While exploring the community library’s website in search of research for a grad class I was taking this spring, I discovered that the library has an online language learning software available for you to use. It’s called Mango Languages, and I believe it is comparable to Rosetta Stone. I have not had much time to play around with it yet, but I noticed it had a variety of languages, Spanish included (hint, hint), that you and/or your children could practice and learn.
To access this cool resource, simply log in to http://www.coopersiegelcommunitylibrary.org/ using the account number on your library card. I believe you may even be able to go to this page (http://libraries.mangolanguages.com/einetwork/login?locale=en-US&u=654028) directly and enter your information there.
A teacher note about digital language learning resources….
Tools like Rosetta Stone, Mango Languages, LiveMocha.com, and others get a lot of criticism from language learning researchers and teachers because they market themselves as tools that will help clients reach language proficiency (fluency). With what I have studied and experienced myself, I can verify that you need human-human conversation to truly build your speaking and listening proficiency. Only when you struggle to say something meaningful to you will you really acquire the language. When a computer tells you what to say and you repeat it, it’s neither meaningful nor purposeful to you, and you will remember less. HOWEVER — I believe these tools are a great place to start learning a language. They are great at building vocabulary and getting you started on your way to acquiring the language. Once you get to a point where you know a lot of words, but can’t say a whole lot, I would recommend enrolling in a class at a local university, taking private lessons with a tutor, attending free Spanish conversation hours around the city, or even taking a trip abroad to study in the target culture (immersion is the best way to learn any language!). If anyone is actually interested in pursuing any of these continuing language education options, I can do more research for you to find contact information and suggest schools. Just shoot me an email if you’d like me to do so.
Happy language learning!