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Friday, March 14, 2014

Mango Languages Homeschool Edition Curriculum Review

Mango Languages Review
I've had the opportunity to receive 2 one year subscriptions to review this online foreign language curriculum called 
Mango Languages-Homeschool Edition.

Over the course of the past 6 weeks my youngest son DS12 and I have been working on their French program. 
Mango Languages Review

What is Mango Languages?
Mango Languages Homeschool Edition provides over 60 foreign languages courses for ages six through adult. Parents and students enjoy an engaging conversational style learning approach. The site gives you the opportunity to come together with other parents and students from all over to engage in your chosen language. Mango Languages has been around since 2007, starting in the public library sector and expanding from there.

You can learn anywhere and at anytime. On your PC, Mobile apps for iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices. Mango is not dependent on any on particular operating system. It is designed to work equally well on whatever system you currently use.

When purchasing this online course, you will receive one year access or monthly access, and depending on how many children you sign up will determine how many accounts are available to you. You will have full access to all the languages Mango Languages has to offer. There is no limits to the languages you or your student can partake in at once.

The website offers chatting in your language through the groups. We have not accessed this feature as of this posting but will look into further as we progress along with the program. The website is currently in the Beta phase so a lot of features were unavailable at the time of this review. We were informed that most additional features will be available April-May 2014.

Outside the foreign language lessons, you also have the opportunity to send e-notes to others as well as sending them a "Join Network Request" With the limited time and so much that this program offers outside of learning a language I've only used this feature to accept my children so I can keep track of their progress through the program.

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 After you've logged into Mango Languages you are taken to your Dashboard which you can see above. Here you will find four options to help you navigate and guide you through quick guides:

Managing Your Account Settings
Setting Up Your Profile Page
Selecting a Mango Language Course
Exploring a Mango Language Course

Under these options you can click the green button to
Find a Mango Course Now!

This will take you to the next screen which you will see below

Mango Languages Review
All the languages are here for you to scroll down and find one or more than one that interests you and your children. Just click on the title of whatever language you are interested in. This next screen highlights what you will learn through this language course. If you find this is the course you'd like to study then you'd click on the green button that says "JOIN THIS SPACE". Once a member of that course, to log in you just click the top right button that says "Login To Mango" Just like below...

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 Our family chose French European to study for the past six weeks. That will be the photos I will share in the remaining of this review. Outside of working with my son on the French course I also signed up to learn German. These are the only two languages that we've explored through this course at this time. I put aside the German lessons after the first week as it got confusing to do both French and German each day. Since my son is working on the French I decided to focus on that language for the review and continue on with the German lessons after this is posted. I'm looking forward to doing so as I've learned quite a bit in the short time that I've worked on it.

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Each time you visit to do a lesson you will see a screen similar to the one above for French. It states where you are at in the lesson and gives you a couple options on what to do. Resume lesson, take assessment or placement test or browse course menu. Each day my son resumes lesson.

For the French and German languages this course offers printable worksheets that help you in studying the language outside of your online lesson. It shows you what you've learned with an English/French or English/German side by side translation for reference.

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Here above and below are some samples of one of the french lessons. Here you are learning a new phrase that is spoken in English first. She then asks for you to speak it in French out loud. We currently do not have a speaker headset so we are unable to talk to the computer so I have no knowledge at this time on how that function works. I do know that she speaks English to us as we go through each lesson. There is a timer like you see above that ticks as you speak aloud the French phrase that is shown in English.

As you go through the current lesson, part is new material added to the existing material learned in previous lessons. About half the lesson is review, intermingled with the new materials to form sentences and phrases. The review portion is extremely helpful for my son since this is the first time he's been introduced to a foreign language. It helps him in remembering previous lessons. He is currently in 6th grade.

I've also asked him to take notes each day. A notebook that compiles the English/French written. This gives him the opportunity to write the language as he learns it for better memory retention. This is optional and not offered or suggested in the curriculum. I did find out that there is no way at this time to write/type any of the languages but they are hoping to include this in the future.

I took French for four years in High School and from my studies years ago, writing the words down alongside reading and sounding it out helped tremendously in my retention of the materials.

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Here you will see above the same sentence "How are you?" that the picture above said. This one shows the french sentence directly below with the option of playing it again with the boxes to the left of the french phrase to hear it spoken from a native. It also gives you an option to scroll over the other box to the left of the phrase. When you do this it pops up the phrase in a way you can read it and pronounce it correctly. This is a great feature for both the French and the German. The German sounds much differently than it's printed form so every time I learned a new phrase or word, I highlighted over this so I could see how it's pronounced.. A highly recommended feature.

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You learn phrases and sentences quite early in the lessons. This above was being taught less than two weeks into it. What helps my son learn this is the color coding. The English words above are color coded to match the French words below. Yes or Qui as you can see above mean the same thing and are colored blue to show that these two are the same. My son is able to distinguish between the two languages easier with this method.

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 Both, my son and I scored rather low on the first quiz. In Lesson 3, it was a bit confusing for us both. What hindered us was the lesson asking us to remember two ways of saying "You're Welcome". The lesson stressed they meant the same, but both actually meant something different. 

Il n'ya pas de quoi which means "there is not anything (to thank me for)"
De Rien which means "That's nothing"

But the lesson states they both mean "You're Welcome" and then don't specify which one to use or for what kind of sentence to use them in.

The quiz for lessons 1-4 was a bit tough for me as an adult getting a 62% with 4 yrs of French history. I felt the quiz was hard for the age range they say could be using this curriculum. They gave you two times to hear the conversation, then had to answer questions.

You don't get the option to find out what you got wrong to see what you need to work on, just a percentage. Since my son scored a 38% on his first quiz, we were not able to find out where he needs improvement and what he's not getting.

After I typed up the info regarding the scoring and quizzes above, I found out that this program of quizzes/scoring will be revamped. They are creating a better way to access the students regarding quizzes. In a few weeks you will be able to open a PDF file to print and go over what was wrong/right. You will also be able to see what you put/what you got wrong and the correct way it should of been done.

For my son, he loves the curriculum. He is speaking French nicely and has been able to go through the lessons without much issue. I'd love as a parent/teacher to know what he's missing when taking the quizzes so a feature to look back at the work would be awesome!  He is looking forward to continuing with the course for the remainder of the school year.

With the German lessons, I'm loving it.I love being able to speak the language in such a short period of time with sentences and phrases you will be using with real people. The first sentence I was able to say was

Schones wetter heute, nicht wahr?
(SHERnes VETa HOLtuh, hisht vah?)
Beautiful weather today, isn't it?

As you can see it shows the correct spelling of all the words on the top line. When you hover over the box to the left it shows the middle line, how to pronounce each word. Then the English translation.

 What is currently available on the site:

Over 60 different languages
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

Over the next several months, Mango Languages will  be introducing other exciting features like:

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

If you are looking for a fun way to learn a new language, then I recommend checking out

The introductory price for homeschool edition 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 will receive a special group rate which will depend on the number in the group.

They are offering a 14 day free trial before your payment is submitted. You will have the option to subscribe monthly or yearly. At this time they do not have anyway to convert your monthly membership to a yearly membership.

 If you are looking for more information about Mango Languages Homeschool Edition,  you can check out other crew members reviews of this product in the banner below. Just click it and it will take you to a list of others that have had the opportunity to use this product in their homes.

Click to read Crew Reviews

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