Mango Languages [A Schoolhouse Crew Review]
I’ve been married to a Cuban for 25 years. I’m embarrassed to admit that in all that time I’ve never picked up very much Spanish, and neither have any of my kids. I think this situation is about to change thanks to the Mango Languages program. As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I was given the opportunity to review the Mango Languages program (Homeschool Edition.)
Mango Homeschool Edition is an affordable, subscription-based language program. There are over 60 foreign languages and ESL courses and your student can study as many of them as they wish. There is no limit to what they can access. Mango Languages is also mobile-friendly – use the mobile apps for both your Android and IOS devices.
Mango Homeschool Edition includes the following:
-Over 60 foreign language and ESL courses
-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
More great features are coming soon including:
-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
This isn’t the foreign language class you may (not so fondly) remember from high school. What I really like about Mango is that from the very first lesson, it is teaching the student useful conversation. No boring conjugation worksheets or vocabulary!
How It Works
When you subscribe, you’ll receive login information for the Mango Homeschool Edition. The first window to open will be the Dashboard which contains the instructions for managing your account settings, setting up your profile page, and how to choose a Mango Language Course. The Commons (shown above) is where you’ll find the course listings. There are 60 languages available from Arabic to Yiddish.
Your chosen language will be shown under Spaces. Once you’ve selected it, you’ll see this window:
On my Mac, using the Safari browser, the lesson opened up in a new window. I do get a message at every launch that it is checking for compatibility which can get a little tiresome.
Upon opening the lesson, the student is given the option to begin a new lesson, resume the existing lesson, browse the course menu or take an assessment or placement test if they’ve had some prior experience with the language.
Each lesson is presented in increments. It begins with an overview of the conversational phrases that you will be learning. They are shown in English, changing to Spanish after being spoken. (I’ve included a screenshot showing the progress.) The phrases are presented in increments, building upon the words in the conversation. You can select the phrase to be repeated as often as you need it to. If you need to practice a particular word, you just select the word you want to review; it’s easy to do as each word has its own color. Select the speaker icon to hear the word or phrase repeated. Cultural and Grammar notes are presented within the lesson. There is a quiz at the end of each chapter.
Topics are covered in Journey 1 of the Spanish Passport includes:
- Greetings, Gratitude, Goodbyes
- Inquiring About Someone’s Nationality
- Asking What Languages Someone Speaks
- Names and Introductions
- Getting Around
- Shopping and Payment
- Drinks and Dining
- Numbers and Currency
- Getting Help
- Asking for Clarification
We really liked having the ability to proceed at our own pace. We typically spend two to three days on a lesson and used the program three-four times a week. The program has been easy for my daughter to work on by herself and her dad says he is pleased with her pronunciation and her progress.
Mango Languages is an excellent foreign language curriculum for any homeschooling family. The program’s range is ages 6 through adult. I do see it working best for older children. There is a Course Guide available in the Files section next to the Journeys. They cover the lesson material but I would have liked them to have more visual interest. For that reason, I’m not sure how well Mango would work with younger children. There is a trial membership available so that you can try it before you buy.
We didn’t use the networking options such as forums, discussions or chat as my daughter doesn’t use social media at this time. I can see the usefulness of these features but we do have the benefit of practicing with native speakers at home.
My daughter and I plan to continue to use Mango so that we can become more proficient in Spanish. This is important to our family as my husband is becoming involved in Cuban ministry and our family caregivers have usually been Spanish-speaking. If time allows I may check out German as well as it was my first language…and I don’t remember any of it!
Mango is also a great option if you are planning an overseas trip and would like to learn a conversational language before you go.
Mango Homeschool Edition offers a free 30-day trial so that you can determine if it’s a good fit for your family.
Mango Homeschool Edition pricing:
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.