The Spanish help your child won’t find at school
April 19, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
“What’s the most important skill for a beginning Spanish student?” If you ask Jim Sarris, Spanish teacher for 15 years, he’ll say, “The ability to memorize.”
And if you ask him, “Why students need help in Spanish?”, he’ll say, “They have trouble memorizing.”
An interesting dilemma. Especially since over 80% of language learning at the beginner level is memorization. Nouns, adjectives, verbs, verb conjugations, you name it.
Anyone who’s suffered through lifeless, unending flash cards knows how frustrating it is to spend time studying only to have it all disappear the next day.
Unfortunately, many teachers don’t provide alternatives to their students when it comes to memorizing more efficiently. Instead they offer empty phrases like, “try harder”, “pay more attention” or “go over your flash cards again.”
The good news is there’s an easy way to help Spanish students improve memorization and it’s now available to parents to use with their kids. It’s called the keyword mnemonic method and it uses visuals and mnemonics to help students memorize twice as much in half the time.
“Students need different approaches that appeal to their individual styles and that’s what the mnemonic method offers. Fun comics and wacky phrases are always a big hit in class,” says Jim Sarris, author of Comic Mnemonics (www.learnspanishfaster.com), a book that utilizes the keyword mnemonic method to help students memorize Spanish verbs.
According to Sarris, one of the biggest problems in beginner Spanish classes lies with the teachers that still rely on the “rote memory” method, leaving many students begging for something more effective.
Mnemonics is the perfect answer and it’s been proven again and again in published studies. Dr. Joel Levin, Educational Psychologist at the University of Arizona, has conducted scientific research on mnemonic strategies for the last 25 years and says they’ve “proven time and again to be dramatically more effective memory enhancers than both rote learning and other vocabulary-acquisition technique."
Rebekah Bacoka, Spanish teacher at the Kingman Academy of Learning in Arizona, recently purchsed Comic Mnemonics and has seen incredible results. "I am absolutely thrilled with Comic Mnemonics. My students (9th-12th) learned 99 verbs in 3 days!…and had a blast.”
Sarris has updated Comic Mnemonics and added features that make it easy to use at home. Video tutorials, flash cards and crossword puzzles are just some of the features that parents and kids can use to start improving in Spanish today.
“If schools don’t offer varied approaches to learning that reach out to more kids, then parents need to get involved”, says Sarris. “That may include speaking with the teacher and the department chair or, it may mean finding affordable resources that can help now.”
Comic Mnemonics offers the Spanish help your child might not be getting in school. It’s easy, it’s fun and it doesn’t involve paying a tutor.
For more information on the book/4CD package or the download version, visit www.learnspanishfaster.com . While there, pick up your free samples of verbs and video tutorials.
Journalists: To interview Sarris and/or obtain a review copy, please contact him at 914-552-3132, JaSarris@ccsd.ws.