My oldest (5th grade/10 years old) has been taking Chinese for a couple of years now, and has used Middlebury Interactive Languages in the past for reviews also (Elementary Chinese 1 (Grades 3-5)) twice! (Review 1 & Review 2).
This course is at a much more simple level than the one we reviewed in the past. It took a few courses with me helping, and now he can basically navigate the course by himself. I also noticed several improvements to the format (that were issues I had in past reviews). The first is is is MUCH easier to get to the next course. Straight from the homes screen they have a next lesson choice. They also show which lesson you should be on according to the calendar, the classes are assigned one a day, 5 days a week. Previously it was difficult to find which lesson you were on, if you were not following their calendar schedule. This has been SOLVED! Yeah!
Another improvement is that if you use the Table of Contents to navigate lessons, you can easily see which lessons you have completed with check marks by them! If I remember correctly, this was NOT the case before! Great improvement!
This more of an introduction class to Chinese, they will be no means be fluent afterwards, BUT they do use games, videos, songs, and immersion to teach the concepts. There are printable vocabulary sheets, words to songs, translations to the videos (all helpful things for the parent who does not speak the language and is trying to assist in these lessons!).
There are speaking lessons, however, it is an extra cost to have these checked by a teacher, we did not have this option. It did help my son to listen, record and listen to compare, however.
I should probably point out that this was used by my difficult child (if you have read my reviews before, you know what I’m talking about). He has been very excited about this course from day 1 and continues to be so.
There is a time limit when you subscribe to the course, they are only good for one year from purchase date. If used regularly they can be completed in much less time (ie this course has 70 days of lessons, 35 each semester) You also have the option to pay more for a teacher or to pay less for independent study.
Having used several Chinese language programs, I feel this is one of the best for YOUNGER kids, based on this course for this review. It doesn’t require the parent to know the language, the child can navigate it on their own (after some guidance), it builds a pretty good base and familiarity with the language…greetings, numbers, characters, etc… I am happy with it, and so is my husband (who speaks Mandarin).
Middlebury Interactive Languages also offers Spanish, French and German courses. Course are available in all languages Early Elementary through High School (with the exception of German for K-2).
It’s definitely worth looking at for your homeschool foreign language needs!
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