Mango Languages offers more than 45 language courses and ESL instruction in 17 languages. Parents and children who register for Mango Passport, designed to help travelers learn grammar, pronunciation, and conversation skills, can download the desktop application and then use the system without an Internet connection.
Mango's K-12 edition is a subscription-based online program designed for teachers, students, and media specialists. Like Mango Passport, it focuses on conversational skills; Mango Languages says it can be a beneficial supplement to school language curriculum. The edition currently includes more than 45 language courses, ranging from Mandarin to Turkish, and 15 ESL courses.
Mango Languages' impressive design features an interactive system with memory-building and critical thinking exercises that show kids how to put new words into practical use. Cards offer lesson choices and instruction. A narrator introduces each chapter's goal, reads sentences aloud, and offers positive encouragement like, "Don't worry if the conversation seemed difficult; we'll lead you through it, part by part." Users click an arrow to move to the next slide when they're ready.
Occasional cultural notes pop up to explain religion, common greetings, and other elements that relate to slang and language. Many slides also feature a Voice Compare option that lets users weigh their pronunciation against a narrator's using their computer microphone and recording feature. Mango Languages isn't free -- K-12 pricing varies. However, the instruction, which combines audio help and a format that repeatedly reinforces key concepts, can provide students with a multifaceted approach to learning a new language.
The K-12 version is a web-based system; students can access it at home or at school with an Internet connection, so you can assign lessons as homework. Courses, which would work well as individual assignments that students can move through independently, are divided into basic versions designed to quickly learn words and phrases and Mango Complete courses, which provide more advanced instruction. You may want to set completion goals to ensure kids are using the system regularly and encourage them to advance to higher learning levels. The K-12 version also provides a few educator tracking tools. You can set up groups of students, which are visible on the Mango Languages dashboard, and view individual students' progress.