Middlebury Interactive Languages sent us a subscription to Middle School French Year 1, Grades 6-8 from their French Courses to review. This is Ceesa's first year studying French, so we felt that Middle School Year 1 would be the perfect starting point for her.
What is it
Middlebury Interactive Language's Middle School French program is set up like a slide show. The student clicks on the slide and listens, answers questions, records her own voice speaking French, reads French, writes French, and practices different components as she works through the slides.
- authentic, simple conversations with prompts
- application of the language in common situations
- multimedia activities and exercises
- vocabulary themes
- grammar concepts
- sentence structure
- provides individual progress
- French speaking countries information
- cultural information (history, food, and literature)
- additional projects
Ceesa worked independently four times a week for about 20 minutes a day during our review period. She would work at her own pace throughout the units. I didn't set up time constraints for how much she had to accomplish , but I wanted her to feel comfortable and competent in her understanding. So as she worked, she chose when to move forward and when to review the material. At the time of writing for this review, she was at the beginning of unit 2 (she worked on the program for 5 weeks).
Since she worked independently, I would check in with her progress from time to time. But she is a very self-motivated learner, so I do not need to constantly watch over her. I just let her work.
After the first week, she was speaking French with one of her friends that has already taken a year of French. Her friend was very impressed with how much she knew and how well she spoke it and wondered what program she was using.
What We Think
I like that the program has the student listening to French from the very beginning. Sometimes I feel like programs do not include enough listening and every aspect of this program has French spoken.
Ceesa reports that she likes how the program is set up because she has not found a language program that has worked for her. "Middlebury gives me the vocabulary to listen to and then there are exercises to do, so that I am actually working with the words. The talking station helps me compare how I say the words to how I should say them. Repeating the words helps me to remember them."
In Unit 1, there was a conversation between a new girl and a boy asking her out on a date. Personally, for our family, we would have preferred a different context for conversation. However, that is our thoughts and may not have any bearing on another family.
We recommend Middle School French 1 for those of you who want to learn French or have a child that wants to learn French without the need for additional teaching from a parent or someone else.
Ceesa will continue using the program as her main French course 4 times a week until she completes the it.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,
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