When I was growing up, I needed two years of foreign language in order to be eligible for an honors diploma. In my small public school, Spanish was the only language offered, so that was how my own attempt to learn the Spanish language began. I went to my class, studied the textbook, and parroted the words back to the teacher. Some of my favorite lessons were when she brought videos of TV shows in Spanish or she showed videos of her own travels to Mexico. I think that was enjoyable because learning that way put things in context and gave the language a real purpose.
Teach Me More Spanish definitely achieves that as well. With the immersion approach, you don't spend time drilling over Spanish words and their English definitions; rather you are given pictures and context to help you determine the proper Spanish phrase. It's a very exploratory style of learning that is fun with a purpose.
My two oldest boys, 13 and 9, were pretty eager to see what this program was all about as soon as they saw the microphone headset included. One really neat part of this program is that it has a voice recognition feature that enables you to evaluate your pronunciation and automatically detects and corrects your errors. It's really a great way for us get our Southern drawl out of our Spanish! As I've tried different Spanish programs in the past, I've always looked for programs that had at least some audio, because I wanted to be certain that they would learn the correct pronunciations. Teach Me More goes even a few steps further because all of us are hearing the correct pronunciations and working on improving our individual pronunciations--no Southern drawls allowed!
The software was very easy to install. We just put in the installation disk and plugged in the headset, and we were ready to go! Each of us set up our own username so that we could each keep track of our own progress as well. After that, you just have to decide where to jump in. You can use the Free-to-Roam Mode, allowing you to pick and choose the activities yourself; the Guided Mode, which allows you to progress through the program with structured lessons; or the Dynamic Mode, in which you select your objectives and then the program adjusts your lessons based on how you do on each activity. We experimented with all three modes to try to decide which would work best for us. This was a very different approach for us; and while it was fun, we did struggle with wondering if we were "doing it right."
Once we got past that, though, we just relaxed and enjoyed the activities. And wow are there a lot of them--dialogues, pronunciations, phonetics exercises, picture/word association, word searches, fill-in-the-blank, mystery phrase, crossword puzzles, videos and questions, and so much more. The website says that there are over 950 hours of learning in the complete course. It is designed for ages 11 and up and comes with beginning, intermediate, and advanced disks. It could easily count for two years of high school Spanish credit. Just be prepared for the immersion approach. It's different and can be frustrating until you get used to it, but this is a very well-done program and can be used for years and years.
Editorial Note: This is not the edition specifically made for homeschooling families. You can find that located here: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/Homeschool_Reviews/1749.php