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powerspeaK¹² Reviews

Foreign language educational services created for online delivery to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Curricula are self-paced, including age-appropriate content, games, and culturally relevant activities. Graphics, videos, music, and games encourage multi-sensory learning and promote retention of material.

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(4 Reviews)

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  1. powerspeaK¹² Review by Sally Reeve
    Pros: Robust curriculum
    Cons: Expensive, many assignments not graded until course is completed unless you pay for instructor, technical diffulties and poor customer service

    Grades Used: Spanish 3

    My daughter has used BYU and Powerspeak. The latter’s curriculum is stronger but cost so much higher and customer service so much worse I cannot recommend it. This is more of a profit machine rather than a non-profit educational service. The multi-facet approach can be engaging for younger students, but at the higher levels it may not be as appropriate. And if your child is obtaining credit for the course, then this becomes a very expensive program as you must pay for an instructor if you want assignments to be graded as they are submitted. Otherwise, many non-computer graded assignments are not graded until the course is finished. So there goes opportunities to learn from one’s mistakes as one doesn’t find out until after the final. And one cannot get tech support unless the program actually shows an error message. I’m so tempted to take a look at some of their code to find out if they have any error messages in there. I’m beginning to doubt it. About 3 weeks ago the program started taking over an hour to load a lesson, regardless of the computer my daughter used. Screens are freezing and not allowing input. But because there are no error messages, we are blocked from tech support. When indications sure look like the problem is a Powerspeak servier issue.

  2. powerspeaK¹² Review by JulieCC
    Pros: A/V learner interface; online planning & tracking
    Cons: non-native speakers; annoying voice overs

    Grades Used: Middle School Spanish

    We used powerspeaK12 when it was still in beta format from changing over from a text method, then again after they rolled out the final product. It’s the former “Power-Glide” language courses set up online.

    My son liked it, but he did NOT retain much at all. The immersion method wasn’t good for his good-at-memorizing brain. He consistently received 90-100% on daily lessons and quizzes but scored a 42% on the final. This was highly disappointing.

    The rebus-method (formerly “diglot weave”) stories were highly repetitive. They drove me nuts. They did not use native speakers and the female voices were men speaking as females.

    The parent-teacher naviagation was really lacking. I also could not override grades. My son could not re-take quizzes and exams. The worst part was I could not even *review* his quiz & exam answers. The virtual public school teachers had this ability, but as a parent-teacher, I did not.

    FWIW, I’d used K12 for six years when we started powerspeaK12. It was *not* the same quality as K12’s products and that was highly disappointing. Perhaps they’ve made several upgrades, but do yourself a favor and get a demonstration account before purchasing.

  3. powerspeaK¹² Review by Janette
    Pros: Fun, age appropriate, interesting, no parent preparation
    Cons: Pricey, designed to be used with one child, no resources for additional review

    Grades Used: 2nd and 5th

    We have tried The Easy Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and various sing and learn type cds, and while they were effective, they became just one more thing to check off on the schedule. PowerSpeak, though, is something the kids look forward to. It has engaging stories in English that weave Spanish in a little at a time. Vocabulary words are handled as fun games instead of boring drills. They do not start with basic vocabulary (colors, numbers, shapes, etc.) but instead start you learning words that you might actually find useful in every day conversation. While it is designed to be used with one child, the lessons can be repeated, so I use it for both of my children. We are not concerned with the grading or teacher availability – just working through an enjoyable program, so sharing works for our family. They will take turns shopping and changing the avatar as they earn points, so that isn’t a problem for us, either. And since the lessons can be repeated for as long as needed, you can redo some of the vocabulary games if additional practice is needed. I do wish, though, that there were other options available for additional practice, but that is minor on my list of cons.

  4. powerspeaK¹² Review by Lisa @ Joy of Learning
    Pros: Fun, engaging, and age-appropriate
    Cons: A bit pricey and can only be used for one child

    Grades Used: Elementary I

    I have tried numerous foreign language courses (both software and textbook) in French and Spanish and have had a hard time finding anything that truly inspires my children. Powerspeak does that. Unlike other language software programs we have tried, this one is specifically set up for children, so there are lots of fun games and activities that keep the learning interesting for them. Other programs we have tried (Rosetta Stone and Tell Me More) are really geared to adults or perhaps teens.

    My boys (ages 10 & 8) finished the first semester of Elementary Spanish, Level I in about half the recommended time because they enjoyed it so much. That means, however, that I have to buy the next level sooner than anticipated. In order for both children to enjoy their own avatars on the program (and have the fun of collecting “money” in games to buy things for their avatar), I had to buy two programs. At $100 for each child for half a course, it can get a bit pricey.

    There is an automatic grading system that lets parents see test scores (another reason why you need a separate account for each child). If you want to pay extra, you can have a formal transcript prepared, or for more money still, you can have a live teacher to grade the progress and provide feedback. I didn’t bother with those options, but might consider them for highschool level.

    The courses are available to the AP level.

    I would have used it for French as well, except that the story line that is used to teach the vocabulary is the same in each language. I think this could lead to some confusion, so will wait until the kids have finished the elementary level before starting again with French.

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