Foreign languages are something that have always intrigued me. I think that because most are so different from our English language, and a few are similar in their sounds. I think that knowing how to speak more than 1 language is great for brain development, and, let’s face it, it’s just darn cool. When I was given the chance to review Mango Languages, I was pretty stoked…not gonna lie. I had never actually heard of Mango Languages before, but I know a few people that had used it in their local library before, which is where it is typically used and has been in use for about 7 years. We were given access to the Mango Homeschool Edition, which is a but more involved than than library version. The Mango Languages program that is available in some libraries offers only the first level of some languages, while the Homeschool Edition offers so much more.
What is currently available on the site:
Over 60 different languages
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
Over the next several months, we’ll be introducing other exciting features like:
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
I chose to use our Mango Languages review period with Rachelle and Issac. They are 12 and 11, and I felt like they would benefit the most from it, and be more interested in the lessons. Mango Languages is recommended for ages 6-adult. I was also given access to a parent account so that I can easily track their progress, and learn some new languages if I so choose. I’ll go ahead and give you the cost breakdown:
1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year
I am told that anything over 6 subscriptions would be given a special group rate depending on the number of subscriptions purchased. Family packs are also in the works and will offer some savings for larger families. As you can see, there is a significant savings with a yearly subscription.
How it Works
Mango Homeschool Edition is pretty unique to me, in that it’s computer-based, interactive, and teaches you a new language in a conversational approach. There are more than 60 languages to choose from, and you can actually learn as many languages at a time as you want to. Originally, Rachelle and Issac chose to learn Irish. We thought that it would be super-cool to learn because of their Irish roots. I am going to be honest, though, Irish was very difficult for them. Even though the sound was very clear, the accent was pretty difficult for the kids to reproduce. So, after a week, I decided to let them choose a different language. Rachelle chose German, and Issac chose Spanish.
After you sign into your account and create your profile, you’re going to The Commons. This is where you’ll find the massive list of courses available to you.
Click on a language that you’re interested in, and you can see what the course offers. The courses are called “passports,” and here you can see what the Latin passport offers.
You’ll also see the different units, otherwise known as journeys. This will list every topic that is covered in each unit, and each topic is broken down into several lessons. If you decide that you want to learn that language, you will join the “space.” This gives you access to all of the lessons in that language. When you’re ready to begin your lesson, look to the left side of your webpage, and you’ll see Manage Memberships. This is a list of the languages that you’ve chosen to learn. Just click the one you want to work with, then click Login to Mango in the upper right corner. This will bring up a new window, so be sure to disable your popup blocker for the Mango website. You can then either start at the beginning with the first lesson, or you can take an assessment test if you are already a bit familiar with the language. You can also take a unit pre-test before starting the unit, and a unit post-test after you complete each unit to see how much you’ve retained from your lessons. Just the German course contains 40 chapters, and 549 lessons. The Latin American Spanish has 40 chapters and 483 lessons. The lesson begins by showing you a list of both your conversational and grammar goals. The first lesson in both German and Spanish teach Greetings, Gratitude, and Goodbyes.
Then you’ll see a basic conversation in English, and it switches over to the language you are learning. Again, the above graphic is a Latin example. You will then go through each phrase step-by-step. You can listen to the narrator say each phrase, and you can record your own voice to compare. This is a really cool feature! You can also click to see both the literal and understood meanings, because other languages are often spoken and understood differently that we’re used to. The lessons are very thorough, and you’ll go through each phrase extensively. Once you’ve completed the lesson, you have the option to move onto the next lesson, or to repeat the lesson. Another cool feature is that if you have more than one account, you can link them together and switch back and forth between them.
How We Used It
Whenever we try something new, I play around with it a little to see how it works, and then typically let the kids have a go at it by themselves to see how easy it is for them to navigate. I did have to sit and show them how to navigate The Commons and how to login to their course, but after the first time, Rachelle & Issac quickly adapted and now have no trouble navigating what they want to do. The recommended usage for Mango Languages is at least 4 times per week, but we’ve almost always done 5 days a week. Of course, they both work at least 1 lesson per day, but Rachelle has been known to do more than that without being asked ( I didn’t expect more than 1 lesson per day, that’s just what she wanted to do). Rachelle even made a German-specific notebook and has been writing down everything that she’s learned so far, and I oftentimes hear her practicing in her room.
Issac also very much enjoys his Spanish lessons. He frequently uses his newly learned Spanish skills throughout the day, and he and Rachelle will hold conversations with each other in their newly learned languages. As I said before, the lessons are interactive, and it’s great to hear the kids speaking their lessons as they’re learning. Not once have I heard the kids complain about doing their Mango Languages lessons. I just let the kids work at their own pace, and they usually do these lessons before doing any other work. There are also forum and discussion areas, but we did not use these as I don’t normally let my children participate in chats.
What Do I Think?
I am very impressed with the Mango Languages Homeschool Edition curriculum. It’s pretty rare for me to find something that my kids are eager to work on without complaint, and something that I don’t have to stay on top of them to get done. The ease of use is another bonus. They log in and happily complete their lessons. I love how involved the lessons are. I think they’re very thorough, and will help any child or adult succeed at learning a fun new language. I think my favorite part is being able to record your own voice saying a phrase, and being able to compare it to the narrator’s voice. This is a great tool for learning a new language, and much easier to do than having to just read something and wondering if you’re saying it correctly. I honestly cannot think of any complaints about the program. Everything that I’ve seen has been a real positive experience for our family. I said this on Facebook recently: “I’m not gonna lie…I wish that we could keep Mango Languages forever.” The kids love doing it so much, that I really think they’ll be bummed when our subscription ends. This may be a program that we’ll have to try and hang onto for a while.
You can also find Mango Languages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Be sure to click the top graphic below to read reviews from my former Crew Mates. We all reviewed the same program, but we were each able to choose the languages we wanted. Thanks for stopping by!