Reading Level: Ages 10 – 14
Reviewed by Michelle Kerns
That title says it all; I’ve searched up, down, and sideways for a good children’s Spanish program that goes beyond the ABC’s and the colors of the rainbow but also doesn’t spend half of the time teaching my children how to set up a hotel reservation, call a taxi, or, yes, order a taco. There just didn’t seem to be anything in between these two extremes until I saw this fantastic workbook and CD. And it’s only the first in a three year series—huzzah!
This 32 chapter workbook (designed to be used throughout the school year with the student ideally mastering one chapter a week) is a Spanish language and grammar class rolled into one. Each chapter includes four sections: a Memory Page, containing vocabulary words to master; a Grammar Page that focuses on teaching concepts such as verb conjugations and noun genders; a worksheet; and a quiz.
The book starts right out of the gate with a memory page teaching present, past, and future tense forms of simple verbs like hablar, as well as various essential vocabulary words.
The accompanying CD is an easy to hear, no-nonsense reading of the key phrases and vocabulary words featured in each chapter. The book’s Table of Contents includes a handy chart that shows which chapter and topics correspond to which CD tracks.
If your children enjoy introductory level Spanish tapes (mine were crazy over Beth Manner’s Fun Spanish for Kids and Catherine Bruzzone’s Spanish for Children) and have a good handle on all the basics of beginning Spanish—the alphabet, basic introductory phrases, words for colors, body parts, family members, basic verbs, etc—they will most likely thrive on this program. If you’ve not spent a lot of time on Spanish before, I would strongly recommend holding off on this until your kids are completely comfortable with beginning Spanish concepts since this program leaps right into verb conjugations and that might not be terribly appealing to kids who haven’t already had a tantalizing taste of how fun a foreign language can be. Once they get that taste though, Spanish for Children Primer A is the place to go next.
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