High School Spanish ~ Review

AJ has been using High School Spanish 1 from Middlebury Interactive Languages for the last few weeks and has really enjoyed it.

High School Spanish 1 is a year long online high school Spanish course. There are 36 weeks worth of work with daily lessons. A lesson takes about forty five minutes to an hour to complete each day. Each week the student is given approximately forty new vocabulary words that they are expected to learn. Throughout the week the students learn the meaning of each word as well as how to pronounce it. They are given plenty of opportunities to practice the words through different activities. In addition to learning the vocabulary the student also learns key grammar rules and how to conjugate verbs.

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AJ was excited to start the lessons. I had her copy all of the vocabulary words down into her notebook to make studying them easier, but other than that everything was completed online.

The student is usually presented with a set of eight vocabulary words at a time. They practice listening and saying the words then they go onto matching activities where they match the word to the definition or a picture that represents the definition. Once that is completed they go onto the speaking lab.

Learn Spanish with Middlebury Interactive Languages

In the speaking lab they are given about five sentences that use vocabulary that they have previously learned along with a few new words added in. The student listens to a native Spanish speaker read the sentence and then they record themselves reading the sentence. In the beginning AJ did not like recording herself because she couldn’t pronounce all of the words correctly, but now she is a lot more confident. In fact, she often tries to record herself first and then compare her pronunciation to the recorded version. I love that she has to record herself, because often when she is pronouncing something wrong and I correct her she says, “that’s what I said.” Now she can hear herself and see when she needs to pronounce something differently.

Learn Spanish with Middlebury Interactive Languages

When it comes to grammar, there are videos as well as paragraphs of information that can be read to the student to explain different concepts. After a concept is explained then the student practices what they have learned by completing short activities. They might have a multiple choice question, or they might need to decide if a sentence should use the verb, ser or estar (Both mean to be but are used in different situations. ) The student is given plenty of opportunities to work on the grammar concepts.

Learn Spanish with Middlebury Interactive Languages

Listening is another major factor when learning a new language. You need to be able to understand the words when they are spoken by someone else. This program gives your student plenty of listening practice. They are presented with different tasks throughout the week.

Learn Spanish with Middlebury Interactive Languages

They may listen to a paragraph that is read by a native speaker and fill in missing words, they may listen to something and have to check off any vocabulary word that is said, or they might listen to something and then have a quiz about it. AJ’s only complaint was that the speaker often spoke very fast. Luckily she was able to listen to it as much as she needed to to complete each task.

The student is also introduced to a new part of Mexican culture. The student watches a short video about Mexico and is then given a quiz.

Students also have weekly writing assignments where they have to write something in English or Spanish. AJ was afraid of this section, because she hates to write in English. But the assignments were not too difficult. She has completed the first 6 weeks of the program and hasn’t had any assignment that she wasn’t able to finish. Most of them ask her to write four to six sentences in Spanish using new verbs or grammar concepts that she had learned. She also had to research the Mexican flag and write information about it. This assignment was completed in some Spanish, but mostly English.

Most of the activities are graded. The student is given a point for each correct answer. The neat thing is that the student is able to complete an activity three times to try and improve their score. After they have tried it three times they can see the correct answer and have to start the activity all over. The speaking lab and writing portions are not graded. The student is given 100% participation as long as they attempt everything in the activity. I wish that there was a way for me to go in and grade those assignments instead of her just getting participation points.

With High School Spanish 1 your student will end up with a very well rounded Spanish experience. AJ loves to work on it and it is usually the first subject she wants to start with. I love that it is broken up into small activities to let the student practice. It is challenging, but she is able to handle it. I thought that this course would be ok, but it turned out to be a lot better than I expected. I think we will stick to this for AJ’s entire highschool Spanish needs.

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