FREE Spanish Lesson and Foreign Language Workshop!

Contact us today to arrange a FREE Spanish lesson and foreign language workshop for your co-op, support group, or school!

You will learn:

1. How and why so many students fail to achieve proficiency with ordinary methods
2. What brain researchers and language acquisition experts are saying
3. Simple techniques that improve retention
4. How to provide contexts that increase appeal and enjoyment (because learning another language is AWESOME and should feel that way!)
5. The difference between various curricula, programs and methods
6. What kinds of free/cheap resources are most beneficial and HOW TO FIND THEM
7. How you and your family can work smarter, not harder, and jump over this hurdle successfully! No matter what AGE, LANGUAGE, or BUDGET you’re working with, I would like to help you find what you need.

Caryn will schedule the workshop at your convenience.

Contact us today!
ExcelerateSpanishB
Speaker Bio:
Caryn Hommel, homeschool mom and author, holds a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University and taught Spanish in public schools for ten years. Her success with teaching Spanish using Total Physical Response (TPR) and Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) motivated her to develop a unique DVD-led curriculum to help other homeschoolers to benefit from wonderful, brain-friendly approaches to foreign language instruction. She has also designed and implemented an ESL curriculum, led educational tours of both Spain and Mexico for high school students, and presented at NCHE, FLANC (the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina), JCHE, and the Johnston County Second Language Network.  She assists families in the homeschool community by offering private and co-op classes, conducting free seminars, and speaking at homeschool conventions. The Hommels have homeschooled since 2003 and have two fantastic college students. Caryn continues to teach her younger two children, and thinks that exploring life and learning as a family is the most fulfilling way to spend her days!

What’s Different about Excelerate SPANISH?

“What’s different about Excelerate SPANISH?”  This is the question I hear most often at homeschool conferences.  I love answering it, and I think you’ll love the answer, too!

It’s really no exaggeration to say, “What’s different is everything.”  Excelerate SPANISH is truly unique from the other choices available to homeschoolers today!  Read the reviews and do a quick google search, and you’ll find that homeschool bloggers also find the program to be unique and amazing and fun.

To be specific, though, what’s different is the humor.  And the multiple intelligence  approaches.  And the comprehensible inputAnd the focus on fluency.  And the connected discourse (an essential characteristic of proficient speakers according to ACTFL).

Excelerate SPANISH lessons cater to multiple intelligences to teach your student holistically.  The neuroscience behind the theory explains how physical actions, such as those used in Total Physical Response or TPR, help us to learn language.1   TPR increases motivation and personal meaningfulness, therefore your student’s retention also improves.  The entertaining skits and action sequences are quite novel, often silly, and always attention-grabbing.

You may be surprised at what the use of humor can accomplish in a foreign language program.  Laughter is a powerful tool!  You see, your student’s positive feelings about the content (the stories that are told) will also influence his/her feelings about the form (the language used to tell those stories).  After all, “what we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” Fun contexts honor the concept that “in the brain, emotion and cognition are distinguishable but inseparable.”3

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Of course, there are other programs available that offer cute contexts.  Unfortunately, many of these are “fluffy” (they constitute of “twaddle,” as Charlotte Mason might say).  Excelerate Spanish is content-rich, utilizing high frequency vocabulary and loads of helpful everyday structures (grammar).  As the student internalizes the patterns and flow of the language, output (speech) comes naturally.  When connected discourse is sufficiently modeled, then connected discourse is also produced…  And that, my friends, is fluency!

Experience the Excelerate SPANISH difference for yourself, and give your student the incredible gift of second language proficiency that lasts.  Order today!

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

90 DAY GUARANTEE
Love it or your money back!

References

  1. Hannaford, C. (1995). Smart moves: Why learning is not all in your head. Arlington, VA: Great Ocean Publishers.
  2. 2- Mercier, Alfred
  3. 3-Schumann, J. (1994). Where is cognition? Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16, 231-42.

