Hoboken High School

Hoboken High School’s emphasis on providing authentic content to students increases their speaking confidence and classroom participation.


Inspiring students to speak with confidence

In order to engage students of all levels with authentic French voices and promote self-directed learning, French language teacher Susan Kobylarz implemented Mango Classroom by Mango Languages into her curriculum. The results were improved academic performance, an increased ability to speak French outside of the classroom, and a cultural curiosity that motivated students to engage with the new language on their own time.

“I would not think twice [about implementing Mango], it really helps the students know the heart of another language.”

Susan Kobylarz, French Teacher


Varying proficiency levels and limited access to authentic content

With 12 years of French instruction under her belt, Ms. Kobylarz is no stranger to big promises from language-learning software companies. Having attempted to implement other online learning programs into her curriculum in the past, she found that they were ineffective and left students feeling like learning a new language was too difficult. “They were hard to use,” she said, “and way too expensive.”

Determined to provide her students with the tools they needed to gain confidence and retain a new language, Ms. Kobylarz was intent on finding a solution with authentic French-language content and a methodology that actually worked. “I felt like it was a disservice to my students to have me be the only French speaker they ever heard,” she said. In a school that emphasizes world languages and oers students several opportunities to travel and study abroad, she wanted to prepare them for real world situations. This meant she needed authentic French-language content delivered in a way that would also engage the students. Enter Mango Classroom.


A resource that provides authentic content beyond the classroom

When HHS partnered with Mango in 2016, Ms. Kobylarz immediately realized the program was uniquely engaging. The ease of use, variety of learning activities, and intuitive UX design was something she could see her students not only using, but enjoying as well. Diving deeper into the lessons, she found they were comprehensive enough to write the school’s entire French curriculum around Mango’s learning system. An additional bonus was the fact that progressing through Mango’s content, which is aligned to international standards, meant their proficiency would translate to real-world success — wherever their futures may take them. “It’s completely standards-driven,” said Ms. Kobylarz. 


Increased student engagement and cultural competency

When HHS integrated Mango Classroom, Ms. Kobylarz saw an overall improvement in academic performance. Using one of her favorite features, the Mango Admin Portal (MAP), she was able to easily track assessment scores and monitor student progress. She began displaying individual progress reports on a competition board, stoking her students’ competitive sides to see who could go furthest in their Mango studies. It wasn’t long before many students began working ahead on their own. “Students would come up to me and start speaking French,” Ms. Kobylarz said, “testing my knowledge about words I hadn’t taught them yet.” 


School-wide integration and broadened horizons

With progressive world language educators like Ms. Kobylarz integrating an adaptive, engaging, and effective blended language solution into their classroom curricula, students have a chance to expand their global perspectives while gaining the confidence to start the conversation in a new language.


Hoboken High School (HHS) is a four-year public high school located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with approximately 426 students and a two-year world language requirement. The school places a significant focus on not only language learning, but cultural competency as well. In 2017, HHS applied to become part of the New Jersey State Seal of Biliteracy program, expanding its world language choices and offering motivated students multiple pathways toward achieving the recognition.

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