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ERIC Number: EJ850546
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-15
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Speak Easy: Multimedia Tools Bring Language Learning Straight to the Learner, Anytime, Anyplace--and Put the Library at the Center
Hoffert, Barbara
Library Journal, v134 n12 p22-25 Jul 2009
How does one learn a second language? By drilling on conjugations? By practicing dialog? For decades, though the recommended method kept changing, linguists tended to argue that there was only one best way to learn French or Spanish or Hindi. But no more. Now, linguists agree that there's more than one way to learn a new language effectively and that different people in fact learn languages differently. Certain methods simply work better for some learners than others. In the end, acquiring a new language is a more nuanced process that anyone thought, and most people benefit from a setting that maximizes the varied types of learning experiences from which to choose. Language-learning tools have become increasingly popular at public and academic libraries in America--for both native-born English speakers eager to learn another language and foreign-born Americans hoping to polish their ESL skills. But if linguists are right that there's no single best way to learn a language, then there's no single best tool librarians should acquire for patrons embarking on a course of study. What's more, if they truly want to serve those patrons, librarians should strive to create a rich learning environment boasting a whole array of tools. There's plenty librarians can do to facilitate language learning in their communities without breaking the bank--or losing their minds. Initially, their job is to create a multimedia environment rich in opportunities for different kinds of learners. Whether they're licensing an exciting new generation of online products that make learning a multidimensional experience or ushering patrons to social-networking tools that invite chats with native speakers, librarians can help orchestrate the learning experience. Language learning is an ongoing process that requires commitment and, for the best results, a range of tools addressing different learners' needs. In this article, the author presents some language-learning tools that are excellent starting points.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A