Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions that parents frequently ask about our Spanish classes in San Diego. Click on the question of interest to reveal its corresponding answer.

———————————————————–

ABOUT REGISTRATION

How do I register for a class in San Diego?

First, find the school your child attends (Enrichment Classes in San Diego). In mid July or August before the school year begins, registration flyers will be posted to the right of the school name. You can then print the pdf of the 2-page registration form to the right of the school name. Fill out the 2nd page and mail it directly to Sing 'n Speak Spanish at the address shown on the form. If you choose monthly automatic payments, then you also have the option to fax the form and a voided check to 619-221-0362 or scan and e-mail the registration form and a voided check to julia@singnspeak.com. Once you enroll your child, you will receive an e-mail confirmation that your child is registered or on a wait list. Parents will receive a Welcome Letter and e-mail a few days before classes begin.

Note: Some districts or outside organizations take care of the registration and payment for us. In these cases, you will find an information sheet with class details and information on how to register.

I don't see my child's school listed. How can my child take a Sing 'n Speak Spanish course?

In order to offer Sing 'n Speak Spanish classes at a school, we need approval from the school principal or the enrichment organization at the school. Please contact your child's school directly. If the school would like to start a program, they should contact Julia Burnier at julia@singnspeak.com.

Note: Since we offer classes throughout the school year, we must set them up before the school year begins.

What if you are not offering the level of Spanish my child needs at his/her school?

With higher levels of Spanish we sometimes don't have enough students to get the minimum enrollment to offer a class. In this situation, we can try and set up semi-private classes once we complete registration of classes at schools and we know what days/times our teachers are available.

What if my child's school does not want to offer Sing 'n Speak Spanish or if I home school my children. How can my child take a Sing 'n Speak Spanish course?

We can try and set up a semi-private class once we complete registration of classes at schools and we know what days/times our teachers are available. Alternatively, if you speak some Spanish, you could teach your own child. You can either purchase the Economy Teacher Package with additional student workbooks and CD/songbooks as needed, or simply purchase the workbooks and CD/songbooks and learn Spanish together with your child! The Childhood Adventure, Set 1 storybooks are a great addition to the Year 1 curriculum.

How big are the classes?

Our minimum enrollment is 6, our maximum is 12.

What if the class is under-enrolled?

When we do not reach the minimum enrollment of 6 students in a class, we normally cancel the class. If parents are willing to pay an additional 20% tuition, we can offer the class with 5 students. If they are willing to pay an additional 50% tuition, we can offer the class with 4 students. In these situations, there is no refund if a student cancels. With only 3 children, we always cancel the class.

Why does the tuition vary from school to school?

Tuition varies depending upon the total number of classes and the fees schools and districts charge.

How do I determine what level of Spanish to enroll my child in?

Beginning Spanish learners should sign up for either Year 1A or Year 1B Spanish. Year 1A is most suitable for K - 2nd graders and Year 1B for 2nd - 5th graders. These are both beginning Spanish courses with a similar curriculum, but we teach them with age appropriate activities, workbook, and songs. If your school offers both Year 1A and Year 1B Spanish, your 2nd grader can enroll in either course. Most Kindergarteners who take Year 1A Spanish benefit by taking Year 1B Spanish as 1st graders to solidify the vocabulary and become better readers and writers. They will then be ready for Year 2 Spanish as 2nd graders. If your school only offers one section of Year 1 Spanish, older students will receive the higher level workbook.

Sing 'n Speak Spanish is a sequential curriculum. Students progress from Year 1 to Year 5, where each course assumes the student has learned the vocabulary and grammar from the previous courses or their equivalent. Sometimes your child's Spanish teacher will recommend that your child repeat a course. This is sometimes necessary and does not indicate a failure. We want our students to succeed.

Please go to Spanish Curriculum to see what thematic topics we cover in each course.

If you are still unsure what level to enroll your child, feel free to Contact Us.

A yearlong class is a big commitment. What if my child doesn't like the class?

We offer weekly classes throughout the school year to provide the necessary continuity for learning a foreign language. We have a liberal cancellation policy. If your child is not happy with the class in the first 6 - 7 weeks (the registration flyer shows the cancellation deadline), you may drop your child from the class and we will reimburse you for the classes your child did not attend less a fee for materials. After the cancellation date, we only reimburse you if there is an medical emergency or if your child is leaving the school. Most children love our classes. We have a very low attrition rate - only about 4% a year.

Are there make-up classes available if my child will be absent?

No. If your child will be absent, please let the teacher know and she can inform you about homework worksheets and songs.

