Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Flip Flop Spanish (Schoolhouse Review)

See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish, published by Flip Flop Learning, is a two-year curriculum for teaching Spanish. This versatile program can be used by ages 3 and up. The usage is similar for all ages, but older children are required to do some additional writing activities.
The set ($99.95) includes:
  • 3 Sets of Flashcards
  • Whiteboard paddle and marker
  • 4 Audio CD’s
  • Manual (3-hole punched and binder-ready)
  • Plastic sleeves for CD’s and cards.
See It and Say It was very easy to just pick up and use with minimal preparation. In fact, when we first opened the box, we found instructions on “What to do with all this stuff?” and “Easy steps to get started.” First, we looked in the manual to find out which cards were used for the lesson and picked those cards from the deck. Then we played the tracks for Lesson One on the CD. The author/teacher, Sra. Gose, instructed the student to point to specific cards, to name them, and to make sentences. With the use of  “Me gusta” (I like) and “Necesito” (I need) cards, students are making and speaking sentences from the very first lesson!
The recommended procedure is for the student to do the same lesson two days a week with the CD, then a third day with the parent reading the script from the manual. Older students may do two lessons a week. Since Emily has some Spanish experience already, we did two lessons at each session and only repeated the lessons one more time instead of two times.
What did we think? This is a fun program. It’s hands-on, since the student is manipulating and pointing to the cards. Emily loved the speed drills (especially when I competed with her.) The student does a lot of repeating with the CD, then is speaking actual sentences that he or she “builds” with the cards. Some additional activities are also included that use real objects or hiding the cards around the room and playing a variation of “Hot/Cold.”
Verb conjugation and other grammar concepts are not highly emphasized, but are introduced later in the program, allowing older children to study and learn the verb forms, but not pressuring young children who are not ready for formal language instruction.
This is a perfect program for preschoolers and elementary aged students. It’s so easy to use; lessons are short; and it is active. At the same time, it’s still fun and useful for older students. Emily (13) will finish the “2-year” program in less than a year, while young students will enjoy the more relaxed 2-year pace for completion. I don’t think it is meaty enough, or grammar-intensive enough to count for a year of high school Spanish, but would make an excellent supplement to another program. I think that See and Say Spanish, unlike some book or computer-based programs, will be very successful at helping students comfortable with speaking and using Spanish, rather than merely being able to read or understand the language.

I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

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