Thursday, October 1, 2015

A TOS Review: Middlebury Interactive (Middle School Spanish)

I have been sadly neglecting Josiah’s Foreign Language education this year. We’ve had a smattering of a few different language instruction of the years.  Josiah has always done better with Spanish. I have read that students with dyslexia (of which Josiah is) have more success with Spanish than other languages. What the teacher has to keep in mind is that they will learn the foreign language easier if they are taught with the same multi-sensory methods that are effective in learning their own native language.

Just in time we had the chance to review Middle School Spanish 1 this year from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

Middlebury Interactive Languages provides online courses in Spanish, French, German and Chinese for homeschool students. The levels are as follows:

Elementary School  - Grades K- 5th
Middle School - Grades 6th-8th
High School - Grades 9th-12th

What drew my attention is the interactive approach this program uses to teach the lesson. The lessons are streamed online and uses a variety of techniques. I really appreciate that native speakers are used to teach.  You will, of course, need a computer with a reliable online connection and a set of speakers or headphones. There are also worksheets that can be printed off as needed.

I mentioned that we requested to review the Middle School Spanish Level 1. This course is intended for students in 6-8th grade. Josiah is in 8th grade and has studied basic Spanish.

This course is divided into 17 units. Each unit contains 10 lessons. There are also review units and an end-of-the semester exam.

I found it easy to navigate the lessons. I do believe it would have been easy for Josiah to do for himself, but for the sake of all that messing around of time I just did it in preparation of his day’s lessons.

The lessons only run about 15-20 minutes. We did replay lessons more than once. I really think that being able to practice and review is vital.

Here is a common lesson (this is from lesson 1). 

This guide is found at the beginning of Unit 1 (Lesson 1). It is a vocabulary guide that can also be printed off. We didn't print it off. I think the beauty of the guide is that you can click on the green audio button and hear the pronunciation. 

The Intro identifies the lessons objectives.

The Warm-up allows the student to click on the audio button and listen to the pronunciation. By clicking on word itself a gray box will pop up with the English word.

This is interactive activity. I really liked this one because it allowed Josiah to do it as often as he needed to. 

There is also a Reading/Listening Lab. We don't have an option to record so basically I was Josiah's Listening Lab. 

My Thoughts

This is an easy program to use. There is little prep. We did move slower through the program than most. One of my concerns is that we wouldn’t be able to complete the course in a semester.

Overall, it is an excellent program. During the course of the lessons the student is encouraged to take their newly found skills out into the community. There are also plenty of culture education that goes beyond vowels and pronunciation. 

I have a special place in my heart for Latin culture and countries. I was born to Missionary parents in Nicaragua. I think it is vital that we learn to love other cultures and explore and learn. I am thankful that Middlebury Interactive provides us a great way to do it from home. 

You can connect with Middlebury Interactive via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews. 

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

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