Brilliante is a charming program to introduce your children to the Italian language. You can start at any point between kindergarten and Grade 4. The publisher suggests using the textbook with a student starting in 1st grade and adding the workbook once your child is reading/writing in their first language well (about 2nd grade.) So, to implement the whole course simultaneously, begin with students in 2nd to 4th grades. Younger students (K-2) can use the course without reading and writing. The textbook is a small-format (5.5"x 8.5"), spiral-bound book with 96 units and a pronunciation guide. Several of the units actually review previous lessons (e.g. units 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 & 24 are all reviews, followed by a review week (units 25-27). The lessons are pretty short, 1-4 pages, and instructions are in English. A good schedule would be a unit daily (for 3 days a week) which would cover 32 weeks.
Unit 1 is greetings (good morning/day/evening/night). You use the audio CD here to model the correct pronunciation and accent (the CD also has 96 units). The speaker on the disc is pretty fast, but it is easy enough to listen to it several times. Then, you learn to say yes/no. The teacher asks the student several questions in English and the kids respond with si/no. For example, Do you like apple pie? Si! Adding to the theme here, kids are asked Would you like...? and have to answer with Si, grazie (Yes, please) or No, graczie (No, thank you). Students are encouraged to use these phrases throughout the day. Doesn't that sound like and easy way to teach and learn Italian? I think so! The workbook has one page of practice per unit. ~Sara