I had the opportunity to review Middlebury Interactive Languages Spanish Courses. This course is available for Kindergarten through AP and costs $119 per semester without teacher or $294 per semester with teacher. We were given the without teacher option for this review. We reviewed the K – 2 level course. There are 35 lessons for one semester of this course and it is recommended to do two days a week for this grade level.
We enjoyed the fact that this program is interactive, colorful and the lessons are QUICK! Each “little lesson” within each “bigger lesson” is only a few seconds to minutes in length. This worked really well for my “attention span of a gnat” child. *grin* Buttt, we also did more than one little lesson at a time and would often finish almost one lesson in a setting. As you can see below, on the left side, there are eight “little lessons” within the first Lesson 1. For this particular lesson, since it was our first exposure to the program, we only did a few of the lessons at the first sitting.
This is a screenshot of the program. One of the things we REALLY liked was how you would click on the little speaker button (circled in red above) and it would read whatever was next to it. NICE to have when you are dealing with this age / grade level. (Yes, there are some programs out there for this age/grade that do not have that…always wondered why…)
If you will notice in the above picture, on the left in the unit / lesson area, at approximately the middle of that area you see “Speaking Lab: Greetings 1”. This would be where the teacher comes in [we did not get this option for the review]. This is where your student records themselves saying the words and then the teacher would review that and provide a grade. Once we found out we didn’t get that option, we simply skipped all of them in the future lessons. Although not required to use or complete this course, I think this would be an important part for the student…teacher acknowledgement of learning.
Above is an example of one of the reviews…the student drags the appropriate picture to the corresponding word. Again, they can use the speak “button” so they can hear the words (in Spanish).
We have found that “immersion” is not really for us – we have had exposure to several programs that use this method and it just doesn’t really seem to work for us. There are some parts where the Spanish is spoken and then the English but all of the stories are completely in Spanish. With this program, P kept asking “What is it saying?” during the stories in which I had to tell him I did not know. We both found that a bit frustrating.
Part of this program is learning Spanish culture – that was fun and interesting. Again, use of interactive learning was used.
Something I feel important to share, we did have several instances where the videos would freeze but it didn’t last long and although was irritating didn’t really stop us from learning. Additionally, there is A LOT of clicking in this program.
There is also a gradebook available for viewing. Sorry it is so hard to see and read. Because it is so wide I cannot make it any better for you. But it shows: activity, grading category, grade, date submitted, and some other columns that seem to be unnecessary. Overall for our grade level and our usage being “without teacher” we did not feel the need to refer to this area but it is nice to have for those in high grades and using the “with teacher” option.
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Read more Middlebury Interactive Languages reviews (the different reviews were on Spanish, French, German and Chinese) from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!
Here’s praying you have fun learning!