Middlebury Interactive Languages {TOS review}

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Middlebury Interactive Languages is a company that provides digital language courses for grades K through grade 12.  I had never heard of Middlebury Interactive Languages before and I was very excited for the opportunity to review a one semester class with Emma.  Being in Canada I thought it made sense to start her off with Elementary French 1: Grades K-2.
Courses are offered either independently or with the help of a certified virtual language teacher.  We used this program independently.  The courses are completed through an online app, which you are linked to in your introductory email. 
The course is full immersion, so all songs. stories, and lessons are in French.  The only video in English is the culture video in each unit, which teaches something about a foreign country, related to the current unit, for example:  Unit 3, Family the song is "Je Dessine Papa" (I am drawing Dad).
To successfully use this program you'll need a computer with working internet and a microphone.  For more on the specific PC or Mac requirements there is a very handy FAQ provided on the website.
Upon first opening the course app you are taken to a clean and simple home screen that shows "Up Next" with a play button on the far right.
Before beginning your course you are taken through an introduction.  Here you will learn how the course works, what to expect, and given links to PDFs of the stories you will encounter, your vocabulary, and song translations.  These are provided in both French and English.  You can find them anytime you need under the table of contents, found under the tab in the upper left corner.
There are 12 units with the elementary French course.   

The units learned for this French course are:
  • Unit 1:   Greeting
  • Unit 2:   Numbers
  • Unit 3:   Family
  • Unit 4:   Colors
  • Unit 5:   School
  • Unit 6:   Review
  • Unit 7:   Body
  • Unit 8:   Animals
  • Unit 9:   Days of the Week
  • Unit 10:  Food
  • Unit 11:  Description
  • Unit 12:  Review
Within each unit are 6 lessons.  The app runs like a PowerPoint (slide), with previews of activities shown on the left and current work on the right.  When an activity is completed, by checking the mark in the upper right corner, the slide on the left is grayed out as shown in the example below.
There are a number of activities to complete within each lesson.  For example, there are puzzles, speaking labs, song videos, quizzes, story videos, or culture videos.  The student will need to drag and drop, select multiple choice answers, or speak into the microphone - which is all explained in the welcome unit.
Emma is only 5 years old and is at the very beginning of the grade level for this course.  As such, we have been completing the course together.  I found working with her beneficial because then I could learn her vocabulary as well and play with her throughout the week using her new words.

Each unit, at the end of lesson 5, has a worksheet for the student to complete.  So far these have all been suggestions to draw a picture related to the current unit.  Shown below is Emma's completed worksheet for Unit 3:  Family.  She was instructed to draw her family celebrating a holiday.


The calendar, found under the table of contents, suggests that it is intended that your student complete a lesson a day.  Most days this was no problem, but some days we would complete just a few activities at a time if she was struggling and then we'd carry on with the lesson the next day.  I do want to stress that it is a suggested pacing, as we are still able to work independently at Emma's pacing of 3-5 lessons in a week, never feeling rushed or behind.

After 6 weeks, Emma is currently in Unit 3, Lesson 6.  So far she's learned to greet, she can count to ten as well as say her age (her favorite part), and she can now introduce members of her family.

She loves her French lessons and looks forward each day to learning more.  She loves the story videos, her favorite so far being "The Bet of the Monkey and the Hare".  Even though the story is entirely in French Emma and her older brother both giggled through the entire video.  She especially loves the songs, asking to watch them sometimes 3 or more times.  The course has been fun and engaging and we love it!

We'd definitely recommend Middlebury Interactive Languages to any family looking to learn a second language.

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 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

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