Never Call The Bricklayer a Toilet

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As I write this review of Homeschool Spanish Academy I am sad my lessons in the Adult program are nearly over. I have had a wonderful experience and am impressed…they got me speaking Spanish and estoy enganchado de Español!

Adult Spanish program

I work part-time as a mid level provider in a clinic where there are many Spanish speaking clients.  Sometimes I’m given an interpreter for those patients. Or, a family member may help.  Mostly, I am on my own and I do my best with animated gesturing and the reliance on the patient’s ability to understand English better than he can speak it.  I had wanted to learn more than the typical Spanish phrases we all know: bien, gracias, adios, fajita, siesta, fiesta.  This was my chance.  But I wondered. Was I too old to learn?  Would my patients understand my broken Spanish?  Could I keep up with the homework?  And, would I stick with it for the long haul?

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Here’s the basics: Homeschool Spanish Academy is an online Spanish language institution that utilizes native Spanish speaking teachers via Skype to provide 1-on-1 instruction for students ages 5 through 18 and also adult learners. Lessons are offered Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. CST.

No book purchase is required: PDF worksheets are sent via email or are available for download at your homepage on the HSA website. You pick your teacher, and schedule your lessons.

Cost: Adult $16.99 per 50 minute session or $149.99 for 10 hour bundle

webcamRequirements:

Computer with Skype installed,

headset/microphone.

Additionally, Webcam is highly desirable.

 

Here’s a peek at my private thoughts regarding my experience with HSA….

 Dear Diary,

Spanish lesson 1: Everything went smooth.  Tech guy called first for set up – Oops! I forgot to turn my video cam on.  My teacher Rosa Skyped me and said she would call me back in two minutes. Call came through clear, crisp. Rosa was cheery, bubbly, good sense of humor.  We established what I was interested in and my past experience with language. Three years of French in high school if you must know.  She introduced me right away to words I wanted to know for my field.  Then using a document I could see she worked with me to correctly pronounce common greetings and phrases.  Most of our interaction went right to Spanish, her asking questions, and I answering through vocal and typing. I had a great first lesson.  I think I am going to like this.  I scheduled all my remaining lessons with Rosa.  I know I should try out the other instructors, but I clicked with Rosa.  I’m going to stick with her.

That week I went to the library and got a batch of popular children’s books written in Spanish, and made index cards to help me with some of the vocabulary. Soon the week had passed.

Dear Diary,

Spanish, lesson 2: Wow, the time flew by and I felt like I had an intense work out at the gym. I think that’s a good sign that my brain is working hard to assimilate this new language. I am so excited! Though I quickly forgot a good portion of what I just learned.  I see it is important for me to be working on this daily.  I am going to ask my bilingual co-workers to only speak to me in Spanish and ignore my questions when I ask in English.  If I am to retain this information I must force myself to use it regularly. Note to self: Remind family not to use microwave during Skype calls and don’t forget: shower and make-up next time.

 

I used some of my Spanish phrases with a patient that next week.  Though she didn’t understand me too well and I had spent more time leafing through my notes than I should have, she was pleased I made an attempt.  She encouraged me to keep learning. Estudien mucho. I neglected to turn in my homework for the last few weeks. I didn’t know how – rather, I didn’t pay attention to simple directions.  Plain as day on my welcome page:

Back to my thoughts….

 Dear Diary,

Spanish, Lesson 3.  My head is swimming with masculine, feminine, new words, how do you say…. Time goes by fast and we laugh together. It’s like having her in my living room. I so enjoy the lessons! Spanish is now going through my head throughout the week.  Rosa is very patient, sweet, understanding. I made the right choice!  She is an excellent teacher for beginners like me.  She is persistent with pronunciation. Reminds me I must say each letter, and note the reason for the accent marks. If I follow this I will not insult the bricklayer (albañil) by calling him a bathroom (el baño). Rosa noticed that I showered and put on make-up! Yay! Fiesta :)

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Spanish Homeschool Academy is a fantastic option for any adult that wants to learn Spanish through a professionally run, one on one method.  I have every intention on continuing my learning. I see incredible value in becoming bi-lingual and have confidence it will help me be a better health care provider.

They offer a free trial session here:

Be sure to check out more reviews of Homeschool Spanish Academy at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog

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