Mango Languages offers courses in more than 60 languages to allow users to learn, listen and speak their chosen languages. Courses for English learners begin in the student’s native language and teach English. The courses focus on four key areas of language learning: vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and culture. You can access this site through Potter County Library, or at home with a free e-card (you can register for one here: http://www.library.sd.gov/forms/librarycard/index.aspx#.UuFYy4Xnaig). The direct link for access to Mango is http://sdln.net/cgi-bin/authgate/index.cgi?db=man
I tried out Mango by selecting French as my interest. Before I "launched" the lessons, I was able to read a little bit about the culture. I learned that French is spoken by 77 million native speakers, and by 360 million non-native speakers, and it is spoken in 30 countries. I was surprised by the large number of non-native speakers, but it just proved to me that many people consciously decide to learn the "language of love."
When I launched the lessons, I decided to run through the "placement test" just to see what it entailed. I was asked to listen to a conversation, and then there were questions that I had to answer about the conversation, and finally, I was asked to put a grammatically correct sentence together. Next, I moved to lesson 1. There were 57 slides in the lesson, so it was time-consuming, however, there was a great amount of repetition, which I feel is a benefit when learning another language.
A few other features to note, were that a narrator will dictate every slide to you, or if you prefer, you can turn the narrator off and just look at the slides. I feel that listening to a native speaker is great practice when learning a language, so I really appreciated the narrator.
This site is a MUST for those interested in learning a new language, or for brushing up on a language that you may have studied before. Although it is time-consuming, it is very thorough and extremely easy to use!