Christina Johnston, Weybridge Elementary
"Middlebury Interactive gives students a leg-up on Common Core in at least two important areas—the English Language Arts Standards and the navigation of an on-line instructional program.
Relative to the English Language Arts Standards, Middlebury Interactive addresses the four strands - speaking, listening, reading and writing—as well as the language strand. In particular, students' understanding of the reciprocal (expressive & receptive) nature of language has clearly been deepened through the Middlebury Interactive listening and speaking components, as has their attention to syntax and precision of pronunciation and their confidence to speak. In addition, students' interest and awareness of conventions and usage in English have increased as they have encountered them in Spanish. Finally, English vocabulary acquisition and use have been enhanced as students have learned how to learn vocabulary in a new language.
Relative to accessing an on-line program, students have learned to navigate a multi-faceted program designed to teach and reinforce concepts, knowledge and skills. Given that the national assessments are computer-based and that the standards themselves promote digital learning, the students' experience with Middlebury Interactive is invaluable, serving to extend their experience beyond more typical close-ended applications, such as research projects, games and drills. Middlebury Interactive sets the stage for students to learn over time (persevere), synthesize information, and approach an on-line program as a tool they can understand and put to use.
But beyond that, our Spanish program through Middlebury Interactive has transformed our entire school culture. While our Spanish teacher and technology have been pivotal to the program’s success, our classroom, art and music teachers all have integrated the Middlebury content into their curriculum. The language program has grown from being perceived as an enrichment activity to a core subject area that is increasingly integrated with and central to the rest of the school curricula. It has been transformative to our school and is unique in my 30 years of experience as an educator."