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2013-11-11: Information Station Column

Language Learning Opportunities abound at the Sioux Center Library

                Sioux Center Public library is a great place to learn new languages.  This is evident by the groups who regularly use our facilities. On any given Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night, patrons enter eager to attend Spanish classes offered through CASA of Sioux Center and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered through Northwest Iowa Community College. This is also evident by our expanding collection of resources.  We house a wide variety of books, audiobooks, and videos designed to teach English as a Second Language and a variety of foreign languages including Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Italian, and Russian.

                Patrons may boost their language-learning experience with Mango Languages, a self-paced online program free to anyone with a Sioux Center library card.  After creating a Mango account, patrons may begin their second language endeavors, choosing from over 50 foreign languages or over 15 ESL courses, including the popular course ingles para hispanohablantes (English for Spanish Speakers).  Far from being bogged down with tedious verb conjugations or rote word memorization, Mango users jump right in to practical conversational skills, learning how to exchange greetings, use numbers and currency, and ask directions, among many other topics. Color coded sentences allow users to compare the target language and their first language, helping sort out complicated word order. Learning is also supplemented with grammatical and cultural notes.  Mango may be accessed from the library web page: http://www.siouxcenter.lib.ia.us/. Mango apps are also available for iPad, Kindle, and Android devices.

                All interested in learning more about using Mango are invited to the library for a Mango Exploration Night on Thursday, November 21 from 7-8 pm. This hour will include fun language-learning activities, chips and salsa, a demonstration of Mango, the opportunity to create an account, and a drawing for a door prize.  Attendees of this event will also be among the first to experience Mango Premier, the brand new product available for all library patrons, which combines language learning and entertainment through a medium everyone loves: the movies.  Come and let the language learning begin!

Melissa Hassman

Bilingual Services

Sioux Center Public Library