Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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Prepare to Study Abroad Using Mango Languages

Learn a new language at your fingertips with Mango Languages
By Stefanie Banks
 

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language, but something kept getting in the way? If so, a new tool at the San Diego State University Love Library allows you to learn multiple languages from nearly anywhere.

In an effort to expand SDSU students’ culture, the library now offers a free online language-learning resource, Mango Languages. Currently, users can learn up to 11 languages including: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Italian, and American Sign Language.

Mango Languages gives students insight into more than just words. Cultural traditions and customs are also incorporated into the lessons.

Students preparing to study abroad may find this resource especially valuable because they can become familiar with the language of their destination beforehand; but all students are encouraged to take advantage of the program.

Features

Mango Languages offers unique features that will give students a further understanding of the language they wish to learn, including films that teach the language and culture. Another feature is voice comparison, which allows users to see how their accent matches up with the tongue they are trying to learn.

“Mango Languages is an interactive platform that promotes language learning in an easy-to-use and fun environment," Nielsen added. "Learners have the opportunity to develop language skills by using voice recognition, watching movies, taking quizzes and much more.”

Getting started

Inemesit Williams, interim assistant director of the International Student Center, sees a lot of students who don’t feel prepared to go abroad.

She also sees that students forget what they’ve learned in the break between their language courses and when they actually go abroad. Williams, who used Mango Languages to further develop the five languages she has learned, recommends Mango Languages to bridge that gap.

“I didn’t use Mango as a tool to help me prepare, I used it as a tool to explore other languages and also to test myself to see where I was,” Williams said. “I’d even go back to languages that I thought I’d forgotten and re-motivate myself to be enthusiastic about learning it again.”

Become certified

Mango Language users can earn a certificate for completing all of the lessons in a given language and spending a minimum of 15 hours learning it in the system’s database. Users have full access to all 11 languages and are encouraged to complete as many modules as possible.

Business Data Librarian, Jordan Nielsen developed the certificate of completion for this learning tool, which is currently available as a hard copy; however, Nielsen is working to make the certificate available online for users to include on digital profiles such as LinkedIn.

“Increasingly, employers want to see that college graduates have mastered specific skills," Nielsen said. "The certificates and digital badges will help graduates make the case that they have the skills employers seek.”

Students can take Mango Languages with them on-the-go since the program is mobile friendly, but they can also use the program from a desktop computer, including those in the SDSU Library computer labs. To get started using Mango Languages, students must set up an account through the SDSU Library.

To find more information about the certification program, e-mail Jordan Nielsen.