 

 

Comprehensible Input Ideas for ANY Language

As young children, we acquired our native language(s) because of relevant, personalized, compelling comprehensible input.  Unfortunately, this is what is lacking with most foreign language programs.  Fortunately, in today’s digital age, finding solutions is easier than ever, once we know what to look for.

Appropriate input can include videos, music, television, news articles, podcasts, books, conversations, sports narrations, and more.  You’ll be glad to know that it’s possible to find TONS of it for FREE!  Explore these ways to access, adapt, and/or create comprehensible input… all excellent ways to accelerate your way to the proficiency you want!

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Since comprehensible input is so crucial to developing fluency, you may want to seek out additional resources, too.  As you evaluate their usefulness, just make sure that the “level” is not too difficult for you (not frustrating) and the content appeals to you personally.  Also, extended contexts are highly preferable to disjointed, rapidly changing contexts— in other words, stories and other connected discourse are best.  Plus, they’re just more fun.  Win-win!

To find comprehensible input for the foreign language of your choice, simply google the words “comprehensible input” along with the name of the target language (e.g., “comprehensible input mandarin chinese”).  Then evaluate the search results according to the criteria above.  Try to spend a little time each day with a good comprehensible input resource.

Things NOT to worry about just yet:  Perfection.  Grammar (conjugating verbs, learning structures).  Translation.  Making the sounds correctly yourself.  These things have more to do with output than input…and that’s putting the cart before the horse.  You can’t give what you haven’t received, so don’t fret over spending the time you need soaking up input.  Relax and enjoy the input.

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If you decide that you want to go with a curriculum, I hope you’ll consider Excelerate SPANISH.  It was created to provide relevant, personalized, compelling comprehensible input—via scenarios that resemble real-life situations, imbued with humor, and rich in content.

I hope this post helps with your personal quest.  If you find some really great free resources and think we should all know about them, please pass on the good news!

 

Total Physical Response (TPR) and Foreign Language SUCCESS

What is Total Physical Response and how can it help you with foreign language acquisition?

Total Physical Response confers tremendous advantages to language learners.  TPR has been demonstrated to:

  1. Reduce student inhibitions
  2. Facilitate long-term retention
  3. Reduce anxiety and stress
  4. Help academically weaker students
  5. Train students to guess from context
  6. Increase student confidence
  7. Offer a refreshingly different style of teaching/learning
  8. Provide more effective, comprehensible input
  9. Encourage active listening
  10. Access and capitalize on the strengths of the right brain
  11. Offer easy ways to review
  12. Keep the class in the target language more
  13. Promote goodwill between student and teacher
  14. Incorporate humor
  15. Increase interest and enjoyment

That is quite a list of benefits, isn’t it?  What great news for language learners of all ages!  And it’s important food for thought for parents and teachers as we select our curricula.  After all, couldn’t we all use ways to work smarter, not harder?

Excelerate SPANISH incorporates TPR into every. single. lesson.  All students can enjoy this fabulous “brain-switching” approach and the feeling of success it provides!  Nothing breeds success like success, after all.

success

Whether your student is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner–or has special needs or is gifted or is average–Total Physical Response can empower, motivate, and achieve the success you want for your foreign language program!

Accelerate Language Acquisition.

Unleash Creativity.

Promote Excellence.

Discover the Power of Story.

Excelerate SPANISH

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

90 DAY GUARANTEE
Love it or your money back!

The Best Way to Learn a Foreign Language

I taught Spanish in the public school classroom for 10 years, mostly at the high school level, then to homeschooled students (mine and others) for about 8 years. I am not a fan of traditional, formal curricula for foreign language learning. Some students will learn in spite of them… but many more inevitably wind up complaining, “I took x number of years and can’t speak a word.”The long-term retention (even short-term retention, in many cases) just isn’t there.

Fortunately, there are brilliant and talented professionals who have analyzed how the brain works and how we human beings acquire language. If you want to be sure that your curriculum choice aligns with how your child’s brain works, check out the following articles by Dr. Stephen Krashen and Dr. James Asher.

