For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Middlebury Interactive Languages - TOS Review

It has been proven that learning a foreign language can do wonders for the development of kids. Finding a program to do that is not an easy task. I am also up for trying new ones and we had that very opportunity come up recently on the crew through Middlebury Interactive Languages. As a French speaker I desire for my kids to speak French, so I always tend to favor French, and therefore got to review the full first semester of the French Course.

What is Middlebury Interacive Languages?

Middlebury Interactive Languages is an online foreign language course. They offer foreign language learning in Spanish, French, Chinese and German. Some languages cover all grades (K-12), the others start at grade 3 up to grade 12, with some advanced placement courses as well. All of the courses are online so you will need a computer to go through the program.

This is an interactive language learning program. It is divided into units, each made up of 6 lessons. Each unit is introduced through a story being read to the child, followed by vocabulary practices and speaking labs. the remaining lessons allow for the child to review and practice the vocabulary. There is lots of repetition to allow the child to really master the vocabulary. The course is geared toward vocabulary acquisition and speaking fluency skills acquisition. This is accomplished through immersion and the aid of the starting story.

The story being used are familiar ones so that the child is not lost even if he does not understand all the words. He can still have an idea of what is being said. Examples: Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast.

The exercises consist mainly of drag and drop and matching exercises, easy to manage for younger kids. The instructions are in English which makes it easier for the child to work on the course independently.

The speaking lab consists of repeating vocabulary and recording oneself. You even get to hear yourself afterwards. I wish it was self-correcting though.

Each lesson and unit ends with quizzes. All the quizzes and tests are graded and kept on file.

It is important to note that the program involves a lot of oral repetition from the student, so a microphone (built-in or external) is necessary to have the maximum benefit from the program. MY son actually had fun hearing himself repeat the words and expressions.

I had my 4th grader go through the first semester of the Elementary (grade 3-5) French course. He worked on it daily (4 times a week). Middlebury's recommendation for this level is 2-3 times a week. My son did not mind doing it on a daily basis. He was able to go through the course with very minimal help from me.

We found the elementary level pretty easy, but my son has had earlier exposure to French, so we ended up skipping some sections. This program does not require you to have any prerequisites and the elementary levels teaches basics words and phrases such as greetings, numbers, family numbers, and parts of the body to name a few topics.

What we like about Middlebury Interactive Languages:

  • Easy to use and navigate.
  • Interactive and engaging.
  • Interesting stories and catchy songs.
  • Whole language learning.
  • Variety of exercises with immediate feedback.
  • You have access to the quizzes for review.

Price is for one semester (6 months - 45 days of content)

$119 without a teacher. You can add a teacher (for help and support) to your subscription for an total cost of $175.

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