As I see and experience with my daughter the way this Spanish program (that we received in order to review) teaches Spanish, I am reminded of the Spanish classes I took in college, which were very different, and not very effective.
In college, the teacher was dry and boring. He was a quiet man, not animated at all, with no affect or enthusiasm.
We began by learning the Spanish alphabet, both the letters and blends, and the sounds each makes. I could memorize those pretty easily, probably because I was already familiar with the sounds. I was assigning a symbol to a sound I'd already learned (even though the sounds I'd learned were from my first language).
Next, we began learning nouns. I was good at learning the nouns. I could memorize nouns pretty easily, too. Woo hoo. (*sarcasm*) I could go to Mexico, Latin America, or Spain and begin naming people, places, and things. Not real helpful if I wanted to have a conversation in Spanish with someone.
You know what? After the autism regression, my daughter's first burst of language (after a couple of months on the GFCF diet) was 32 new nouns in a two-week period. (I wrote them down and counted them for the pediatrician.)
Memorizing nouns can get needs met.
try to teach social skills?
If only passing Spanish class depended solely upon
appearing indistinguishable when reading a passage...
Here's a problem: I could decode the sounds and pronounce them correctly without understanding a single word I'd read. Dr. M could give me a passage well beyond my level of comprehension and I could read it aloud with almost perfect pronunciation.
hyperlexic kids you know?
The thing that was the most difficult, the thing I hated most of all was translating spoken passages from Spanish into English. My ear and brain simply could not hear it all and process it all unless the speaker slooooooooowed way down, and that didn't happen. We were expected, as new Spanish students, to process all of the language at warp speed, almost from the get-go.
I hated going to the lab to do the listening and translating exercises and I failed (miserably) the parts of our exams where the teacher read a passage that we had to translate on the test.
After a year of college Spanish, I could do little more than I learned in the very beginning, label nouns in Spanish and figure out a root word of a verb. I know some adjectives here and there.
Fast forward to today: The Spanish program that we are reviewing is an immersion program, a series of videos for children, where full (and short) sentences are used in context, the verbs are already correctly conjugated, no rules to memorize, where we are learning all of the pieces simultaneously: nouns, verbs (and conjugation), adverbs, adjectives, sentence structure, pronunciation, listening, speaking, the way typically developing children learn the language that their parents speak.