Dr. Asher’s article “Language By Command: The Total Physical Response Approach to Learning Language” explains his effective TPR method and describes the results. The claim is phenomenal:

“In study after study for 25 years, laboratory experiments and classroom observations have demonstrated results that were extremely positive. When the instructor skillfully uses the target language to direct the student’s behavior, understanding of the utterance is transparent, often in only one exposure. Also, the understanding is achieved without stress and then retained for weeks, months, and even years.”

My personal experiences as a language learner AND as a teacher of foreign language completely agree with Dr. Asher’s studies and observations!  Don’t we all want those positive results, transparent understanding, accelerated learning, and long-term retention??

A fascinating article by Dr. Stephen Krashen highlights the advantages of natural approaches that offer students comprehensible input or CI.  He indicates that “communicative situations” help students to acquire the language:

“Students in classes that provide lots of comprehensible input (e.g. methods such as TPRS) consistently do better than students in traditional grammar-based classes on tests that involve real communication and do just as well, and often better, on grammar tests. These students have acquired the grammar and vocabulary of the language naturally, and can use what they have acquired in real communicative situations. They are also more likely to continue foreign language study.”

The value of CI and “communicative situations” is confirmed as Dr. Krashen explores the intriguing success story of a Hebrew learner named Armando.  Armando became so fluent that he actually fooled native speakers, prompting Krashen to consider the implications for optimal foreign language acquisition. His conclusions:

“Armando’s case…shows us that one can do quite well in second language acquisition without living in the country in which the language is spoken and without formal instruction. The crucial variables appear to be comprehensible input and having a good relationship with speakers of the language.”

Dr. Krashen also believes that a complete absence of formal grammar instruction appears to be irrelevant as it relates to the successful acquisition of a second language!  Yet what is the focus of so many foreign language programs?  Isolated grammar!

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Why do we keep doing this??

Putting the research into my own words, this is how I would describe effective foreign language curricula:
1. Lessons mimic real-life situations using as MANY senses as possible… sight, taste, touch, etc.
2. Vocabulary words and structures are embedded in meaningful contexts (no rote drills).
3. Interest level is high–topics or situations are appealing to students.
4. Low–preferably zero–frustration for the student. Foreign language learning should be pleasant!

Excelerate Lesson 1

Excelerate SPANISH combines TPR with comprehensible input (CI) and realistic “communicative situations,” and further adds humor and suspense in order to fulfill each of the criteria above.  The TPR element appeals to visual and kinesthetic learners and activates the motor cortices of our brains, accessing more of the brain than so-called “traditional” methods.  Exciting action sequences, fun stories, and stimulating reading material draw upon the retaining power of the limbic system.  24 full-length lesson videos on 4 DVDs provide all of the necessary instruction for the program, and the coordinating lesson book and workbook furnish students with practice opportunities, activity suggestions, and more.  And of course, the answer keys take any guesswork out of the equation!  It’s comprehensive and easy to use.

excelerate-spanish-review

Reviewers agree!  Click the photo above and here for reviews.

Try Excelerate SPANISH at no risk!

Accelerate Acquisition.

Unleash Creativity.

Promote Excellence.

Discover the POWER OF Story.

Excelerate SPANISH.

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

90 DAY GUARANTEE
Love it or your money back!

 

Please Come to the Heart for Home School Conference this Weekend!

Please register today for the conference this weekend, February 7th and 8th!  I hope to see you there!  (Psst… I have it on good authority that you may register online through Friday morning, and attendees will not be turned away at the door… but please do pre-register!)

