Language Learning Software at the LRC
To encourage language learning in and outside of the classroom, the LRC offers a range of software options for language study. These software are available to all members of the Mount Holyoke community, including students, faculty and staff.
Studying a language on a computer can be a fun way to explore a new language, refresh skills that you've previously learned, or build some basic communication skills in preparation for travel. Of course, language learning takes time and involves a lot of hard work, and there is no miracle software to get around that. (If you are serious about attaining an advanced proficiency in any language, then we recommend that you enroll in classes while here and take advantage of any opportunities to study abroad or otherwise immerse yourself in that language.) Language software can also be a fun and useful supplement to your studies in a language course.
Software Available (links to details below):
- EuroTalk (French, Spanish, Italian, German -> create your own account -> use in LRC)
- Mango Languages (many languages -> create your own account -> use online)
- Mission to Iraq (Arabic -> create your own account -> use in LRC)
- Rosetta Stone (many languages -> request account -> use in LRC)
- Skritter (Chinese, Japanese -> create your own account -> use online)
- Tell Me More (many languages -> request account -> use online)
Eurotalk is available on Windows only (all LRC computers) for these languages:
- French ("Au Coeur de la Loi")
- German ("Ein Fall für Zwei")
- Italian ("Mio Padre E' Innocente")
- Spanish ("Querido Maestro")
The EuroTalk (also called "MovieTalk") is designed for intermediate to advanced learners. The MovieTalk software for each language is based on a classic film or TV episode (titles listed above) from a country where that language is spoken. In the software, you can view the film with supports such as transcripts/dictionary and then complete practice activities and games based on the language introduced. You can also roleplay, choosing a scene from the film and speaking/recording one part of the dialogue, while you hear the real character speak the other role.
Mango Languages is an online language learning system teaching practical conversation skills for real communication. Mango Languages focuses primarily on oral skills and offers a basic introduction to a range of languages:
- Arabic (Levantine)
- Chinese (Cantonese)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Farsi (Persian)
- Haitian Creole
- Spanish (Latin American)
To access Mango, you must click through the link on this page (you cannot bookmark the site directly). If you're on campus, it will take you right to Mango. If you're off-campus, it will go through an EZ Proxy page, where you'll need to sign in with your MHC username and password.
Once you're on the Mango page, you have the option to set up an a Mango account, to keep track of your studies, or just start studying without making a Mango account.
Besides studying online, you can also use Mango on their mobile devices. So far they have apps available iOS and Android. (Our subscription gives our patrons free access to Mango through these apps.) You can learn about these apps here: http://www.mangolanguages.com/libraries/products-overview/mango-mobile/
Rosetta Stone is a software-based language learning system, which is installed and available to use on any of the computers in the LRC. We currently have the following languages available:
Using Rosetta Stone
Before you can begin to use Rosetta Stone, you need an account. Just ask at the LRC main desk, and we will set up an account for you. When you set up your account, you'll need to let us know which languages you want to study (there's no limit, you may choose as many as you'd like). We can also add more languages to your account later on.
Access the Rosetta Stone software on a Mac from the LRC logo in the Dock, or on Windows from the Start Menu.
Note: Rosetta Stone does not work on Macs anymore, unless the speech recognition is turned off. However, this is not a problem on Windows. Any learners who got an account set up before June 2013 will need to have their languages removed and re-added to the course to enable this. This means that previous progress will be lost. Any learner account set up after June 2013 will have the option to turn off speech recognition.
Skritter is an online learning system for Chinese and Japanese characters. It incorporates two key features for effective study: spaced repetition, so that you keep practicing characters regularly and practice those you get wrong more frequently, and physical rehearsal, so that you practice by actually writing, not just reviewing them. Skritter offers lists of characters from most major Chinese/Japanese textbooks, so you can start learning what you need to know immediately. You can also create your own custom lists.
The LRC subscribes to Skritter, so any member of the MHC community (students, faculty or staff) can have a free Skritter account. These detailed instructions show you how to sign up (if you haven't created a Skritter account previously) or how to revalidate your account (this extends the date on your account if it has expired).
Skritter is web-based, so you can use it on any computer with an Internet connection, on or off campus. You can practice drawing the characters using your mouse, but you may like to try Skritter with a pen tablet, where you hold a stylus just like a pen and actually practice the movements of drawing. We have a pen tablet available for use in the LRC with Skritter, so stop by to try it out!
Besides studying online, our patrons can also use Skritter on their mobile devices. So far they have apps available iOS and Android. (Our subscription gives our patrons free access to Skritter through these apps.) You can learn about these apps here: http://www.skritter.com/ios
Tell Me More
Tell Me More is a more intensive online study program, available for these languages:
A free demo lesson in Spanish is available, which should give you a good idea of what the Tell Me More learning system is like.
Using Tell Me More
Before you start using Tell Me More, you'll need to request an account from the LRC. Because only a limited number of accounts are available, you should access the demo linked above to try the Tell Me More system. Once you've decided if Tell Me More would be a good fit for your language goals and learning style, then you can submit a request for an account with this online form. Please do not submit an account request until you're sure that you're serious about studying with Tell Me More.
Although Tell Me More can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection, to use all of the components, you will need to use Internet Explorer (on a Windows computer). In Firefox, Safari, etc., the speech recognition components will not work (you will see gray Xs where the speech recognition exercises are). However, you will be able to use the other types of exercises.