Mango Languages

I have been on the look out for a foreign language curriculum since next year I will need to start counting credits for my high schoolers and I want them to get their 2 years of language started. We were excited to recently have a chance to review Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages

Mango Languages offers online language learning for many foreign languages. They recently came up with a homeschool edition that offers over 60 foreign languages with more being added. Some of you may have even heard of Mango Languages before as many public libraries offer it in a limited edition. 

How it works:
When you log in to your dashboard, you will see you have many things you can do from customizing your account settings (such as picking your time zone), adding things to your profile, etc. There are also tutorial videos on how to setup your account & profile as well as videos for selecting and exploring a language. They take the guess work out of this program & make it easy to figure out and use.

Then the next step is what the kids and I were all anxious for, clicking on "Find a Mango Course Now!" We were taken to a page with over 60 languages to choose from such as Mandarin, Hebrew, Icelandic, Thai, even Pirate, just to name a few!

The next step was trying to figure out what language to explore for each of us. I had had several years of Spanish in high school then lived in Peru for half a year, so I wanted to try a new language. I decided to choose Canadian French. 3 of my children chose Spanish as they had started learning it before, they also dabbled in Canadian French and Pirate.

Once you click on a language, the info on that page tells you what types of conversational language is covered in that course. The way they teach the languages is to teach you conversational phrases you might use if you visited that country which is a far different albeit better way than when I learned in high school. You have the option to try a demo of that language without fully jumping into the course. If you decide to take that language course, you click on "join this space".

Once you choose a language to join, you'll see you have special features to access in that language such as discussions/forums, a member list of who is taking that course, chat, etc. From this page is where you click on a button to start your lessons. You have the ability to see the course menu and start wherever you wanted (say if you had taken this language before & wanted to brush up on specific things) or just start at the beginning.

At the beginning of each lesson you are given an overview of what the goals you would accomplish during that lesson. See the green arrows on the side? You control how fast you go through each lesson and have the chance to replay each "flashcard" as needed.

Each lesson shares a bit of a conversation in that language you might possibly have while in that country then it proceeds to break down the conversation into small bites to learn.

We appreciated how the words were colored coded so you could figure out which foreign word went with the english word! If you look close, there is a little symbol next to the french phrase above. You could click that to have the phrase said over again. They broke this phrase down in even smaller pieces to learn and you repeated it many times during the lesson.

Another feature of this program is the ability to say the word or phrase into a microphone when indicated and you could match it up to the teachers voice to see if your enunciation & inflection matched! This was a great teaching tool!

Throughout the flashcards in a lesson, cultural notes also popped up sharing information in how you would use a certain phrase such as the formality or the gender of the phrase/words. Another nice feature of this program is if you have to end in the middle of a lesson or your toddler presses the power button on your computer (ahem), Mango Homeschool Edition is always automatically saving your spot in your lesson so you can easily resume where you left off instead of paging through a lesson to find your spot.

How we used it:
We each did lessons 4-5 times a week. Each lesson varies in length but I'd say we got through them in 20 minutes give or take. Some of my children wrote down the foreign phrases or words in a notebook so they could practice them when away from the computer. After a lesson, we all saw how much we were picking up due to how we frequently repeated the phrases which got ingrained in our heads. We also tried out some demos of some other languages just to check them out as you have the ability to learn more than one language at a time (no limit to how many you can use!). 

This online curriculum offers so much more than just your regular foreign languages lessons. It's honestly hard to touch on just every detail! Currently available on their website is:

-Progress Assessments

-Built-in journals, discussions and wikis
-Collaborative learning spaces
-eNote messaging
/chat rooms

-Access to embedded/downloadable content

-Support from other community members

-Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups

They also have planned in the future to add:
-Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring - including seat time (for students and parents)
-Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)

-Resume and Portfolio Builder

Are you looking for a great foreign language program for your family? You can try out Mango Languages for free! The recommended ages for this is 6 to adult. My 2 year old did pick up a few phrases that we said just from us being vocal about it.

Their introductory pricing is as follows:

1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total  
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total                      
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total                     
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total                 
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total

Anything over 6 subscriptions is a special group rate that will depend on the number in the group. 

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