Wednesday, September 30, 2015

TOS Review for Spanish from Middlebury Interactive Languages

For the past few weeks, the kids have been learning Spanish! We were given a chance to review Middle School Spanish 1 from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

Middlebury Interactive Languages provides online digital courses for homeschoolers (and schools) in a variety of languages. Students can choose to learn Spanish, French, German, and Chinese! Courses are broken down into 3 different levels. 

Elementary School ~ Grades K- 5th
Middle School ~ Grades 6th-8th
High School~ Grades 9th-12th

So no matter how old your kids are Middlebury Interactive Languages has got you covered!

Middlebury Interactive Languages uses an interactive approach to teach children a new language. Students watch a the lesson online. The lesson uses various techniques to teach children a new language.  Native speakers are used to teach students in real life contexts. This approach immerses the students into the language.

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
For this review, we signed up for the Middle School Spanish Level 1 course. This course is geared for students in the 6th-8th grade. We received a 6 month semester of Spanish to use at home. My kids are in the 5th and 6th grade. We have studied French when the kids were little and have done Latin the past 3 years, so learning a different language was nothing new to them. 

Middle School Spanish Level 1 is broken up into 17 units. These units will be covered through out the semester. Each unit has 10 lessons in it. There are a few review unit to help students review the lessons. At the end of our semester the students will have a final exam. They will be tested to see how well they have mastered the language.
After completing the set-up, parents and students can easily find the main screen, the calendar.

The calendar layout is easy to read and understand.  All parents or students have to do is go to the day of of the lesson they are working on, click on the lesson, and it opens up on the side.

The lessons are broken down into different sets. They run about 15-20 minutes. This can turn into longer if your student is struggling with pronunciation. Students will be introduced to the topic being cover for that lesson. They will have a warm-up, and then will continue on with the lesson by using a variety of techniques. Sometimes they will have to match up the Spanish word with the English words. Listening and reading skills will be used. A speaking lab helps the students learn how to pronounce the words correctly. Students even have the ability to record their own voices and play it back to hear whether or not they are getting the correct pronunciation.
They have printable vocabulary sheets. These are extremely helpful. Students can print them out and use them as a study guide. We started a binder for them. This made it very easy for the kids to look over there pages and review what they have been learning.

Our thoughts on it.....

The lessons are short and easy to understand. They are well laid out and well structured. This makes learning a new language rather easy. 

The calendar lay out is simple to read and the lessons can be found quickly. I do wish they had a way to adjust the lessons on the calendar so parents can work the lessons into their own lesson plans. Because we couldn't adjust the schedule, we had to go back to previous days to click on the right schedule. Not hard, but a little annoying sometimes. Having 2 lessons on a day was difficult, especially for slower learners. There is no way we will finish all 17 units at the rate we are moving through them. Having an option to choose between 6 months or a year might help some families.

My kids seemed to struggle with the program. The unit jumps right into conversations. It seemed like they expected the student to already have some type of knowledge of the Spanish language, which my had none. My kids had a hard time understanding the native speakers. The conversations were rather quick making it difficult for them to catch on to the correct pronunciation of the words. The kids had to replay it a couple of times before they even caught on a little bit. I had to sit with them to help them get the proper pronunciation. 

We did have a few technical issues with the program. The lesson would freeze. It was probably our satellite internet, but I just thought I'd share just encase you live out in the sticks too. I'm sure this was operator error but we couldn't get the voice recording done for the pronunciation part of the lessons either. We just gave up on that part.

For us, we found this program a little too faced paced. I think Therese would have done better with the Elementary Spanish for grades 3-5 since she was younger. Michael may have too. All though, I don't think the Middle School Spanish Level 1 was a great fit for us, I do think the program is extremely well done. I'll definitely look into again when the kids are a little older. We may even check out the the lower level Spanish course in a few months.

Find out more about Middlebury Interactive Languages online....


Want to learn a different language? Stop by and see what other languages the crew reviewed!
Just click on the link below...

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

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