As a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a complimentary membership for Middlebury Interactive Languages. Daniel (6) got the pleasure of reviewing Elementary Spanish 1 (Grades K-2).
Middlebury offers numerous foreign language courses, taught online. When you purchase a course, you get access to it for one year.
They have products to teach Spanish, French, Chinese and German- for ages beginner through AP high school level courses. For the younger students, there are 35 days of content per semester, so you can use it about three days a week to complete it in a year. For older students, there are 18 weeks expected per semester with 90 days of content for the student to complete.
Here are the components of the program:
First, the student is shown a cartoon depiction of the word. Then, they are pronounced in Spanish and English. The student then practices the words through matching pictures to words and recording themselves to review how they are pronouncing the word.
Next, the student is introduced to a video that is all in Spanish. This lesson reviews the new words the student just learned, and adds in some additional words as well.
Then, they start going through the process to learn the words in the video.
The student is able to move through the program independently, which is a plus with many children at different ages and stages. It keeps track of the student, how they are doing on their lessons, and keeps track of grades. I can go in and see their progress very quickly. The pictures are colorful and engaging. Although I was worried that the pictures (which were used to display greetings in a pictorial form) would be confusing for my students. How does one draw “hello”? But the children did not seem to be confused by the pictures at all. The pronunciations were a little tricky for the children, but fortunately I know enough Spanish I was able to help them. For example, the word: por favor is difficult to hear and understand the first time when learned through a computer generated voice, with no lips to look at while learning the word. This is where having a physical teacher can be a benefit to a student. Since I know some Spanish, this was not a big deal but I worry that if they did a language I did not know, how would we handle it?
Also, there are printable worksheets the student can use to reinforce and review the lessons. We did not print the worksheets because I did not find them particularly valuable at this age level, but here are some examples:
I do wish to add that while we did not use the worksheets, in the past I have often used worksheets that I printed out for the younger children who like to follow along with their older siblings and see that as something we could enjoy with the younger children. Also, some of my children love to color and do worksheets, so for those types of students I would go ahead and print and use them. These worksheets were intended for K-2. Since I did not use this with my older students I was not able to review those worksheets and see whether they may be more valuable.
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