3/17/14

Exploring Many Languages with Mango Homeschool Edition {Crew Review}

When I was in high school I took both German and French. In my home school, my daughters have explored Greek and are studying Latin. I’ve always wanted to learn Hebrew; Supergirl has a “thing” for Spanish and Honeybear? He’s been wanting to study Greek and Hebrew and refresh his German.

Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and Mango Languages, in addition to the above languages the girls can explore over 60 languages including: Russian, Irish and Scottish Gaelic. They can even learn Pirate. Five us us have been able to use Mango Homeschool Edition.

Mango Homeschool Edition Review Highschool Foreign Language

What is Mango Homeschool Edition:

What do you get when you combine a program designed for online community support and information sharing with a program that teaches conversational aspects of many languages? You get Mango Homeschool Edition. This version of Mango partners the Saywire platform with embedded lessons from Mango Passport. The resulting marriage creates a blend of individualized language study with the support of an online community also studying that language.

Mango Homeschool Edition: Mango Passport:

The actual language study lessons, quizzes and tests are accessed through Mango Passport. To study a language you must first join it’s “Space”.  As a member of that space you can then access the Mango Passport software, join in discussions through the forum, or download files.  (Please note, some languages do not have separate files.)

Saywire Russian Screen Shot for Mango Homeschool Edition

Lower part of Russian Sawywire Screen Shot for Mango Homeschool Edition Review

Mango Passport ( i.e. Mango Passport Russian, Mango Passport German) is the heart of the program. This is where students learn the language through online lessons. Mango Passport includes chapter quizzes and unit tests. (Note: Currently there is no way to track progress or see which questions a student got wrong. These tests are more for assessing progress. Mango Homeschool Edition will be upgrading this feature in the next few months.) Some languages do not have quizzes.

Pointing out two features of lesson in Mango Homeschool Edition

End of Chpt Screen Shot: Mango Homeschool Edition

I love that these online lessons include grammar notes as well as notes about the culture of the people.  Mango Passport teaches conversational phrases so students can begin using the language right away!

Grammar Note from French Mango Homeschool Edition

Mango Homeschool Edition: The Community Aspect:

When you log in to Mango Homeschool Edition you are taken to your dashboard. This is the gateway to the community. From the Dashboard you can access your Memberships (the languages that you join.), Your Desktop, Your Calendar and other tools.  Once you’ve joined the language (or languages) you want to learn you can participate in the forum for that space.  You can ask questions or share resources. This can be a great support for home school students who do not have anyone else in the family studying the same language.

 

How we used Mango Homeschool Edition:

We focused on using the Mango Passport lessons. Turtlegirl opted to start a Russian notebook and took notes during her lessons. Because progress tracking is not yet available, she kept a log sheet noting her chapter test scores for me to record in our home school records.  She worked for 30-45 minutes each school day.  She would repeat lessons as needed to master the material. She took her studies seriously.

Turtlegirl studies Russian with Mango Homeschool

Tailorbear spent a shorter time each day using Mango.  She started out thinking that she might need flashcards and used the Course Guide for German to create flashcards for Chapter 1. She found that she didn’t need those as the lesson format along with repeating as needed, helped her to master her vocabulary.  She has many languages she wants to explore including Russian, Pirate and a few more.

Tailorbear studies German with Mango Homeshool Edition

Honeybear has less time to study languages since he is our primary breadwinner and works full time away from home.  He did spend a few evenings working on Biblical Greek.  He made the observation that, because Mango is a way to learn how to speak the language, it does not work well for learning how to read or write a language.  There is no time spent learning the alphabet.

Turtlegirl Describes her Experience Learning Russian:

I love the combination of visual and audio in Mango. It's perfect for me! I also like that in every lesson, you get new words, and then a review of words from previous lessons. I like that they have you combine different words to make a sentence. They will say something like, 'Using what you've learned, how do you think a man would say, "This is my wife."' They also make sure to tell you when a word is used differently in a certain context. Also, they give you the literal translation as well as the understood meaning. One of my favorite examples is 'praschei'. The understood meaning is 'farewell', but it literally means 'forgive me'. They also give you a bits and pieces about the culture. Again using 'praschei', in Russian culture, you only say 'praschei' to someone when you never expect to see them again. I love languages, and Mango Languages is the perfect way for me to learn them!

 

My Thoughts:

On the Community Aspect:

I have very mixed feelings about the community aspect of the Mango Homeschool Edition.  Part of me loves that my daughter, who is studying Russian, has a place that she can ask questions or just have a discussion or chat with other students learning Russian. Learning a foreign language does work better in a group setting.  But . . . but . . . currently as it is set up now, it just has too much of a social media network feel. Yes, you can only access the forum section if you are a first member of Homeschool Edition and secondly a member of that particular language, but I am uncomfortable with the idea of forums, private eNotes,  and walls. I do like the ability to set up my own space for my students.  I can keep this space and all the communications within it private.  I don’t need these features, such as creating assignments or taking attendance, for my home school but if I were teaching a co-op I would find this very very helpful!

On Mango Passport:

I am very impressed with Mango Passport. I love that you can use a microphone, record your voice and do a comparison of your voice pattern to that of the native speaker. This can help you correct your own pronunciation.  I like that there are chapter tests and unit tests.  If I understand correctly, “Journey’s” are Units and Units are broken down into chapters and chapters are further broken down into lessons. There is even a test at the end of the course to gauge your progress.

I love hearing my daughters walk around the house practicing their language of choice. Turtlegirl will say hello in Russian and Tailorbear will respond in German.

If you are wanting to learning to speak a language, that is to be able have a conversation in that language, Mango Homeschool Edition can help you.  If you want to also read and write in that language, you will need to find additional resources.

On the future possibilities:

The creators of Mango Homeschool Edition have indicated that they are working on a Version 2 of the program.  They hope to have this version available by this summer. I’m looking forward to the addition of a feature that would allow me to track the progress of my daughters.  That I would be able to see what she has completed and what scores she has received on chapter tests.  Currently, using the account linked feature I can log in using any of the linked accounts (I have linked my family) which allows me to see when the person logged in last and which lesson they left off at. 

There is so much to this program and the creators and collaborators are adding more and improving current features.  I highly recommend trying out the FREE 30 DAY TRIAL to see how well this could work for your family.

Mango Languages Homeschool Curriculum Review Circling Through This Life

 The Details:

  • The Vender:  Mango Languages
  • The Product: Mango Homeschool Edition
  • Format: Online Subscription
  • Age Range: Intended for ages 6 through adult
  • Price:  *these are introductory prices and are subject to change*
    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
    *Anything over 6 subscriptions is a special group rate that will depend on the number in the group.
    *
  • Free Trial: You can sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial 
  • NOTE About Browsers:  I found the Saywire Community Platform to work best when I used Chrome as my browser.  With Firefox, I found some features, such as attendance in the space I set up, did not load correctly. If things do not look right for you in one browser, try another.
  • NOTE About Internet Speeds: When we started this review we had very basic “high speed internet” with speeds “up to” 1.5 mps.  The program worked but it often took a bit of time to load.  A few weeks ago we upgraded to speeds up to 12.5.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Mango Homeschool Edition.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

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