Hands-on Spanish with Flip Flop Learning! (review)
Señora Suzane Gose of Flip Flop Learning knows just how to appeal to kinetic learners – her See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish is one of the most hands-on intensive foreign language curricula I’ve seen.
Who is See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish for?
Designed to appeal to learners ages 3-93, Flip Flop Spanish is composed of a multi-sensory approach, combining audio learning with sentence-building and delightful games. Though pre-readers won’t be ready to take advantage of the written materials, it’s quite usable as a method to teach them verbal language in combination with other family members. Just as young children learn their first language aurally and visually, so they can learn a second language.
What’s Inside The See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish package?
Once you get the package home, there are a variety of treats inside:
- Black & white curriculum manual, looseleaf, ready to put in your binder of choice, plus inserts for the front, back, and spine of the binder
- Four lesson CDs with binder insert to hold CDs
- Three sets of color flash cards
- Two card sleeve binder inserts for saving sentences in binder
- Whiteboard “paddle” and whiteboard marker
- Instructional insert to help you get started.
Is there anything else I need to get started with See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
- A binder to store the curriculum manual in
- Blank flash cards – either lined or not (we cut these in half)
- A CD player
OPTIONAL: more small whiteboards & whiteboard markers, which can be purchased inexpensively at dollar or discount stores – my kids preferred regular whiteboards to the paddle, so they had more space to write.
How long will it take to complete See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
If used as designed, Flip Flop Spanish is a 2-year program for younger students, and a 1-year program for older students.
How many lessons are in See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
There are 45 lessons in Flip Flop Spanish. Younger students work on one lesson per week, three times a week for 8-15 minutes, while older students can handle the material in two lessons per week.
How much teacher preparation is needed for See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
Very little prep work is needed for Flip Flop Spanish. Gathering supplies like the CD player, whiteboards and markers, plus the curriculum is pretty much all it takes, beyond rounding up the kidlets for Spanish. Flash cards needed for the lesson need to be pulled out of the deck for each week, but that’s a task that the students can do, too.
Each lesson plan is detailed, making it very clear what should happen during each of the lessons, and the majority of the instruction is done via audio, so there isn’t much left for the parent to do besides facilitate and join in.
What’s a typical See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish lesson like?
For days one and two of the lesson, almost everything is done in combination with the audio CD. We discovered that I was generally relegated to running the audio, because the kids would have a question or want to ‘rewind’ and repeat something.
The third day, the parent is expected to step in and replicate the audio – don’t worry, by this time, you’ll have heard it at least two times yourself, plus, a near-perfect scripted transcript is in the curriculum. If you’ve followed along during the previous two days of that lesson, you’ll have no trouble whatsoever with it.
During lesson, new flash cards should be laid out, image side up. each new word and phrase will be introduced, and the student is expected to touch (or point to) each card as the audio indicates. (Pronunciation is given along with the actual spelling, both on the flash cards and in the manual, making it easy for non-Spanish-speaking parents to use.)
Later, students are asked to flip the words over as they are indicated. Another part of the lesson, called “Speed Round”, goes through each word rapidly, and to start with, the students may feel quite frustrated that they cannot keep up. (My daughter *hates* this part.) However, as they continue to practice – and mine wished to try it multiple times each day – it was clear that it’s an effective method to move from “having to think about it” to automatic reaction – which will be needed for eventual fluency. So, try not to skip this part. If needed, mimic it on your own, at a slightly slower pace, to reduce the student’s frustration until their speed improves enough to match the audio.
After some example sentences, students will practice building their own. This helps to concrete that words are not just memorized individually, but have a typical place in conversation, and this practice has made a huge different in my children’s willingness to verbalize in Spanish.
Each lesson ends with recommended games that can be used to practice newly acquired vocabulary – each family is likely to find their own preferences among them, but make sure you try them all at least once. It might surprise you which ones are the most fun – or most effective – for your kids.
How did we use See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
Since my kids using Flip Flop Spanish are grade 6th and 8th, we chose to do two lessons per week. They also have some familiarity with Spanish already, so they felt rather limited on “available” words during the early lessons, which resulted in us adding some flash cards of our own.
In Flip Flop Spanish, connecting words like “and” and “but” don’t have their own flash cards – probably because they wouldn’t have pictures associated with them – and it’s recommended that you make your own.
The sentence building is definitely our favorite part of the lesson – things can get *very* silly around our house, and Flip Flop Spanish is ripe for silliness. We pretty quickly determined that we didn’t quite have all the connecting words we needed in the early lessons to make the kinds of sentences they wanted, so additions like “in the” – for “Necesito el perro en la falda.” (I need the dog in the dress.) were things we added ourselves.
It became obvious in just a couple of weeks that the sentence-building – and the silliness – were having an effect. The kids have been using Spanish more and more during everyday activities, not just during Spanish time. Often, that means that I’m expected to figure out whatever crazy thing they just said to me, and respond in kind, but I’m up for the challenge if it means they’re learning. (I’m discovering, interestingly, that I haven’t lost quite as much vocabulary from my two years of college Spanish as I thought I had, and it’s a lot less embarassing to be searching for words – even silly ones – in front of my kids, instead of in a setting with other adults.)
Do we recommend See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish?
Yes – even though we think it could use some beefing up for older students, we really love the approach. On its own, it’s easy enough for students to create their own additional vocabulary words, though it would be nice if complementary words were suggested. It works well, too, as an additional approach along with more traditional curriculum. For elementary students and younger, you’ll find the pace to be a perfect fit
The complete See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish package, is $99.99, direct from Flip Flop Learning. If you’d like to purchase earth-friendly version instead, the ebook and MP3 files may be purchased on CurrClick , with the remainder of the materials in the Flip Flop Learning Store. Activity books are also available for younger students.