Classes have already started. Can I still enroll my child?

It depends. If your child has had some exposure to Spanish or it is early in the course and your child can catch up (and there is room in the class!), then we are happy to add your student to the class and offer you a prorated tuition.

 

ABOUT THE CLASSES

What is a typical lesson like?

Variety is the spice of the foreign language classroom. Our classes include introduction and drilling of vocabulary with colorful visual aids coupled with gestures as we build sentences and teach songs. We use a lot of humor, interactive puppetry, and many games and activities to make the learning enjoyable. Go to Spanish Teaching Materials and scroll down to see some sample lesson plans.

How much homework will there be?

As a guideline, your child should spend approximately three 10 - 15 minute sessions per week singing the songs and doing the worksheets. Frequent short sessions are more effective for vocabulary retention than infrequent longer sessions. Children receive a CD and songbook and should keep these at home and listen to the songs frequently. Many parents play the songs in the car during commutes to and from school and end up learning the songs too! Even if you don't know Spanish, parental involvement is important! Be interested and involved in what your child is learning.

We teach students of mixed age groups. If the workbook is too challenging for your child, don’t worry! Have your child complete the worksheets to the best of his/her ability or go over them orally with your child and initial them. If neither of these are viable options, let the teacher know and have the workbook serve the purpose of showing you what your child is learning in class. In this case, have your child concentrate on the songs. We have found that singing is the most effective way to learn.

How much Spanish will my child learn? At what point should I expect my child to be conversational?

Sing 'n Speak Spanish is typically offered once a week and it gives students a foundation of vocabulary, grammar structures, and pronunciation to set them up for success when they take more rigorous courses in junior high and high school or when they have a chance for full immersion. It takes about a 3,000 - 4,000 word vocabulary to become minimally conversational in a foreign language. Each course introduces 300 - 500 words/phrases depending on the level of Spanish. By the time students complete Year 5 Spanish, they understand a great deal and can have simple conversations.

How do you deal with disruptive students?

Disruptive behavior is not acceptable. A disruptive child ruins the class for other children. If disruptive behavior continues after we speak to the child and parents, we reserve the right to take the child out of the class. We will refund the tuition for unused classes.

What if my child loses a workbook or CD/songbook?

Contact Sing 'n Speak Spanish and order a new workbook or CD/songbook. You can also Download an Order Form and fax it to us at 619-221-0362. We will mail the item to you or the teacher will deliver it at the next class if she has the item available.

What if I don't own a CD player?

All the songs in the Sing 'n Speak Spanish program are now available in iTunes or CD Baby and you can download them onto your computer or mobile device.

Do you allow parents to attend the class?

Parents are welcome to request a class observation once a year if the school allows it (many of them do not!), but we do not allow them to attend the class on a regular basis. The presence of parents in the classroom can have a negative effect on the participation and behavior of children. We encourage parents to join the final day of class for a celebration and demonstration of what the children have learned.

How do I know how my child is doing in class?

Call or e-mail the teacher if you wish to discuss how your child is doing in the class. Because this is an enrichment class, we do not have formal evaluations or assessments. How much a child learns and retains varies with the child's ability, attitude, and dedication inside and outside the classroom. If your child attends and participates in the classes, learns the songs and completes the workbook assignments on a weekly basis, you can rest assured that he/she is learning a great deal of Spanish.

How can I enhance my child's learning outside of the classroom?

It is important to support your child's Spanish education by not only being involved during the school year with your child's workbook and songs, but also by providing them with other reinforcement, particularly in the summer when we do not offer classes. Here are a few ideas:

* Childhood Adventures, Set 1 is a series of six playful, fully illustrated storybooks. They will help your child retain the vocabulary and grammar from Year 1 Spanish. They are available as little booklets and also as an iBook for your iPad. Go to Spanish Storybooks to learn more about them.

* Translation Sensation is a game that is easy to learn, challenging, and fun. It is a great way for students to reinforce and add to the vocabulary and grammar they have already learned. Levels 1 – 3 of the game drill on vocabulary and grammar taught in Years 1, 2, and 3 of the Sing ‘n Speak Spanish program. Go to Games to learn more about this fun game.

I recommend that your children make a game of learning the meaning of the many street names in San Diego which are in Spanish. Your children can also learn a lot of vocabulary by watching their favorite childhood movies in Spanish with English subtitles, reading Spanish children's books from your local library, and listening to other Spanish children's songs. In addition, they can play on mobile devices educational language learning games which you can easily find by searching the internet.