Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mango Homeschool Edition by Mango Languages (TOS Review)

Mango Languages Review
Foreign language has been a subject that hasn't met with much success in our house. One thing I have figured out is that I need a lot of help in this area. The last couple of months Destini (14) and Chantry (11) have been able to review Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages
Mango Languages Review
Mango Homeschool Edition is a foreign language homeschool curriculum, which we used in a Beta form, is for ages 6 to adult. Right now they have available on their 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

In the near future they will be offering:
  • 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
Each language that we used offered three Journeys. These Journeys cover real-life conversations using vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Cultural notes are also included which help give the student understanding to the language and the people. Also included is the Voice Comparison tool which allows the student to record their own voice and then they can compare their voice and pronunciation to the narrators. Each Journey cover 10 topics or chapters. At the end of each chapter the student was given a quiz. Here is a list of a few of the topics covered:
  • Names and Introductions
  • Numbers and Currency
  • Addressing and Describing People and Animals
  • Foods, Cooking and Dining
  • Culture, Literature and Art
  • Expressing Thoughts and Feelings
Mango Languages Review
To access the lessons I would sign in which would take us to our "school's" dashboard. From there Destini and Chantry could access their own dashboard. From there they would pick their Passport language that they had signed up for. This would open up a new window and from there they then worked through each lesson. If they weren't able to complete a lesson in one sitting the program remembered where they had left off and started at that spot.

Chantry decided that he wanted to learn German. The lessons are quite long and so I let him split up a lesson over several days. The lesson starts off saying a phrase or conversation and then each sentence is broken down into phrases or words and worked on individually. He liked using the Voice Compare Feature which allows him to use your microphone to record his voice saying the word. While enjoyed using this he really struggled with getting the pronunciation correct. He is able to say quite a few German phrases and give the meaning of them, though he admitted he found it pretty hard to learn.

Destini has been working on French and took a break from what she was using to use the Mango Homeschool Edition for French (European). She was able to do a whole lesson in one sitting. Even though there are Course Guides for each level available in PDF, she preferred to write down her own notes instead of using those. She also kept track of her quizzes. One thing she really liked about Mango was that they reviewed words she had learned in previous lessons and she also liked that she could do the whole program with the computer and not worry about any paper work.

 I found I did have several things that I found concerned me. First, I found the Dashboard very confusing. The link to hit for the languages was not in view of the main screen and to access it I had to scroll down the page. Secondly, Mango is very much oriented for foreign travel, so I don't know how far this program would take a student who was really serious about learning to fluently speak a foreign language. The last thing would be the age recommendation. Honestly, I would have gone nuts trying to help a six year old do this program. Chantry is 11 and he found it pretty tough to do. Thankfully, it is self-pace, but a younger student probably couldn't get through as much of the program as an older student could without a lot of help from the parent.

I liked the independence the Mango Languages afforded my kids. Once I figured out where the link to access their lessons it was easy for them to access their lessons and didn't require a lot from me. I only had to monitor what they were doing. They soon will be adding the ability for the parent to check the student's progress and the time they have spent doing it, which will be a very nice asset.

Destini will for sure to continue to use this as part of her homeschool curriculum. I think with the other program we are using it will be a nice compliment to help her in her French language studies. As for Chantry we will see what happens. I think he is having a hard time deciding if he should continue in German or do Pirate instead or both. Who knows?

Mango Homeschool Languages 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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