Power Glide Spanish

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 8, 2011
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2006
Upon noticing that many of our kids schooled friends were already having Spanish classes as early as K we decided to get our kids started on Spanish. We got Power Glide for both of them, figuring that at least one of them would end up liking it. I do not remember which version it was since we sold it since.It came with a manual, a guide, CDs and a CDRom. There wasn't much focus on writing, spelling and grammar, but that was fine. Our children learned to speak English first and learn those things later without much trouble, so the method seems valid. I do not remember anything religious, so I'll go ahead and claim it to be secular.

It immediately became clear that my daughter wasn't ready for it, but my son loved it.

This attempts to teach through "immersion" but in that department it falls short as well. It basically expects kids to begin speaking from the first lesson on. The speakers on the CD also mix Spanish and English in a sentence. Our kids are already bilingual and do this unintentionally sometimes.

Learning a language does require some sort of repetition. My son never like that, but yet he hardly ever complained about it.
He complained about the drills and exercises in Power Glide constantly. Why? Well, Power Glide attempts to weave everything, include those things into the storyline. To my son, these "plot twists" just seemed like lame excuses to trick him into doing another drill or worksheet, and he didn't fall for that.

So yes,I was sceptical about PGS from the beginning, but it seemed like our soon was learning a lot of Spanish in very little time. He began "speaking" after the first lesson and seemed to "babble" in Spanish constantly. But when out Latino American friend asked him a few simple questions six months after we started PG, he just gave her a blank stare.How can a child have Spanish every day for six months and not be able to answer "How old are you?". As I already mentioned, we sold PGS.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, May 3, 2007
  • Grades Used: 3rd and 4th
  • Dates used: 2005-2007
We took this really slow. My daughter used the Junior version (now renamed Childrens, according to the Powerglide website), all three levels. But she wasn't really conversational, although she did have great pronunciation and could tell all the stories well. The program actually moves very quickly, too quickly. We had to slow it down and back up many times and repeat some lessons a few times. There isn't any review of previous material, so we went back to look it over a few times so we wouldn't forget. I say "we" because this wasn't something she could do on her own; it requires a parent's guidance.

On the bad side, I think the program concentrated too much on the adventure story and the little fairy tale stories within it. I doubt my daughter will walk up to someone and tell them the tale of the three little pigs, but she might have to ask for a drink of water, or something. Maybe some more practical Spanish would have helped.

The program is fun and I like the natural approach it has to learning. It gave us a good headstart. I don't think we'll continue with PowerGlide, even though I really liked it. I would like her to do more reading, more listening to spoken Spanish, and learn write it as well. Power Glide is very weak in its writing component, at least at this level. I really do recommend this for beginning learners and mid elementary aged kids.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  • Grades Used: Level 1, elementary
  • Dates used: fall 2006
We love this program for my 5 and 7 year olds. I speak Spanish fluently (major in college). I wanted to teach the boys from a young age, as all experts say this is the way to go. I looked at the programs available and found either they were VERY expensive or boring. What good is counting and naming colors when you need to converse? The program teaches from English, adding in Spanish words so the children can pick them up by context. Both my children are picking up words and using them in everyday conversation. We will continue this program all the way through. After we've finished, I'll begin filling in vocabulary holes, and by middle school, start teaching grammer.

I do recommend it if the parent/teacher has had Spanish (at least 1-2 years high school). For parents who can't speak any Spanish, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

Karen Nelson

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, February 15, 2005
  • Grades Used: 7-12
  • Dates used: Starting 2005
I have been using Power-glide (adult version) with my son for several months. Before that we did a variety of disorganized activities, so he knows some Spanish but very hit or miss.

I like this program alot despite its many faults, because of the variety of ways that language is introduced. The weaving stories that use both Spanish and English have convinced my son that he understands more than he realizes. The pictograms have been useful in depressurizing the idea of producing sentences in a foreign language. Ditto the scatter charts of new words to make into sentences. The dialogs are quirky, which makes them rather interesting (one of first is about a king that plays the drum and sings funeral chants (cantos funebres) that annoy his courtiers). My son likes the story and the idea of being a secret agent.

I concede most of the faults listed by other reviewers. Review is spotty, the story is extremely lame, the cultural notes are deadly boring, and the CDs can be hard to use (not always clear what track goes with what text). Nevertheless the program works for us -- I speak Spanish reasonably well so I can supplement, review, etc as needed. I would NOT use as a program to teach my kids Spanish without parental guidance.