Tuesday, September 29, 2015

{Schoolhouse Review} ~ Middlebury Interactive Languages

Every one of my kids needs to take a year of a foreign language in high school. I know teeny bits of Spanish but definitely not enough to teach it, so I rely on other programs for this. And that was why I was excited to review Middlebury Interactive Languages.


 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

What It Is:

Middlebury offers courses for homeschooling in four languages: German, Spanish, French, and Chinese.

We chose the Spanish courses. Bookworm helped my decide, actually. She had done Spanish I last year, so we decided to push into Spanish II.


Middlebury has many levels of Spanish:

  • Elementary (Both K-2 and 3-5)
  • Middle School Spanish 1 & 2
  • High School Spanish I, II, & III
  • High School Fluency I & II
  • AP Spanish

These interactive course focuses on four skills; listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

The level we chose, Spanish II, is divided into two semesters, with 18 units each. The schedule is easily seen every time you log into the website. Each unit or week, has five lessons. Which makes it easy to assign work for each day of the week.


 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review


Each lesson is laid out in an organized way.

The vocabulary words are all listed right at the beginning of the lesson. You can easily hear how to pronounce each word by clicking an icon next to each word. The student then does exercises in grammar, matching correct phrases with photos, listening to conversations, and reading comprehension.

Each lesson has between 6 to 12 activities to check off. Bookworm spent between 20 and 45 minutes a day doing Spanish; I also required her to write out all her vocabulary words with the English definitions each week. Because of this, I would count each semester as a half credit towards foreign language for high school.


How We Used This And What We Thought:


Scheduling this into Bookworm's school day was easy. When I filled out her weekly schedule I would just put the unit and lesson number for her to do. She did this independently, but for review purposes I would sometimes watch over her shoulder. The pronunciation in the program was so helpful. The pace was good and definitely at the high school level.

There is also a helpful calendar which makes it very easy to see where your student is. I was also able to get online and see her work and how far she had progressed.

One thing that was frustrating for her, was that the vocabulary word lists are not translated. She was asked to guess what some of the words were at times. While I do think this is important so that you can see the correlation between English and Spanish, it can be frustrating for some learners. Bookworm does learn better when she can see exactly what she is learning and isn't asked to guess.

We overcame that part of this program by my requiring her to look up any new Spanish words in a Spanish-English dictionary. She began a dictionary of her own, and would use it to learn her words for the lessons.

One part of the program that I really liked were the Cultural Tidbits. These pages gave information about different areas of Mexico, and gave background information. She watched a video on the cultural custom of greeting with a kiss, and another on Things to See in Mexico.

So while we did struggle with some of the learning, overall I liked this online language learning program.

Other members of the Crew reviewed other languages and levels; check out what they thought by clicking below.


 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review


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