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Conquering your language learning New Year’s resolution

By Kristen Thomas

Rowan Public Library

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to learn a new language, but that can be hard when you don’t know what resources are available to you. Thankfully, with the Internet and your library card, it’s easier to gain access to those resources than ever before. No matter your learning style there’s something to help you reach your goal.

If you’re someone who prefers guided learning or a classroom setting, the Gale Courses have several different language courses available. There are introductory courses, courses to help you gain basic conversational skills and even Spanish for medical professionals.

While most of courses are for Spanish and French, there are also courses for Italian, Japanese and even American Sign Language. These courses usually start on the second week of the month and last a few weeks, before starting a new session.

If you’re not someone who is interested in the classroom setting or are just generally more interested in setting your own pace, there’s also something for you. Mango Languages is a program that is more self-guided but also has more than 70 languages available, giving you a wider selection of choices.

You can even learn more than one language at a time, if you are feeling ambitious. It also has a mobile app for both Apple and Android, allowing you to learn from your phone or tablet. This is a convenient way to keep up with your progress and practice on the go.

But maybe you are not tech savvy or you find learning from a computer screen more difficult. Or maybe you want to supplement your learning. In all of these cases, we also have several books available for check out to help you on your language learning journey.

If you’re looking for learning aids, we have both dictionaries and grammar books to help guide you and provide context for your studies. We also have practice workbooks available to help steer you in the right direction, especially if you’re learning a language that has a different writing system.

All of these resources are available for anyone with a library card, and if you need help finding the right materials for you, don’t be afraid to ask. Both the Gale Courses and Mango Languages can be found them through our website, under Services & Support – just make sure you have your library card and PIN handy beforehand.

Under Services & Support, you should see a link to the Gale Courses, which will take you directly there. Mango Languages is available through NC Live, so first click on NC Live and then scroll until you find Language Learning. You can either call your local branch or come in and ask a librarian. We always love to help our patrons reach their goals.

Holiday closings: All branches will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Regular hours resume Tuesday.

Sensory Storytime: Jan. 23, 10:30 a.m., East; Jan. 24, 10:30 a.m., South. This interactive, 30-minute storytime involves books, songs and movement and is designed for those with autism and/or sensory challenges. All ages and those of all abilities are welcome. For questions or to make accessibility arrangements, call 704-216-7842 (East) or 704-216-7728 (South).

Fairy Tale Tea Party: Headquarters, Jan. 26, 11 a.m.-noon. Come dressed in your best outfits, and enjoy some sweet treats fit for royalty. 

Silent Library: Tuesday, 4-5:30 p.m., headquarters; Jan. 24, 4-5:30 p.m., South; Thursday, 4-5 p.m., East. Based on the game show, teens will have to stay completely silent through a series of random challenges.

Chapter Chats: East, Jan. 22, 5:15-6 p.m. Weekly book club for teens 14-17, intended primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. For more details, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Resume clinic: Headquarters, Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. Join us for a one-hour session dedicated to helping individuals create, edit or revise their resumes. Appropriate for middle school ages and up. Meet in computer lab on second floor. For more details, call 704-216-8242.

Lunch at the Library: East, Jan. 26, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a clean, Wi-Fi-accessible, peaceful place to enjoy your lunch. The East Branch meeting room will be open. Lunch not provided, but tables, chairs and ambiance supplied. While in the library, check out upcoming programs and free resources. For more details, call 704-216-7840.

Let’s Be a Team in 2019: East, Tuesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Ages 18 and up are invited to start 2019 off right by exercising skills such as public speaking, problem-solving, decision-making and effective communicating by participating in fun group games and activities. Teamwork skills are useful in academic, social and professional settings, making you a more effective member of your group, family, committee or team. For more information, call 704-216-7840.

Displays: Headquarters, West Rowan High School student art from art class and ‘Stars’ by Salisbury Symphony; East, dolls by Patricia Hollifield; South, South Rowan High School art class artwork.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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