Thursday, October 11, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [adult]


I’m not sure about you, but when I travel to a place where English is not the first language, I get a little nervous. I’m concerned about whether or not I will be able to effectively communicate the basics such as: Hello, Goodbye, Thank you, and Where is the washroom? 

Luckily, the Stratford Public Library has recently gained access to a new foreign language database called Powerspeak Languages.   This web tool is a fun and easy way to learn a new language for travel, business, school, or even just for personal enrichment.  Through Powerspeak, members of SPL can choose to study one of five foreign languages: French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and English as a second language for Spanish speakers. 
This interactive program includes pictures, matching, listening, music, sentence construction, games and more. Lessons begin simply and gradually increase in difficulty as you move through the program. Powerspeak allows you to not only hear the words, but also lets you record yourself speaking new words so that you can play them back and compare your pronunciation. 

To access Powerspeak visit the library website at www.stratford.library.on.ca, click on Online Tools and then Databases. Under Languages you will find the link to Powerspeak Languages. Outside the library you will be prompted for your Stratford Public Library card number. Once you have logged in, select the language you want to learn and get started right away. When you are done for the day, create an account to save your progression.

Try it out. We’d love to hear what you think. If you have a question about how to use Powerspeak, stop by the Stratford Public Library and one of our staff members will be happy to help you out. 

Krista Robinson, Acting Systems Librarian

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