Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Learn Locally (@ Your Library), Compete Globally

While we hear a lot about the benefits of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education, what other skills do today's young people need in order to succeed in the new global economy? Many educators and global business leaders believe that exposure to world languages and culture—even at a very early age—is critical to students’ competitiveness in the 21st century. 

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's “Succeeding Globally Through International Education and Engagement,” report stated, “In today’s globalized world, an effective domestic education agenda must … aim to develop a globally competent citizenry.”

Most businesses have customers and locations all over the world. Chances are good that when today's students enter the workforce, they’ll be working with—or at least doing business with—someone from another nation, with its own culture and its own unique perspective, at some point in their career.

How can schools provide this important experience when budgets are being cut (or at least not growing) and/or they can't afford to hire full-time language instructors? What about home school parents? Are parents/caregivers expected to invest in an expensive language learning program (Rosetta Stone, etc.) in order for their child(ren) to stay competitive? Fortunately, technology (and the Fauquier County Public Library) can help.

Transparent Language Online with Byki, available through the library, is a rapid learning system employing spaced interval repetition. This innovative learning method takes users through a series of simple steps to memorize words and phrases in a new language, including their meanings and proper pronunciation, in the shortest possible time.

Online/Mobile Access
Transparent Language Online with Byki is packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing, and vocabulary building lessons for over 80 languages. Featuring top-of-the-line coursework combined with a free mobile app and extensive social media resources, Transparent Language Online with Byki is the most complete language-learning system available to library patrons.

Offline Access
Don't have internet access at home or prefer not being "online?" Try our Transparent Language interactive language instruction series via USB flash drive. Simply plug the flash drive into your computer, download the Transparent Language software and you're ready to go. No data plan necessary!

Over a dozen different languages are available through the library. These USB drives can be checked out, and borrowed for three weeks, just like other library items.

Free online resources
Check out some of these free online resources to supplement the library's premium Transparent Language offerings:

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

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