The Best Holiday Gift for Language Learners (Hint: it’s free!) Posted by Transparent Language on Nov 20, 2017 in Language Learning, Language News, libraries
The holidays are upon us once again, which means turkey roasting, cookie baking, menorah lighting, family gathering, and—for better or worse—gift giving. This season, don’t buy into the stress and chaos of finding the perfect gift for the language lover in your life. They only need one thing, and best of all: it’s free!
What is this magical gift that opens up a world of languages? Nope, it’s not all-powerful headphones that translate between dozens of languages. Forget about those. Give the gift of a library card!
Why is a library card the perfect gift for language learners?
Online Courses: We’ll lead with this one to refute any claims that libraries are dusty homes for books. Did you know most public libraries provide some kind of online database for language learning? We work with hundreds of libraries across the U.S. to bring 100+ languages to their community with Transparent Language Online. Best of all, you can access your account at home or on the go as long as you have a library card!
eResources: Speaking of learning online, most libraries nowadays have online collections as well. And it’s not just foreign language eBooks, you can also access newspapers, magazines, and more. The larger your library and the more diverse your community, the more likely you are to find foreign language resources in their online collections—just ask your librarians!
Discussion Groups and Classes: There are benefits to physically going to the library, too. Libraries often offer informal discussion groups or formal language classes, like our friends at Jacksonville Public Library, who received the 2015 Top Innovator Award in Customer Experience for their immersive language classes.
Books: Of course, we can’t forget to mention the books. Most libraries offer international collections, ranging from the most famous foreign novels to translations of popular YA novels. Whether you’re interested in interested in Don Quixote or Los Juegos del Hambre, your public library is the first place to look. (Bonus: they may also have language-learning workbooks that you can photocopy and use for practice.)
Other Lendable Materials: From DVDs to CDs to audiobooks, libraries have a lot more between the stacks than just books. Queens Borough Public Library, for example, is home to an International Resource Center that provides books, CDs, DVDs, and more in a dozen languages from Bengali to Italian. They also have inter-library loan agreements with libraries in China, France, South Korea, Canada, and Russia!
It’s not all about the stuff—as Black Friday marketers would have you believe. It’s about the space, too! From free internet access, to knowledgeable librarians, to a cozy place to study, the library is a language learner’s haven. If you’re not convinced, your local library has a lot more to offer beyond languages.