Ds2 in in y5 and has done Spanish on and off for nearly 3 years. He can count to 10, say hello and goodbye and sing a few songs. DS1 ys yr7 he did the same at Primary, but is now learning French and German.
We were on an activity holiday at Easter and met a really lovely German family. After dinner, our DCs ran back to the accommodation for the TV by the time we caught them up, they were playing Scrabble, with the German family, in English!
Their boys were 8 & 10 and both could communicate well in English at the start of the week. By the end of the week, I'd say they were both fluent.
I don't think my boys would even have tried hello/goodbye willingly.
Oh thank you ZZZenagain. That's so encouraging for me! I was beginning to think it was only me who saw value in that approach, and that I needed to stick to traditional topics. They are such joyful little characters. I will make more!