Your library card gives you access to not only our collection, but also our many online resources. One that I have found particularly useful is Mango Languages, at tool that offers lessons for 72 languages including popular ones like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese. You can also learn some fun ones like English (Shakespearian) and Pirate. Arr me hearty! That means “Great, my friend!” The program also offers other ways to learn like movies through Mango Premiere, offering culture-packed flicks to curious learners and foreign-film buffs alike, and Little Pim for lessons geared towards kids.
I will share with you my experience using the Spanish lessons. To begin, create an account using your library card. Next, choose a language you would like to study. You may then choose a course you would like to study. Spanish offers two basic units, Unit 1: Building the basics with 10 Chapters and 60 lessons and Unit 2: Expanding the Essentials with 10 Chapters and 123 lessons. Lessons usually only take 5-10 minutes so it is easy to knock out as many or as few as you want a day. The course also offers several specialty lessons you can complete alongside the main units for Legal, Text Talk, Medical, Business, Romance, and Spanish for Librarians. They vary in length with Business and Spanish for Librarians offering the most content.
Lessons are comprised of around 50 slides each containing a word or phrase in English the user must translate from English into Spanish before the time limit runs out, revealing the answer. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time, each section is played multiple times in several variations giving you multiple chances to get it right. Much of the material will be drawn from a conversation played at the beginning of the chapter, but it can also include related words and phrases. Narration accompanies all lessons to repeat the translation and the answer. If you have a microphone, you can use the voice comparison feature to check your pronunciation, though it may take a few tries for it to read your voice. Interspersed with lessons are grammar and cultural cues that give more information on things like grammatical gender, tense, and to not take unmarked taxies when traveling through Latin America. Once a chapter is complete, the initial conversation will play again and you will hopefully be able to follow along.
I have enjoyed my time with the course and will continue to use it in the future. I completed Unit 1 and Spanish for Librarians and currently chipping away at Unit 2. While it is not as strict or in-depth as other language programs like Duolingo, it is useful for quick lessons. Keep yourself from clicking the “Show Answer” button as much as you can to gain the most from your lessons. While this program is helpful, it should be used in conjunction with others traditional language acquisition activities and most importantly SPEAKING with native speakers. The library also offers a wide variety of books and movies in Spanish that make a great way to expand your Spanish fluency. As they say, the best way to learn is to do!