Building upon the program introduced last year, the Fries Center for Global Studies will offer students, faculty, staff, and alumni access to Mango Languages, an online platform that offers instruction in over 70 world languages.
According to Mango’s website, the program aids proficiency by building communication skills; the program uses cultural resources, such as movies, music, and relevant phrases that language-learners can use in a real-life contexts to create an immersive environment.
University students with a demonstrable need for instruction in a language not taught at Wesleyan, such as those who wish to learn basic skills in a language spoken in their desired study abroad location, are able to enroll in a .25 credit course using the Mango program. Some of these languages include Urdu, Danish, Yiddish, and Romanian.
Assistant Director of Language and Intercultural Learning Kia Lor recently taught one such course for students accepted into the Danish Institute for Study Abroad Program (DIS) in Copenhagen, a popular destination for University students spending a semester abroad. The course offered a basic introduction to Danish, and encouraged students to further their study of the language using Mango. This semester, groups of students are taking a similar approach to learning Hindi and Farsi.
Professor of Spanish and Director of the Fries Center for Global Studies Bernardo Antonio Gonzalez is a strong advocate for the program.
“It’s crucial in any society for people to have intimate knowledge of different areas of the world, and not just in economically strong countries such as China,” Gonzalez said. “An understanding of languages and cultures in Africa, Latin America and South Asia, for example, is essential in today’s interconnected world.”
Gonzalez is currently learning Turkish, and believes the program can work for every type of learner.
Since the program is free, any member of the Wesleyan community can try it with no strings attached.
More information on the program can be found under the Independent Language Studies tab on the Fries Center’s Language and Intercultural Learning page.