My high school student has not had the opportunity to learn a foreign language. When the chance came for us to choose a language course from Middlebury Interactive Languages to add to his curriculum we were excited to give it a try.
The choices we had in the digital world foreign language courses were; Spanish, German, Chinese and French. My son chose to learn Spanish, so we chose High School Spanish 1 for his course.
I will first give you some information about Middlebury Interactive Languages and what they offer and then move on to the specific Spanish course that my son experienced and what we thought.
Middlebury Interactive Languages
Middlebury Interactive Languages offers digital world language courses for grades K-12. The Languages you have to choose from are French, German, Spanish and Chinese.
Each course has the option of having teacher support at an extra charge. With the teacher support option your student would have a certified teacher guiding him in their learning by providing ongoing support, communication and encouragement as well as feedback in speaking and writing assignments.
Along with the regular elementary, middle school and high school courses they have fluency and AP® courses for each language.
When purchasing the course you have the option of choosing semester 1, 2 or both. Each High School semester consists of 18 weeks (90 days) of content.
High School Spanish 1
In the High School course the students focus on the four key areas of language study:
Each course consists of several units each focusing on:
- a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept
- reading and listening comprehension activities
- speaking and writing activities
- multimedia cultural presentations
- task-based activities that reinforce vocabulary and grammar
My son has no experience with Spanish and when we started the course I was afraid it might be too difficult. He wasn’t really into it, not understanding why it was necessary for him to learn a second language. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was in High School, so I kind of wanted to just push him out of the way and have a go at it myself. It looked kind of fun and I didn’t feel he was giving his best effort in saying the words correctly and taking enough time in each lesson etc.
Well, I let him go on his own for awhile and came back in to check up on how he was doing. He didn’t fight me in doing it everyday, so I figured he must be enjoying it some. When checking up on him, I noticed he still wasn’t giving it his best effort. The nice thing here was that we were able to go back and learn things over again, clear his answers and give it another try. It didn’t work to clear the answers on the quizes and give it another try, which was good for him to realize so that he can make sure he understands things before taking the quizes next time.
I liked that I could easily go in and check his percentage and see how he was doing.
After finding out that we could go in and redo some of the lessons, I decided to give it a try myself on the units he had already completed. I found it very challanging, where I really had to think and sometimes go back listen/read things again to learn it. I enjoyed it, feeling like I had accomplished something when I finished a unit. I especially liked to hear the language spoken so often, it was spoken as you would hear it in general conversation, quickly and hard to understand at first. I was excited when I was able to decipher what was being said and then try to answer them with what I had learned. It was also interesting to learn about the Spanish speaking countries, their cultural practices and how they each speak Spanish differently.
In one of my son’s lessons he learned why you would want to learn a second language, thinking about what career he may choose and how it would be very helpful to know Spanish in those situations.
I would reccomend this course for those interested in learning a foreign language. It was easy to get started and use as well as the convenience of having their work graded and easily monitered.
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