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Northern Arizona University   Educación Española

Educación Española
Teaches Spanish en Su Casa
by Linda Pliagas

Hola! Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language? Would you like to incorporate professional Spanish lessons brought to you by a leading university professor? Educación Española is an excellent way for beginning students to incorporate the study of a foreign language en su casa [at your home].

Developed by the on-camera professor, R. Scott Morris, Ed.D. (Roberto is his Spanish name), the DVD series is impressive in its high-quality production and introduction to Spanish in a friendly and relaxed manner.  The DVD is filmed from the Northern Arizona University.  The set is decorated with traditional Mexican décor, adding to the authentic flair and charm of the production.

Upon reviewing the DVDs, I immediately thought they help me in aiding my daughter to brush up on her shaky Spanish language skills. I planned a block of time to incorporate them into her summer educational program.

As a native-speaker, I was impressed by Dr. Morris’s verbal skill and technique. Dr. Morris, who is not of Hispanic descent, speaks fluently (perhaps even better than many second generation-native speakers, who do not regularly dialog in that language). A native speaker will not be able to hear a single trace of an American accent in his lessons – very impressive, as speaking without an accent is the major battle in obtaining complete fluency.

Señor Morris’s is an exceptional and charismatic teacher; his friendly, welcoming manner slowly guides even the most inexperienced viewer into the fascinating world of conversational Spanish and the Hispanic culture.  He clearly and slowly speaks popular phrases, breaks them down into words and explains their meanings.

Educación española offers a complete well-rounded introduction not only to the Spanish language, but also to the entire Spanish culture, food, art, history of the Spanish people as well as the geography of the Spanish-speaking countries.  

His technique is direct in manner, yet his warm tone and relaxed manner make foreign language instruction enjoyable and easy.  Real-life situations are also presented and are impressively acted by Dr. Morris’s student actors.  

In addition to teaching conversational skills, Spanish grammar and proper writing skills are also introduced.  For example, writing is reinforced through exercises performed by Dr. Morris. The DVD and VHS series is an excellent tool for both children and their parents; the curriculum is a one full year instruction.  

Educación española has a series perfect for older, junior high students and another series is also available for elementary curriculum for grades 1 though 6.  The DVD series curriculum includes: 50 lessons on videotapes; lessons average 45 minutes each and 600-page Teacher’s Guide includes: lesson plans, vocabulary lists, blackline masters for student activity sheets, songs, tests, answer keys, and more. For additional information about the program, including the cost of series, please visit: http://www2.nau.edu/ee-p/pages/Products.html#Anchor-11481

Other additional products to assist students in the mastery of the Spanish language also includes: a Student Workbook (which include all the activity sheets and songs) for $25; and additional set of program DVD's: $199.  

While educación española was initially developed for beginning students in junior high school, the series has branched off to include a younger audience.  The series is also wonderful for more advanced students who wish to brush up and take a refresher language course at home (with foreign language, if you do not use it, you lose it).  It’s also a great tool for busy parents of Hispanic lineage who may no longer speak Spanish at home, yet want to keep the language alive and pass it on to their children, as in my own personal situation.
The series is appropriate for younger children as well, as Dr. Morris utilizes puppets in his instructional method and also plays catchy traditional tunes on his guitar en español. His entertaining mix of educational styles incorporates a variety of methods for viewers to grasp an understanding of the Spanish language and its structure, which is not easy, as for the most part, the language structure is the complete opposite in structure to the English language.

Touches upon these elements: verb tense and conjugation € noun number and gender
€ adjective-noun agreement € sentence configuration € cultural orientation € and much more

The study of a foreign language is crucial if homeschool parents are interested in having their children attend college, as it is one of the requirements of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Introducing foreign language early on will give children and young adults a competitive edge not only in their scholarly pursuits, but also in the global economy in today’s business sector.

For additional information about the program, including the cost of series, please visit:http://www2.nau.edu/ee-p/pages/Products.html#Anchor-11481


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