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December 4, 2013

Mango Languages arrive at Madison Heights library

Language-learning programs include film-based Mango Premiere

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — A collection of language-learning programs called Mango Languages was officially rolled out at the Madison Heights Public Library Nov. 21. Guests got to go hands-on with the software, which is now available online to residents of the city of Madison Heights.   

There are self-guided language-learning programs for 77 languages, as well as 15 programs for English as a Second Language (ESL). In addition, there is Mango Premiere, a new product of Mango Languages, which teaches language and culture through film.

“We’re also working with the school districts, in particular their ESL and foreign-language classes, to make them aware of this program,” said Roslyn Yerman, director of MPHL. “We’re also eager to work with community groups that could find a use for the product. We’re always willing to help people understand how to use these services.”

Any resident of Madison Heights with a current library card starting with the number 29029 can access Mango Languages and Mango Premiere through the library web portal, either at the library or from home via the Internet. The website is www.tinyurl.com/mhplmango. Users can bring their headphones or purchase a pair at the library to best enjoy the audio features of the software.

Currently, there are five films available through Mango Premiere, including such languages as Spanish and Japanese. The film lineup is expected to grow to 20 films and seven languages by the end of the year.

The films use dual-language subtitles so viewers can see the dialogue in both English and the foreign language. Nouns, verbs and the like are color-coded to aid in understanding sentence structure, and cultural trivia is incorporated to provide context to the language being learned.

“The hardest part for me has always been the grammar — what goes in what order,” said Sally Arrivee, head reference librarian at MHPL. “Here, you can see how the sentences are constructed, in addition to listening to them. I think that’s a nifty feature.”

Arrivee and Yerman both noted that Madison Heights is a culturally diverse city, with the library’s ESL collection proving to be a valuable resource. Mango Languages will supplement those ESL offerings and also provide an opportunity for those who want to learn a tongue other than English, as well.

Arrivee added that Mango Languages is also a Michigan-based company, and patrons can download a Mango Languages app through which they can access the software through their compatible electronic devices.  

“We’re hoping this will be a success,” Arrivee said, “both for the Madison Heights library and for the residents of Madison Heights.”

The Madison Heights Public Library is located at 240 W. 13 Mile, near the corner of John R, and can be reached at (248) 588-7763. Mango Languages and Mango Premiere can be accessed from the library’s web portal at www.tinyurl.com/mhplmango.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.