Last year, I had the opportunity to review one of the French courses from Middlebury Interactive Languages. I turned out to be one of my least favorite reviews - it just didn't work with my family and we found the interfacing for that particular class to be extremely difficult to maneuver. However, it seemed to be an issue only with the particular course that I was using - it was a new course and it still had some bugs in it.
When I was given the opportunity to review another one of their language courses, I wasn't absolutely positive that I wanted to do it - what if I disliked it just as much? Then I would have felt terrible writing a second review stating that they just weren't for us. I decided to go ahead and try their Elementary Chinese 1: Grades 3-5 to use with Ashleigh and I am very glad that I took a second chance on this particular company. Ashleigh has been learning a lot and she and her big sister have been spending more time together as they work through lessons together.
What is Middlebury Interactive Languages
Middlebury Interactive Languages uses an immersion approach to teach children of all ages foreign languages. Designed by Ph.D. level academics and linguistic experts, this online, browser based program is designed to teach students various languages from around the world. Whether Chinese, French, Spanish or German, this approach is said to be a full curriculum using the same techniques used by Middlebury College's language schools.
Online courses are broken down by both Grade and Level. Starting with Elementary levels for either K-2 or 3rd -5, Middle School and High School, Middlebury makes it very easy for students to start with a language early on and work throughout their grade school education to obtain both mastery and fluency of a foreign language using stories, artwork and songs as they learn to speak, read and write their chosen language.
How We Used It
I decided to allow Ashleigh to be the student for this particular review. Garrett has been learning Spanish with another program, and while Ashleigh has been learning Latin, she hasn't actually started learning a foreign language. Ashleigh was the one who picked the Chinese language over the other three options.
|Student Dashboard with Table of Contents
Ashleigh has really enjoyed working with this program, more than I have seen her enjoy other online curriculum that we have used. I think one of the real draws to this program for her is the cute drawings in the lessons as well as the ability to record and then listen to herself speaking the language in the Speaking Lab activities.
I have to say, I am honestly surprised at how quickly she has learned and how well her pronunciation is, considering Chinese is a fairly difficult language to learn. Because of this fact, however, we have taken a very slow approach with using this program and we tend to repeat lessons to make sure that she has full mastery before we consider moving on to the next lesson.
|Ashleigh practices writing her numbers in Chinese characters
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