Middlebury Interactive Languages gave us access to their High School Spanish I online program for review purposes. Middlebury has Spanish, French, Chinese, German, and Arabic language courses to choose from, and although it’s geared for grades K-12, not all courses are available for the K-2 grade levels. Each course equals a full semester (six months) of work and are designed to be self-paced allowing the student to slow down or speed up as needed/desired. The High School level programs have 90 lessons per semester, and Middlebury recommends they complete a lesson per day which would take approximately 18 weeks to finish at that pace. The number of lessons and pacing varies per grade level. High School Spanish is geared towards grades 9-12.
High School Spanish I focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to bring a whole language type learning experience. The students build vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure knowledge, participate in simple conversations, and take various assessments throughout to track their own progress. They learn about the cultures as they are introduced to various Spanish speaking countries and communities along with learning about their history, educational system, customs, places, music, food, literature, and more.
The program uses the immersion approach and is designed to be interactive through the use of video, audio, images and text. For example, the students are given a conversation, and they are to try and figure out what it’s about based on what they already know. The students use various activities, practice prompts, tasks and assessments such as speaking labs, writing practice, flash cards, quizzes and tests, reading practice, and more to help them learn and use the language.
Middlebury Interactive Languages is easy to get set up, and then the student can log in and work at their own pace. My daughter prefers going in to the Table of Contents to navigate through her lessons. She studies the vocabulary, spelling and the use of the accent marks. The program gives you a file to print on how to type the accents on the keyboard. She works through each component of the lesson such as warm up, conversations, matching, speaking lab, listening and reading, writing, grammar, reading comprehension, quizzes, tests and more depending on which lesson she’s taking. Since we don’t have the teacher feedback course, she skips the recording for her speaking labs, and just says them out loud, repeating both listening and practicing as necessary to get the right pronunciation.
At first, my daughter found the navigation tricky, but the guide helped her figure it out. However, she found the Table of Contents to be the way she preferred for navigation. The program is pretty solid with having her learn the language as well as USE the language along the way. She’s enjoyed both learning the language and learning about the cultures of different places. She finds spelling to be the most challenging aspect, but feels that writing it out helps cement it much better.
The program seems to be well rounded and rich in learning opportunity. From clicking through it, there is a lot of learning that takes place, and I feel it is a pretty solid Spanish course. Overall, my daughter likes the program, and feels it lays a strong foundation for Spanish.
High School Spanish I is available for $119 (per semester) without teacher interaction. If you want a teacher, the cost is an additional $175 (per semester). These prices are for one student only. You can request a free trial/demo if you’d like to get a better idea on whether this will work for your child(ren) or not.