What is included in the complete curriculum?
Answer: You’ll receive four DVDs and three books when you purchase the complete curriculum. Twenty-four full-length video lessons on four DVDs provide all of the necessary instruction for the program. Lessons average 45 minutes each. The coordinating lesson book contains all of the vocabulary, action sequences, and skits taught in the videos, homework and review suggestions, and an independent reading selection (a cute story) for each lesson. The separate workbook reinforces the new vocabulary and provides structures and opportunities for practice and review. The answer key furnishes the correct responses for both the lesson book and the workbook. It’s a complete curriculum appropriate for multiple ages, learning styles, and objectives.
Where can I get the question words posters I see in the videos?
Those are available to download and print for FREE here. Just click on “Teaching Tools,” then “Question Word Posters,” and you will see the Spanish Question Words. Enjoy!
Will Excelerate SPANISH count as a high school credit?
Answer: Please check the requirements for your state’s department of non-public instruction.
Here are the rules for North Carolina:
The short answer is: Whatever your homeschool administrator (i.e., you or your spouse) says counts as a high school credit, counts.
According to the NC DNPE: “When a student successfully completes his/her non-public school’s academic requirements for high school graduation, the non-public school itself (not a government agency) maintains academic records of the student’s high school academic work and issues student transcripts and graduation verifications in future years as requested. State government provides no student graduation verifications for non-public school graduates (whether from a private K-12 or a home school) nor does it maintain or keep student academic records or transcripts — only records concerning the legal existence of such schools.” (from http://www.ncdnpe.org/FAQs/hhh114u.aspx, emphasis mine).
The long answer to your question is this: I have taught Spanish using traditional textbooks (with supplementation), I have taught Spanish using straight TPR (Total Physical Response), and I have taught Spanish using TPRS (Total Physical Response Storytelling, also known as Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). By far, my students who learned with TPRS have out-performed those who did not. This does not mean that the same amount of material was “covered,” but in my experience, more of what was covered was mastered and retained. It took root!
Please read my article on this subject here.
UPDATE, FALL 2013: A colleague in western NC reports that Spanish II students who used Excelerate for Spanish I are outperforming the students who had Spanish I using other methods!
Is Excelerate SPANISH suitable for use in the classroom of a more traditional school?
Yes, certainly! Excelerate SPANISH can be used from the beginning or as a temporary solution to substitute for a teacher who is unavailable. If you are interested in using Excelerate SPANISH in a classroom setting, more information is available here.
How long does it take to get through the book?
Answer: In my live classes, we take two weeks to cover most lessons, so there are over 40 weeks of material at that rate. Last year, however, we tackled a whole lesson each week and interspersed four review lessons, totaling just 28 lessons. My preference? Going slooower.
Is there an Excelerate SPANISH level two, level three, etc?
Here are additional suggestions for those who may like to have some supplementary materials:
- Spanish II movies based on novels (teacher/tutor may be required to use): http://www.blaineraytprs.com/shop-online/spanish/spanish-level-2/level-2-spanish-movies-of-novels
- Spanish II novels (these correspond to the movies): http://www.blaineraytprs.com/shop-online/spanish/spanish-level-2/level-2-spanish-novels
- Spanish II music: http://www.blaineraytprs.com/shop-online/spanish/spanish-level-2/level-2-spanish-music
I see that you recommend a lot of Blaine Ray’s materials. Should I just start with them for Spanish I, then?
Answer: I love Blaine Ray’s products! If you have a Spanish-speaking teacher/tutor available or have a student who is a very motivated independent learner, then go for it! I wrote the Excelerate curriculum precisely because of the success that my students had with Blaine Ray’s TPRS materials. I designed Excelerate SPANISH with DVD lessons to meet the needs of homeschool students who desire a unique, engaging experience but don’t have access to (or tuition to pay) a Spanish-speaking tutor.
Are other languages offered?
Answer: Native Italian speaker Chiara Liotta has translated Excelerate into Italian. We are excited to be able to offer this soon! French is also in the works (but down the road at this point). Additional languages will be made available as our connections and resources foster their development. Your support will help to make that happen more quickly!