Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mango Languages


So foreign language is becoming the Achilles Heel of my home school; kind of like math was a few years ago.  It's one of those areas where you try different approaches hoping something will stick.
I had an opportunity to review Mango Homeschool Edition by Mango Languages.  Another foreign language program?  Yes.  I'm ready to try something new again.  I received an online subscription to not only Spanish language, my family's foreign language of choice, but many other language options.  You name it Mango has access to it - Arabic, Slovak, Danish...on and on the list goes.  Over 60 languages to choose from.  There are no limits to the number of languages one wants to learn.  You just simply subscribe to that particular learning community within the program.


Before I could get started on my new language journey, I had to view a 2 minute video to activate my account.  There a few other videos to look at to maximize your use of the program.  However, after activating my account I jumped right into the Spanish (Latin America) community.

My language program was divided into 4 different journeys.  Journey 1 covers such topics as:
  • Greetings
  • Names & Introductions
  • Shopping
  • Dining
  • Numbers & Currency
  • Asking for Help & Clarification

Within the journey, the material is further broken down into chapters with a review at the end of each chapter.  There is an extensive course guide for each journey which reviews all of the vocabulary, grammar, cultural notes, and common phrases. 

You move through the chapters like flipping through a power point slide. Learning words and phrases that build upon one another.  You learn full phrases and expressions by the end of the chapter.

Each community has several features you can take advantage of to enhance your learning experience.  There is a chat feature so that you can learn from or ask questions of others in the same community.  

We all gathered around the laptop and went through whole chapters within a journey together.  We all did exactly as the native speaker instructed us to do through each slide.  "How do you say this?, using your critical thinking skills say this"....so on and so forth.
I would add extra time on the clock if we couldn't figure out how to say something within the time allotted.  There is a lot of repetition so we even skipped through slides if we confidently had the new phrases learned.  We started Mango Homeschool edition having a lot of Spanish language experience so much of the beginning chapters were review for us. The girls also brought their Spanish notebooks to the table so that they could jot down new vocabulary to add to the growing list we've accumulated using other Spanish language programs.

Here is what we loved about using the program:
  • vibrant colors get you excited about learning
  • words within phrases are color coded so you can distinguish between Spanish words you are just beginning to learn 
  • Native speakers introduce each word/phrase ensuring proper pronunciation
  • Grammar notes during the presentation 
  • Literal translation versus meaning while learning phrases
After learning a series of lessons I wanted to keep going but my girls could only take so much new material at a time.   Another thing I love about the program is the constant review of information introduced in prior lessons.

Mango Homeschool is still in the beginning stages of development.  There are a lot of features coming done the pike that I wasn't able to use and review.  Having quizzes & tests that can be tracked for progress is in the works. They are also working on suggestions for high school credit.  I will be happy to see this added.  These features are of great help and concern to home schoolers.    

Mango Languages caters to other people groups not just home schoolers.  One feature not currently available for Mango Homeschool is Mango Premiere.  Mango Premiere is an immersion type of learning.   It uses foreign film to teach language.  They only have 2 or 3 films at this time that they would recommend for people under the age of 18.  I mention this feature because my girls love to look at Spanish language programming as another way to pick up parts of the language.  So although it isn't currently available for the home school community,  I would love to see this feature available in the future. 

This is their introductory pricing:
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

Subscriptions are for each individual learning a language.  It is recommended for ages 6 to adult. Mango Homeschool is planning to offer family packs, which will offer some savings. They have either month-to-month payments or annual payments.

Find Mango Languages on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook - See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/mango-languages-review/#sthash.WSkjMuXm.dpuf
 You can find Mango Languages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Find Mango Languages on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook - See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/mango-languages-review/#sthash.WSkjMuXm.dpuf

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