Those of you who've been reading here for a while know that my heart wishes Hannah and Katie could have retained their native languages. This review opportunity gave Hannah the chance to re-familiarize herself with some Mandarin. One of the beautiful things about online learning is that parents do not need to speak the language their child is learning. While China is dear to my heart, I know I will never be fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese. However, that does not mean that my girls can't learn to speak passable Mandarin. My hope is that when they are a bit older, I can take them to visit China. I would love for them to be able to communicate while we are there.
We were given a six month access to Middlebury Interactive Languages for review purposes. I chose to place her in Elementary Chinese 1: Grades K-2, the most basic of the options. There are also Chinese courses for 3-5 grade, middle school, and level 1 and 2 high school courses. Each level is a one semester course.
This online program is made up of videos and interactive computer games. There are printables, as well as quizzes and section tests, to track progress. It's user friendly, and easy to navigate, for both student and parent.
At any point, you can check their Grade Report to see how they're doing.
And you can find out how they did on specific quizzes and tests, as well. As you can see from Hannah's scores, she's not doing terrific at it, but honestly, that's okay with me. My goal here is to provide familiarization, and Middlebury does that, and does it in a fun and engaging way.
You can see here, Hannah is listening carefully to a portion of a song in Chinese, which she then sings into the microphone. We needed to purchase a microphone to use the program, but it was less than $10 bucks, and is easy to use, once I explained to Hannah that she had to make sure it was plugged in! (She went through a lesson wondering why it wouldn't play back what she was saying into the microphone.)
Hannah looks forward to doing her Mandarin lesson each day, and often reminds me, "Mom, can I do my computer time now?" When she reaches the end of the program, which is 35 lessons for this age group, I'm planning to have her go back and re-do the sections she did not score well on. I think sometimes she went on to the next thing without clicking the button to record that she'd completed the activity. Either way, the additional practice will be good for her. Once she has mastered this course, I look forward to checking out the 3rd to 5th grade level so she can continue her learning.
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