Posted by Jim on January 31, 2012
Subscribers to Speekee TV receive an email from us when they unsubscribe, asking for their comments on the Speekee TV experience.
About 30% of users kindly reply with their opinon, which helps us improve the product and plan for the future.
Here are some comments we received today:
1. What made you cancel your Speekee TV subscription? For example: too expensive, not suitable, too young/old for my child, we came to the end of the course.
The videos were great! The songs worked, helping them learn some Spanish. The lessons, however, required more attention from me than the time I have to give them because they require higher reading skills than my 5 and 6 year old have at this time. I was using this as an independent project they can do, when I really should have been sitting down with them, the video, and the accompanying lessons.
They watched the videos twice, then they were “done.” I didn’t do a good job convincing them they didn’t really KNOW Spanish yet! Basically: my fault. If I spent more time with them on the Spanish it would work. I just haven’t figured out how to fit it into my homeschool day yet with me involved as well.
2. How could we improve Speekee TV?
Maybe more videos? (The kids got through the videos and thought they were “done” because I hadn’t utilized the lessons included. More formats for emergent readers? But you can’t please everyone. I think it’s really a neat program, actually.
3. Have you any other comments?
I hope to come back to Speekee next year if that’s okay. I am so thankful for the monthly pay ability. It enabled me to try Speekee for 6 weeks at a reasonable cost.
Posted by Jim on January 12, 2012
Don’t be fooled by the glum looking expression; this guy is Andrés Bautista and he is a very nice chap! Andrés worked for the now-defunct SierraVision TV service in Arcos de la Frontera, the beautiful town in which Speekee was filmed (and where I remain fortunate to be living!). He was one of the people I used to deal with when the filming of the Speekee episodes was taking place. What fun that period was!
Much of Speekee was filmed not just outside in the town’s streets, parks etc., but also inside the SierraVision studio (the image of Andrés is, as you can probably tell, taken from inside the control room).
You can easily imagine, then, why SierraVision – not a TV station blessed with a surfeit of quality programming – asked me one day if they could ‘borrow’ the DVDs of episodes and put them on local TV. And so… they did.
To put this into some context, we are not talking about Speekee beinig beamed around the world, but rather shown on a local TV station plus a few others nearby.
Anyway, the point of this story is to tell you about the warm reaction it received from parents and, more importantly perhaps, to point out that the youngest TV-watching Spanish kids here in Arcos were captivated!
Well, when we designed Speekee it was with non Spanish speakers in mind. I was not expecting Spanish kids to love it too! But they did.
And it was a chat with my new hairdresser yesterday which prompted this blog entry today, because he had recognised me from the program his daughter (now six years old) so loved.
Cool! Speekee works for Spanish speakers and non Spanish speakers. A double whammy!
Posted by Jim on November 8, 2011
These are from Jenny.
How could we improve Speekee TV?
More episodes! I know that these are in the works!
(Yes, Jenny’s right. Speekee 2 is now in the planning stages)
Have you any other comments?
WE LOVE SPEEKEE! Thank you for awakening my son’s interest in Spanish! We will be eagerly awaiting further developments!
Posted by Jim on November 7, 2011
Speekee – Week 5
Another week of adventures with Speekee. This week focused on the video, “El Café”. In addition to watching the video, we spent time reviewing some useful words and terms from the lesson. We focused on colors (pink, green, orange, and yellow), counting, hot/cold, and I like it/I don’t like it. We also reviewed some terms from previous weeks to help refresh our memories, such as introductions and farewells. I think Speekee is a fun way to learn Spanish and I am enjoying using it as part of our homeschool curriculum.
Have a great week,
Posted by Jim on October 31, 2011
Speekee – Week 4
Another week complete and here comes our weekly wrap-up. We re-watched Video 1 – “El Parque”. Then we reviewed some of the things that we have learned the past few weeks. We practiced greetings, introductions, counting, etc. Our favorite review game was playing “CUIDADO!” One of us would pretend to do something dangerous (like holding an unlit candle) and the rest of us would shout, “CUIDADO!” My 2 year old kept asking to playing long after we were done. She picked up on it so quickly. My best “ah-ha” moment of the week was when my 2 year old was playing play-doh and began counting the play-doh tubs on her own in Spanish. Wow, not only does she get it, she remembers it, and thinks of it on her own.
Have a great week,
Posted by Aaron on October 28, 2011
We love to get feedback! Here are some selected comments we’ve received recently:
“I think Speekee is a wonderful program.”
“Thank you for providing this wonderful site.”
“I think Speekee is a wonderful program.” (again!)
“…when I have been in contact the staff have been really helpful.” (Glad to hear it!)
“The program is wonderful! …. Thank you for creating such a wonderful tool to teach Spanish! Please, consider making similar programs in other languages!”
“My kids, esp my 3 yr old daughter, have loved these shows. They’ve even started using Spanish words here and there without us prompting them!”
“I will highly recommend this program to families with young children.”
You can email us with feedback or suggestions for improvement. Here’s one such example:
“If you could gear some shows towards 10-13 year old but using the same format 100% in Spanish…” (Well, Jim’s mentioned Speekee 2 a couple of times. I don’t know exactly what he has in mind bit I do know that it will be fantastic).
Receiving comments on our product feels like a gift. But like any gift, perhaps the greater pleasure is in giving than receiving. And so I’m very happy to say that the team at www.bitsontherun.com are FANTASTIC! Not only do they have a great product, but their service is impeccable. Thank you!
Posted by Jim on September 8, 2011
[Jim] Sometimes people ask me why I moved here, to Spain…
I usually pinpoint a few factors.
I was ready to quit Britain; I had my own language tuition business there -www.talklanguages.net
(still going strong!) – and it had reached the point of needing expansion, or sale… one day I sat at my desk and a rippling wave of stress passed through my body. That was it as far as I was concerned. I knew I wanted to take the Sell It option. The process took around a year, and in the end the ideal buyer came along – an entrepreneur with money to invest, lots of enthusiasm, fluent Spanish, and the desire to make the business grow. One of the gratifying aspects for me was that the teachers I had recruited all kept their jobs (-;
By this time house prices had rocketed. In truth they were also gaining great value in Spain, but the rate per square metre in a place like Arcos de la Frontera, deep into Andalucia, was never going to rival that in the east of London, England. And so it proved… we sold a two-bed property and bought a seven-bed mansion house for the same price.
And I had two children. I knew they would be at an advantage if they were bilingual, and bilingual they now are. The way they switch from Spanish to English is a marvel to behold (-: (-;
Oh, have I mentioned the 300 days of sunshine per year?
[Beth] This is fabulous Jim! I really hope you will include some pictures of your area – your community – the people in your life and neighborhood. It really brings YOU to life!
- Arcos de la Frontera