Speekee uses a spiral learning approach, where a concept is presented and then revised as you progress through the lessons. It is the hope that the child will retain what they have learned from earlier lessons. The learning is meant to be both structured and gradual. It is suggested that the episodes be  viewed in order. 

One of the biggest pros of the videos are their songs, I thought that they were really catchy, and the kids would sing them too, though not properly :) They added sounds that fit for them rather than the sounds that were actually in the song. My kids loved the character, Spekee, Treyton brought him up several times in random conversations.

The kids would sit and watch the videos without any problems, and in between sessions I would remind them of the words we were working on (colors, numbers, “my name is”, hello and goodbye). However, after 4 weeks (watching 2 sessions a week, with some review), they’ve barely retained any of what we’ve covered. In fact, the only word I’ve heard Treyton actually recall on his own was “Spekee”. Treyton can count to 5 in Spanish, but he was able to do that before from watching Diego.

I could see how this could be a great program for certain student types, my kids, who were unable to read the subtitle words of the videos, and I’ll admit, don’t always listen to a show while they are watching it, did not retain what I would have wanted them to.

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How to Buy

The cost is $7.50 for a month subscription, with the first two weeks free. You can sign up here.

To See what Others are Saying visit the TOS Crew.

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary membership to view Spekee online for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

2 comments:

Monica said...

Hey girl - My girls had trouble with the subtitles - so we paused it a lot or just let them watch. It would be better to use when they are 7 and 9. Just my thoughts. Hope all is well!

Jim said...

Thank you for this review Amber. It is very interesting to read about your children's experience with Speekee. It would be nice if, as you say, they were able to retain more of the language they are exposed to in the 10 episodes. Perhaps Monica's suggestion is of help in this regard. Best wishes from Spain - Jim, the one in Speekee