Transparent Language Blog

The #1 Tool for Remote Language Teaching: A Library Card! Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in For Educators, For Libraries

We’re less than a week away from the beginning of September, and you know what that means! Back to school! Or stay-at-home school! Or hybrid school! Or… this used to be a lot more straight forward, didn’t it?

Wherever your kids or students find themselves come September, the Unsung Superheroes of the Pandemic have got you covered. That’s right: once again, libraries around the world have our backs, and they’re providing oodles of free resources that can keep young minds learning wherever they are— and there’s no exception for foreign languages. Whether you need extra credit for your students, or want to explore new resources for your home, physical, or virtual classroom, these items are just a library card away.

Foreign Language Books and Workbooks

When you think libraries, you probably think books, so let’s start there. Whether your learners want to tackle a classic like Don Quixote, or read a YA translation of Los Juegos del Hambre, your public library is the first place to look. And it’s not just book books; your library may also have language-learning workbooks that you can share with your students.

Foreign Language Newspapers and Magazines

Many libraries make foreign language publications available, and this can be a great way to provide students with extra-credit assignments. Write-ups on current events, human interest stories, or even film reviews keep things interesting and help students learn relevant vocabulary.


DVDs, CDs, and Audiobooks, oh my!

Don’t just use your library card for 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. Some libraries even often streaming music and music videos in foreign languages. Los Angeles Public Library, for example,  offers streaming foreign language films as well!

Online Language Learning Programs

We work with over 7,500 public, school, and special libraries to provide online learning materials in more than 100 languages in Transparent Language Online. That includes courses appropriate for K-12 students and adults, as well as additional resources for teachers or homeschool parents:

  • For K-2, check out KidSpeak™ a whimsical picture-based course that introduces young learners to basics like the alphabet, numbers, and animals. Available in six languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • For elementary students, check out the Elementary course (available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish), which includes 60+ age-appropriate lessons covering things kids actually talk about, like meetings friends, picking out school supplies, and going to birthday parties.
    online spanish course for elementary students
  • For middle and high schoolers, look for the Teen Voices course (available in French and Spanish), which follows a local family through twenty units of conversations and common situations like doing chores and sitting down with family for dinner.
    online spanish course for teens
  • For parents and teachers using these courses, we’ve got printable workbooks, scope and sequence documents, and instructor handbooks to help you effectively implement these courses in your classroom, wherever that may be.
    transparent language online workbooks

If your library is closed or your learners are quarantining at home, don’t fret! Many resources are accessible online with your library card number, and you can often sign up for a card online if you don’t have one yet.

This has been a trying time for all of us, but at least during these next steps, lean on your local library for language teaching resources, and see if your library offers Transparent Language Online by searching your zip code here.

Keep learning a language with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

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