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    Roots of Spanish: 2nd Language Speaking Made Easy

    TESTIMONIAL by Parent Beth Balser, Peoria IL

    After taking and failing Spanish in Middle School, my son, who is dyslexic, was scheduled to retake Spanish in 10th grade as a graduation requirement. Once again, he was not passing and on target to take Spanish again for a third time. I worried that not being able to pass Spanish would prevent my son from graduating high school, and how could he be expected to understand a foreign language, as he still struggled with English.

    Roots of Spanish
    Roots of Spanish (book cover image)

    It was then that Vanessa, his learning coach, offered to work with my son and develop an easy to understand system that would help him pass Spanish and graduate on time with his class.

    Because of the patience and coaching of this amazing woman, my child got a 92 on his make-up final exam! At the beginning of summer break, using a unique method she created, humor and understanding, Vanessa’s teachings broke through the mental barricades of a reluctant teenage boy who would rather be doing anything but Spanish for one more second!

    Roots of Spanish (book cover image) Vanessa gets it! She was able to accomplish what two other language teachers had not. She discovered a way to teach Spanish in a way that my child could finally understand it. I will be forever grateful that Vanessa was my son's tutor. He had the opportunity to work with her in person. This book, Roots of Spanish, is the next best thing.

    Vanessa Peters originally came into our life as a reading tutor for my 16 year old son. She worked with him on comprehension and dyslexia issues. My son has always struggled with the "basic rules" that a child builds on when learning any subject. He still had not mastered the times tables in math or learned how to count money or make change. As Vanessa started to know my son, and his learning style, she created customized lesson plans that helped him master the basic rules in reading, math and later Spanish.

    Every year tens of thousands of American students attempt to fulfill their foreign language requirement by being enrolled in a Spanish class. Unfortunately, for the majority, by the end of the school year they can barely remember how to say, hello (hola)!

    These well-intentioned students spend so much time trying to pronounce the foreign words and remember the confusing grammar rules, that there’s no energy left to understand or enjoy what’s being learned, said or read. Instead of being motivated to speak Spanish, most students resort to memorizing just enough Spanish words to pass the course and then WHOOSH! A universal brain fade.

    Because all of the initial decoding and comprehension struggles of learning how to speak Spanish fluently has been taken care of in this simple visually coded learning method, Roots of Spanish remedies language learning frustrations with its unique color coded words, verb family tree visual (vocabulary building) system and mental imagery definitions, (mnemonics).

    Roots of Spanish trained students won’t struggle:

    Memorizing foreign word definitions
    Learning the gender of each noun (fluency requirement)
    Understanding complex Spanish grammar rules
    Recalling 100’s of key Spanish words days, weeks or years later

    Vanessa Peters is a literacy coach, letter sounds decoding specialist and advocate of direct instruction / phonics first teachings. In 2005 she founded the Sweet Sounds of Reading back-to-basics publishing house that also offers children’s tutoring programs and Parents Reading Training Classes. In addition to Roots of Spanish, she is also the author of reading training series, “Letter Sounds Save Their Soul,” and the math money workbook, “Cents and Sensibilities.” She can be reached at:

    Letter Sounds Save Their Soul:
    Cents and Sensibilities:
    Roots of Spanish:
    Sweet Sounds of Reading:


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 miscellaneous info

Wanted to share an op-ed penned by author Rob Sobhani, re: how our nation's immigration policies are strangling job opportunities in the black community; Rob offers a solid plan to boost employment ( Here are some key points -

  • Today, black unemployment is 15.5 percent - nearly seven points higher than the national average. For blacks ages 16-24, that figure jumps to 23.3 percent.

  • There are those who believe that high rates of unemployment in the black community are the fault of blacks - and that immigrants are only taking the jobs that blacks don't want. The overwhelming data and common sense suggest that this is not true. After all, those same jobs (janitorial, construction, hotel, restaurant, etc.) were also around in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when America was the world's strongest power. Black Americans are not refusing to work. They need a level playing field.

  • America's failed immigration system is the flip side of a failed foreign policy. We can address black unemployment by fixing immigration through a new narrative.

  • There is no doubt that the Mexican government has exported its crisis to the United States by failing to provide a decent standard of living for its citizens, driving them north in search of a better future. Meanwhile, our already broken economic system needs to produce more jobs, protect more of the vulnerable and build more schools, roads and bridges to accommodate the surge.

  • The solution requires a multipronged approach. First, Congress must institute a five-year moratorium on immigration into the U.S. (except for refugees - about 60,000 people per year). During this period, a few initiatives must take place to make it attractive for immigrants, be they legal or illegal, to voluntarily return to their home countries:

  • A country-specific micro-loan program should be established for those who need startup capital to open a business back in their home country.

  • Then the U.S. must decouple its trade from China and use public and private partnerships to establish manufacturing outlets south of our border. A case in point: Last year the U.S. imported $8 billion worth of toys from China. Imagine if this money were redirected to countries like Mexico, El Salvador or Peru.

  • Furthermore, the DREAM Act must be ratified at the federal level but with a caveat: Once an illegal student obtains his or her degree from a university, armed with that degree they must return to their home country and help rebuild it.

Rob has been quoted in the Washington Post, CNN, The Huffington Post and more.



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