Teenie and I were super excited when we were chosen to review Speekee, an educational game where children from around the globe learn Spanish together, in a safe online environment. A basic account is free and gives access to a small number of Spanish learning videos, which consist of real Spanish kids speaking clear and simple Spanish. There are also limited safe social networking features. Speekee works for children between the ages of 2 and 11. We were given a trial of full access to the site.
Paid membership gives access to nearly 40 videos, incredible
locations to explore, fun online games and extensive, but 100% safe,
social networking features. Paid members also get access to "FastTrack" which is for younger children up to 7 years old, and includes activity ideas.
The Speekee Spanish Challenge is for the bigger kids ages 7 years and older. Your child learns through over 40 authentic Spanish videos and mission based game play. Speekee tracks your child's progress and reports back to you by email (you can unsubscribe from emails at any time).
So we tried it, and at first I found the videos confusing because there were no
subtitles, until I figured out how to turn them on, which you can do in
Spanish (so you see Spanish words), English or both! YAY! However, I thought that the
videos were incredibly long and should be broken into smaller sections of
just animal names, colors or body parts. Some of these videos were like 17 minutes long. I don't even have that kind of attention span, because I have the attention span of a 3 year old...but that's another story.
So I had Teenie try it and she didn't like
that you have to read to understand what the kids are talking about, in the videos that aren't self explanatory (like the ones were the kids walk up to each other and say Hola!). There are also some
videos, where their are just little old-timey style clips, were there is just reading the words in
Spanish. She liked that there were puppets and songs
but would have liked to seen more puppets. She actually liked the puppets better than the kids. Also there are more videos
than games, and the games were more like quizzes. So she quickly decided
that she hated it, and never wanted to play again.
Now due to my Mexican heritage, I have to say, that I am not a Spanish speaker, but that I do know enough to get me to the nearest bathroom, understand what is being said and of course swear words. I did figure out this program teaches proper Spanish, spoken in Spain, and is not the same as Latin American Spanish. Or the Spanish that is most frequently used here in my part of America.
While I love the concept behind this website, I would say that I'm sure that this program would be great for someone, it just wasn't right for our family (and our short attention spans). Nevertheless, I still urge you all to go and check out the Speekee site to see how it works for your family. (They do have a free account option.) If you have already used this program and have a different experience, please comment and let me know how it worked for you.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.