One of my biggest goals for my children is that they learn to speak a language fluently. My Mom has a thing about Spanish, and I agree that it is the language besides English that makes sense to learn living in the United States. I grew up in England, in my school French and German were the only options. So anytime I can get a little help with Spanish language instruction I jump at the chance. Captain America loves Spanish and so when we were offered the chance to use Middlebury Interactive Languages I was SO excited. The program my older children use is just not user friendly for younger children like Captain America. We were given access to their K-2 Spanish Course obviously specially designed for grades K-2. As you can see from the chart below Spanish is the only language offered in that age range. However, French, Chinese, and German are all offered for older grades.
Each class is offered with or without a teacher. We have been using the 'without teacher' option which costs $119 per semester.
How we used it:
I mentioned earlier that Captain America really likes Spanish. We have watched TV shows in pure Spanish before so he was more than ready to jump into this program.
As soon as we logged in the program grabbed Captain America's attention. It uses a lot of cartoons and interactive features. The program is very child friendly. I sat with Captain America during the first lesson from beginning to end. However, within a couple of seconds he was working through the program all by himself.
We worked for a minimum of two days a week. Often more, I put a link on Captain America's laptop and he clicked on it and completed a lesson whenever he wanted, even after school time some-days. When Captain clicked on his link he saw a calender with a lesson scheduled each day. At first this was confusing for him. He soon learned how to find where he left off.
The K-2 Spanish semester has 35 lessons. Captain America is on schedule to finish these before the end of our 6 month time period. Captain America does repeat some of the lesson material, not because he needed the extra practice, but because he wanted to redo his favorite lessons over, and over, and over.
His favorite part of the course were the videos that are in Spanish. I loved that they were real Spanish folklore. I enjoyed watching them, and honestly even Jam and Boo came over to see. It is amazing how much you pick up from them. Captain America has watched some multiple times and can tell us the story even though he had only heard it in Spanish. He really is a little sponge and has enjoyed soaking all of this up. Although the video covers a ton of vocabulary, way more than Captain America understands, the specific vocabulary is highlighted in such a way that he was able to understand it and use it throughout the other lessons in the chapter. Each video is show multiple times throughout the chapter, whether in whole or part.
Comprehension exercises are also given, for example "What happened next" or "What did X say?" there are even exercises for the child to put the story in order using pictures. All of the exercises built on the vocabulary until he was able to practice saying the words while recording himself and then listening to his pronunciation.
I liked the fact that we could both instantly view the results of his quizzes. When he answered each quiz and pressed submit his score appeared in the top left hand corner. A green check mark appeared when all questions had been answered showing it was okay to move on to the next page. Captain America loved seeing this appeared.
We really liked this program. I know it's a winner when I don't have to remind Captain America to work on something.
If you want to connect with Middlebury Interactive check out the links below.
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There were so many languages and levels reviewed by the crew, you really need to check out the other reviews by clicking on the link below.
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