Mango Homeschool Edition Review
Hallå. Salv? (hello, welcome in Swedish and Latin.) Reading those words and understanding them is confusing for some of us. Selecting a foreign language curriculum for homeschooling can be even more so. There is a fairly new product on the market. Mango Languages has released the Mango Homeschool Edition. I received access to the program through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for writing a product review.
Let me start off by telling you a bit about Mango. The company is in its seventh year. It initially was only available at libraries. Mango has grown to offer products for personal, K-12, higher education, government, and cooperate use. The big news is Mango is now available to homeschool families.
You may have heard of Mango since it is still available for free in libraries. There is a difference between the library version and the homeschool edition. The public library version only offers 1 level of any given language (not the entire course) and does not include the community features.
The homeschool edition is still quite new. In fact, I reviewed what you may call a beta version of the product. The nice thing about betas is you use the product knowing more great things are to come. What I will be sharing with you in this review is my experience with the beta version. Then I will add notes as to what I know Mango has planned in the upcoming months.
Here are some quick highlights:
- Mango offers over 60 foreign languages.
- There are no restrictions on the number of languages a person may learn.
- The program is intended for ages 6 through adult.
- The Mango Homeschool Edition is available as an online product.
- Mango works well on any computer operating system.
My daughter and I spent the first day using Mango as a time to orient ourselves to the member’s area. The dashboard had the information we needed to complete the process of setting up our account. We also had the option of creating a profile page with information about ourselves and uploading a profile image.
The next step was to determine which language to study. My daughter and I went to The Commons, which contains the course directory with over 60 languages listed. My daughter surprised me in wanting to learn Swedish. We went to the Swedish Brochure for an overview of the language course. The Brochure shows the Swedish flag, the number of Swedish speaking individuals (8 million), where the language is spoken (Sweden and Finland), and topics the student will learn.
My daughter decided she indeed wanted to learn the Swedish language and joined the space. After receiving confirmation of her membership, she logged into the course. The course pops up into a new window.
A dated post card with a welcome note greeted my daughter with an invitation to choose a lesson to begin learning. There are two units with a total of five chapters and 57 lessons. My daughter started with unit one on people.
The first lesson begins by showing the conversational and grammar goals.
The next card is when we began hearing a conversation between a man and a woman. By hovering over the phrases, we were able to see the English version of the conversation.
Each succeeding card shows how to say the individual words and phrases shown in the initial conversation. The speakers will say the words/phrases in English and then in Swedish. Clicking on the pronunciation icon allows for hearing the phrase once again and how to say the words.
There is also an option to use a microphone to say the words/phrases and do a voice comparison. We initially did not own a microphone but decided to purchase one so my daughter could use this feature. She liked attempting to match up her words with the Swedish pronunciation.
After the first day, my daughter did the lessons on her own. A nice feature Mango offers is my daughter had the option of resuming the lesson where she left off or selecting from the course menu to begin with a different lesson. She was able to go at her own pace and reviewed the cards as needed. She was also able to click further into the lessons when she felt she did not need to review certain words.
My daughter was able to learn more than just how to say phrases in Swedish. Cultural notes are sprinkled throughout the lessons providing interesting and useful information.
My daughter likes the following about the Mango Homeschool Edition:
- It is easy to use and navigate.
- Gave both sides of the language translations
- Pronunciation for each individual word
- Literal translation of the phrases
- Voice comparison
She does want the ability to have worksheets so she can write the language. She created her own writing project by writing on our whiteboard.
My son used Mango Homeschool Edition for Spanish (Latin American).
I noticed significant differences in the features offered between the Swedish and Spanish courses. Spanish has 3 Journeys, a placement test, course assessment, pre-tests, post-tests, four units, 30 chapters, 315 lessons, course guides, and a course exam. It is my understanding Mango intends to expand on the offerings for each language course in the future.
My son began his course by taking the placement test. I was disappointed to discover Mango placed my son at the first lesson when he has taken Spanish for some time. The test did not show what answers were incorrect so there was not an option to know what needed improvement. The staff at Mango is in the process of perfecting the placement tests so they are more accurate.
My son found the course more useful than the Spanish program he previously used. The voice comparison feature was frustrating for him. He felt it was useless if it was not going to evaluate for correctness.
My son is in high school. I have concerns about the Mango Homeschool Edition meeting the needs to count a course as a high school credit because there are no written assignments. Mango is in the process of adding features for high school and I am hoping those will take care of this concern.
Mango does not offer a grading system or a way for a parent to assess the student’s progress at this time. I was able to link my children’s accounts to mine. It allows me to see where my children are in their lessons.
Mango offers additional features:
- Progress Assessments
- 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
Mango offers their courses in a unique way in that it is conversational with a community-like involvement. Students have the option of conversing with other students who are learning the same language. Students may chat or send eNotes to one another. I do see the advantage of the collective learning. Individuals may help one another with word usage, answer particular questions, and so forth. We chose not to take part in this feature at this time but may decide to participate in the community in the future.
You might be concerned about your children chatting with individuals online and rightly so. Mango has taken precautionary measures in the attempt to provide a safe environment for all of their customers who chose to use the chat feature. All participants must use their first and last names, and all communication has a date and time stamp on it.
Mango has plans to add the follow features in the near future:
- 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
The Mango Homeschool Edition’ current pricing is shown as subscriptions. Each individual will have their own account (subscription), which will give him/her access to all the 60+languages.
- 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.
You are welcome to take advantage of the free trial to see if Mango Languages is a good fit for your family.
You are also welcome to connect with Mango Languages on their social media sites.
There are so many languages and features Mango has to offer. I am unable to share everything in one post. Please read the experiences the other Review Crew Members had with the Mango Homeschool Edition by clicking on the following image.