Mango Languages ~ Our Foreign Language Electives

The following is a review of Mango Languages completed as a member of the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Over the past two months I have had a little glimpse of how one may have felt after the Tower of Babel fell. All three of my children are excited about learning new languages. Since they have been learning with Mango Homeschool Edition, French, Spanish, Japanese, and now even Hindi phrases and greetings are said with smiles. I understand very little of what they are saying, but I love their enthusiasm about learning something new.

How my children used Mango languages:

My oldest daughter studied Japanese with Mango Languages. From her comfy spot on our couch, she learned how to speak some common words and phrases.

My cousin and his family are missionaries in Japan. They visited us last fall and taught us a few Japanese words including what they call their small fruit similar to an orange. "Mican" stuck, and now any time any of my kids want a tangerine, clementine, or cutie, they instead refer to them as micans. Her friendship with her cousin is one of the reasons that my daughter wanted to learn Japanese. I wish now that we would have had the opportunity for her to try Mango languages before their visit. She did have the opportunity to share some of what she learned when we visited with them recently through FaceTime. 

My 10th grader has completed four sections of Japanese, containing approximately five lessons in each section. She listened to examples of how to properly pronounce words and phrases. Cultural notes were another component of the lessons. Examples were given for when certain phrases might be used.

 There is not a written component to these lessons. Reading and writing the languages are not covered, however the Japanese kanji (symbols for writing) were pictured. She is not able to tell what each symbol represents. She is able, when told some words and phrases in English, to give you the spoken Japanese equivalent.

The program uses the Romaji method which is what you would see on signs and buildings if in Japan. The program shows you the symbols, but it doesn't teach them. As you learn how to say it, sentence formation is demonstrated. If symbols were also taught, it would be helpful if it showed how each symbol put together made the words then translated to English. Mango Languages teaches speaking but not reading or writing the language. 

She was delighted with the availability of more than one language at a time in the homeschool edition. After entering a second language to learn, both of her chosen homeschool high school languages were listed in her "membership spaces" and she could easily change back and forth. Progress is saved in each language, and logging back into each language takes the student right back to the last completed section. 

Because of her interest in Amy Carmichael, my daughter is also interested in India. Two languages were offered for India: Tamil and Hindi. Though Amy Carmichael learned Tamil, my daughter chose to learn Hindi because it is more commonly spoken. She has completed about 3 lessons of Hindi and is able to say about 6 phrases in Hindi. "How are you?" "Thank you" "good/well/fine" and "what's up?" are a some of the phrases that she has learned. 

At the end of each chapter, there is a review for all of the lessons in that chapter followed by a chapter quiz. One critique that my daughter shared was that after taking a quiz or exam (in both languages) she received a score but did not know which of the questions she missed (which she would like to be able to specifically study.) We reviewed a beta version of Mango's homeschool version and were told that the tests and quizzes are something they are still improving. 
"We have been working on a new process that will give all of the test results and allow the person to print off the results.  They will also be able to keep track of their progress and all of their work."  
There is also a chat feature which is not yet fully developed. We did not use this feature for the review. 

Spanish ~ 4th grade 

My fourth grade son cheered when I added his account after he watched his big sister using the Mango homeschool edition. He chose Spanish which he has learned bits and pieces of through various other lessons before. He has eagerly participated in the online lessons and created a notebook to help learn the words and phrases. He said the program did not tell him to make a notebook, but he did it because he didn't have room in his head to remember it all. (I did mention this is my 4th grader, right?)

homeschool Spanish

He seems to thoroughly enjoy sharing his new words as he learns them but did say it would be even more fun if his sisters were learning the same language as him. He had previously learned French with his sister, so had expectations from that. He said that he wanted to learn how to say each letter in Spanish, but the only one covered was the letter "H" which is silent. 

He has filled several pages in his notebook which he practices on his own. He wants to continue using Mango Languages to learn Spanish because he wants to go to Mexico one day. 

Before they speak, a "conversation" is shown in English. As the two people speak to each other in the language being learned, their lines change to that language. After they speak, you can change it from the new language back to English as needed. The program has you first listen to each conversation then it progressively teaches you the words in that conversation. At the end of the lessons, you should be able to listen to it with understanding, without changing it back to English.

French ~ 8th grade

Emily's opinion: "I like Mango languages because it jumps right into the language that you want to learn. Having a little bit of French knowledge before starting made it easier to understand. (She already knew the French alphabet and some words.) Mango languages has you repeat the sentences you are learning. You can record yourself and hear how you sound. You can also match it up to their recording and see where you need to make changes.

The lessons were easy to understand. I could see what I was going to learn before starting each of the lessons. Each of the beginning lessons have the same setup. In each lesson, I saw that there were at least 55 slides. It seemed like a lot at first, but some are quick reviews of what you have already learned."

très bien (very good!) 

Emily has taken off with her French lessons and been inspired to learn even more about French culture and foods. She had already assumed the role of the primary bread baker for our family. Now she has added French baguettes to her accomplishments.

Though she said that she can't think in French yet, she did share "I can say a conversation in my head." So, again, my kids have passed my expertise in another area. I am thankful that we have internet access and that they have been able to learn foreign languages using Mango Languages.

Technical details:
Mango has been in existence for about 7 years. They started in the public library sector and are expanding. 

Mango Languages offers online courses for learning foreign languages. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were given an entire year of access to the beta version of their Homeschool Edition. Accounts were set up to allow reviewers to link up to five family members including a parent account to track progress. My three children all used this program successfully. Mango Languages homeschool edition currently offers 52 foreign languages for English speakers to choose from, and they are still adding more. You may even learn more than one language at a time. Additional features are also still being added to Mango's Homeschool Edition. 

Multiple video tutorials were provided to help us understand how to get started with Mango Languages. I watched at first with my oldest daughter, then she was able to easily repeat the process to help her younger siblings set up with little help from me required. 

Some languages offered include both modern and ancient versions. First you choose a language and version to learn. 
The major differences between the library version and the homeschool version are that with the homeschool version we have multiple levels and more languages available to learn. The developing private forum and community features are also unique to the homeschool version.  

Each of my children's accounts are linked to my main account. I can choose to "login as this user" or just watch as they do their lessons to monitor their performance. Additional parent/teacher reports are not available at this time. 

Introductory Pricing:
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
A special group rate is available for over 6 subscriptions. The more people the lower the rate.

Ages: The program is intended for ages 6 through adult. Mango Languages offers all levels of coursework.

Operating Systems – "Mango is not dependent on a particular operating system. It was designed to work equally well on whatever system you use it on."

Find Mango Languages on TwitterPinterest, and Facebook

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are mine or that of my family. This complies with the FTC requirements.

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