Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Middlebury ~ A Review

Middlebury Interactive Languages offers a wide variety of foreign language programs to help your child learn new languages. My 10th grade son had the opportunity to use High School Spanish I (9-12 grades) to begin his high school foreign language requirements. Middlebury offers digital language learning courses in Spanish, French, German and Chinese. The courses are offered for elementary, middle, and high school levels. Middlebury Curriculum provides the student with versatile implementation options in an immersive, online, interactive environment. 

High school students are introduced to Spanish by focusing on four key elements:
  1. listening
  2. speaking
  3. reading
  4. writing

Your high school student does not need any prerequisites in order to start High School Spanish I. Middlebury does have this disclaimer on their site, "Middlebury Interactive courses are not credit-bearing. We align our courses with the standards of the leading world language and digital learning organizations (ACTFL and iNACOL)."

Each unit begins with Unit Objectives. There are 36 units in the High School Spanish I course. Each unit is broken down into five lessons lessons. For each semester there is a midterm and a final exam. Each lesson is broken down into areas such as:

  • Warm-Up
  • Matching
  • Speaking Lab
  • Grammar
  • Synthesis
  • Vocabulary
  • Conversation
  • Listening and Writing
  • Pop Quiz
  • Teacher Tip
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Culture
  • Mexico
  • Pronunciation
  • Journal
  • Conversation Station
  • Task Based Activities

  • Automatic Grading

    Overall, my son is pleased with the progress he is making with regards to learning the language. Learning a new language is definitely time consuming. He has found that using a program verses taking an actual class does pose challenges. He is adjusting his pace in order to make sure that he acquires the necessary mastery over the language as it builds. Sometimes he has found it helpful to listen or repeat certain lessons or parts of lessons in order to grasp needed concepts to successfully move on. He likes the variety of ways that the program utilizes to teach the language. My son really likes history and geography so was very happy that these elements were included within the lessons. He does feel like not enough time is spent on mastery before moving on. He mentioned that the speaker speaks faster than he would like. 

    From the perspective of an educator and parent I feel that Middlebury does a good job at presenting the material in a way that sets a student up for success. I really like that the program automatically grades and keeps track of your students progress. Every once in awhile there were glitches where my son was not able to click certain things or advance within the program. Obviously, taking a foreign language on the computer verses a physical class has it advantages and drawbacks. 

    Back in 2015 my younger children had the opportunity to learn Chinese with Middlebury. They enjoyed learning the language. 

    To read more reviews click here.

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