13th Annual Winter Conference

Heart for Home School Ministries, Inc.

www.heartforhomeschool.org

“Firm Foundation”

 Friday, February 7, 2014                       Saturday, February 8, 2014

Registration – 6 pm                                                  Registration – 8 am

Workshops – 6:30-9                                     Workshops – 8:30-3pm

Church of the Holy Cross

2301 W. Millbrook Rd.

Raleigh, NC 27612

Keynote Speakers

James and Tanya Dickens

Greensboro, NC

 

Other Speakers

Angela and Torino Armstrong                    Lamar Melson & Shanette Jones

Janice Campbell                                            Sharon Puryear

Anna Cunningham                                          Lynne M. Taylor

Lyndon Hall                                                    Deborah Watkins

Sharon Henderson                                        Mari Fitz-Wynn

Beth Herbert

www.heartforhomeschool.org

www.heartforhomeschool.org

Cost

Includes Kid’s Track programs (K-9th), lunch, handouts

Full Conference:

Individual       $20

Family                         $30

Single Day:

Individual       $15

Family             $25

Limited number of scholarships available

Support Groups with 5 or more attendees can become eligible for discounts.

Be sure to mention when pre-registering.

 

Pre-registration

**No at the door registration**

Pre -registration ends midnight, Feb 5, 2014 (this has been changed; you now may register through Friday morning!)

 

www.heartforhomeschool.org  click on “Events”

Use Pay Pal option or pay at the door

OR

Call 919-872-2782

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook, too! www.facebook.com/hfhsministries

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Children’s Workshop Track
for
students grades K-8

NC Museum of Natural History presents
From the Mountain to the Sea
Grades K-8
Come travel our great state with us as we discover the diverse geography, history, economy, traditions, and culture. Join us as we visit the Mountain region where the difficult terrain was once the homes of the American Indians and t hardy settlers. We’ll discover the traditions, and industry of this part of N.C. We’ll learn how the invention of the railroad connected the Mountains to the rest of the state. Then we’ll travel to the Piedmont and learn about the farming and manufacturing that helped to make it the center of North Carolina’s government. We’ll conclude our journey with the Coastal region where we’ll learn about the Lost Colony, lighthouses, and the exciting lives of the pirates!

www.heartforhomeschool.org

Mari Fitz-Wynn Mari Fitz-Wynn, Founder, Heart for Home School Ministries

FREE Workshop for Your Homeschool Support Group or Co-op!

I’d like to offer your co-op or support group a FREE workshop on teaching foreign languages in your homeschool, to benefit all families no matter which language(s) or curricula you choose! We will discuss:

1. How and why so many students fail to achieve proficiency with ordinary methods
2. What brain researchers and language acquisition experts are saying
3. Simple techniques that improve retention
4. How to provide contexts that increase appeal and enjoyment (because learning another language is AWESOME and should feel   that way!)
5. The difference between various curricula, programs and methods
6. What kinds of free/cheap resources are most beneficial
7. How you and your family can work smarter, not harder, and jump over this hurdle successfully!

I’ll be happy to give the workshop at your location (within reasonable driving distance of NC) and at your convenience. Bring your students, of course! We’ll do a few mini-lessons in Spanish to give you a better idea how the various approaches work (and feel for the students).

If you are far outside the NC area, I would be happy to meet with your group via Skype!

Please contact me by email (see “ask a question” fields on this page) to make the arrangements.  I’m here to help!

Su segura servidora,

Caryn Hommel

Homeschool co-op family pic 2012

Excelerate SPANISH Receiving Positive Attention in TOS Homeschool Magazine

Be sure not to miss the 2014 Annual Print Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!  It’s a wealth of information for your homeschool- whether you’re a newbie or a veteran.  This incredibly packed issue features articles covering tons of homeschool needs, including everything from how to start mid-year to how to teach your children Spanish at home!

Especially exciting is veteran homeschooler Marji McIlvaine’s article “Teaching Foreign Language:  You Can Do It!”  You’ll be encouraged and inspired as you glean from Marji’s 25+ years of experience teaching multiple foreign languages to homeschool students, and you’ll learn how Excelerate SPANISH addresses a critical need of the homeschool community.

Big-Book-14-Cover-113013-e1385846027440

Order your copy now, and enjoy a year’s worth of support in over 275 full-color pages at a phenomenal price.  It’s a treat you deserve, and a valuable resource you’ll come back to again and again.  Click here to learn more and place your order today!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.