Thursday, September 11, 2014

Conversational Latin? Yes, with Mango Languages!

Mango Language Homeschool e-Learning Software
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I was provided with this program to review and was compensated for my time.  All opinions are my own!

We are classical homeschoolers over here, and I know many of you are too.  That means that many of us are teaching Latin to our kids.  The biggest problem with learning Latin is that it is not very easy to get a feel for how the language sounds.  With other languages, you can watch a movie, visit the country it is spoken it, or even just hear it spoken in the grocery store, but with Latin being a dead language you can't do that.

When I heard about Mango Languages, I was excited because it is a program that teaches over 60 languages by having students listen to the spoken language and repeat it back.   At first, I figured that the dead languages wouldn't be a part of the program, but I was thrilled to find Latin, Greek, and even Hebrew!

Mango Languages for Homeschool

Mango Language Homeschool e-Learning Software

Mango Languages lets you be as hands on or hands off as you want to be.  Personally, I sat with my son each time he did a lesson because he is only 6 years old, but if you have older children they could easily do the program themselves, freeing you up from having to teach a subject!  My son really enjoyed doing each lesson, saying the words and combining them into sentences.

First, you pick your language.  Like I said, there are over 60 languages available and within each language there are even different course options and dialects to choose from.  I think that it is really neat that you don't have to stick to one language.  While it would be smart to focus on one, you are free to browse other languages.  What a neat way to familiarize yourself with what is out there.

Then you get started on your lesson!  Some courses have pre-tests and placement tests (Latin did not, but I think the more common languages do) to ensure you are doing the right lesson, and curriculum outlines for you, the parent.

Each lesson is guided by a voice that reads slides and instructs the student what to do.  I love how simple it is to follow.  At first I thought I was missing something because I didn't really need to navigate to start the second lesson, but then I realized that it just knew where I left off and took me right there.  It even keeps track of how many minutes you child has spent on their language lessons.  It's nice to see that, as visual proof that they have been working hard!

Mango Language Homeschool e-Learning Software

How Does Mango Help you Learn Another Language?

Mango Languages teaches in a really nice, no pressure, confidence building way.  For our Latin lessons, the speaker would read a sentence and we would try to read it back.  Then she would break apart each word or phrase and explain what it was and we would repeat it again.  Sometimes she would have us guess how to say something based on previous rules we had learned.  If we weren't sure, we would guess and then click the button to hear the right answer.  If we thought we knew it, but needed more time, we would just add time to the clock!  If we needed to hear a pronunciation again, no problem, just click the replay button.  It is completely your pace.

From time to time, a mini grammar lesson was interjected.  These were helpful and answered just the questions that were starting to come up in my mind.  There are also cultural incites, given at just the right moment.

Mango Language Homeschool e-Learning Software

In Latin, the word order in a sentence can often be mixed around.  That can make it confusing to figure out which word is which.  Mango solves this problem by color coding the words they show you.  If there is an English and a Latin sentence on the same screen, each word will be in a different color and the corresponding word in the other language will have the same color.  Neat!  Plus, if you hover over a word, it will show your the way to pronounce it and even give you the option to have it spoken.

I give it an A+ for being intuitive and easy to use.

Here is a little peek at how the lessons go.  My son was controlling the mouse, so forgive the slow navigation =)

Who should try Mango Languages?

Have I mentioned that you can try Mango Languages for free?!   You can also use discount code: HS5PM to get $5 off of your monthly rate.  Or if you are really lucky you can win a Kindle Fire with Mango already loaded onto it! (Enter the giveaway at the end of the post.)

So who should take advantage of these offers?

  • Parents, Mango is perfect for you if you want to understand the language your child is studying on their own.  It is also the perfect way to familiarize yourself with a language that you plan on teaching your child.

  •  Teenagers who want to study a language on their own, or maybe even try out a few!

  •  Moms who want one subject to be taken off of their plate, or who just don't feel qualified to teach a foreign language.

  • Younger students who want to hear what the fruit of their labor can accomplish and who want to be able to say sentences right away (not just random vocab).

  • Families with multiple students who want to learn different languages.  Mango has it all in one place and you can register up to 6 kids in their homeschool program!
  • Anyone who wants to learn ancient Greek or Hebrew in order to study the Bible more deeply.

  • Classical homeschoolers who want to be able to hear the dead languages spoken and increase their ability to read original works.

  • Anyone who is planning on traveling to a foreign country.  Mango has it all, including mini courses designed for specific purposes like medical terminology or food.

Definitely take advantage of the free trial or jump right in and use the discount code (HS5PM).  Mango Languages would make a great supplement to what you are already using, or would perfectly fill the language gap in your homeschool curriculum.

Keep up with Mango Language here:

Mango Languages Kindle Fire Giveaway

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  1. I would love to do latin. Or maybe French.

  2. We would work on few: German, Spanish , Polish or Portuguese.

  3. This would be great for our beginning Latin learning!

  4. 2/3 want to learn Spanish, but my youngest wants to learn Greek and Hebrew like his uncle!


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