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IMCPL Unveils New World Language Learning Service

July 22, 2010

A new online language learning tool that is easy to use and uses multiple approaches to meet different learning styles is available at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library.

Powerspeak Languages is available to patrons who can access computers at any IMCPL location or from home through the Library's website. It offers instruction on the most popular languages, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and English ESL. In guiding learners toward proficiency in any of these languages, Powerspeak focuses not just on words and phrases, but on listening, speaking, reading, grammar and pronunciation skills.

Learners will find success through gradual immersion into their new language. Whether learning to order food, introducing oneself or asking directions, users of Powerspeak will find specific lessons that build upon their progress. One unique feature involves the use of adventure stories that require the student to demonstrate such progress in order to advance through the story.

Ideal for businesspeople, travelers or those seeking personal enrichment, Powerspeak uses a variety of approaches to help achieve proficiency, instead of using one method repeatedly. The new service can immerse users into actual countries to interact with their people and cultures, challenging them to apply what they have previously learned.

The innovative English as a Second Language component is beneficial to those of Hispanic heritage who wish to improve their English skills.

The majority of instruction is presented in an audio/video format requiring headphones. A small pronunciation component requires a microphone. Within the IMCPL system, only Central Library's 4th Floor Language Lab will offer this component.

Powerspeak Languages is not only regarded as simpler to use than the Library's previous online world language service, Tell Me More, but it also costs IMCPL $6,000 less per year.

To access Powerspeak, click on the World Languages link in the left column on the Library's homepage. Users must then log in by entering their library card number and PIN.