Learn a Foreign Language – Resources in your Local Library

by Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on November 5, 2015 in Libraries

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Maybe 2015 will be the year you learn a foreign language or even decide to improve your school French. Proficiency in a foreign language has become increasingly important in a globalised world, creating opportunities including better employment prospects and travel experiences. New insights and greater understanding can be […]

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Maybe 2015 will be the year you learn a foreign language or even decide to improve your school French. Proficiency in a foreign language has become increasingly important in a globalised world, creating opportunities including better employment prospects and travel experiences.

New insights and greater understanding can be gained from engaging with people from all over the world in their own languages. Knowledge of a foreign language gives access to different cultures and opens up an array of literature, film and music. Not least, learning a new language is an achievement of which anybody can be proud.

A 2012 Eurobarometer survey, ‘Europeans and their Languages’, states that more than half the population of the EU can hold a conversation in at least one foreign language. In Ireland, however, that figure is 40%; only the UK, Portugal, Italy and Hungary scored lower. If you want to learn a foreign language or become more proficient in a language you already speak, your local library has a range of resources that can help.

Specialist language-learning materials including textbooks, audio-CDs and CD-Roms are available to borrow from your local library. You don’t even have to leave your home to access the library’s online language-learning resources. Fingal Libraries’ website provides FREE access to over 80 language courses from Transparent Language Online, ranging from beginner level to more difficult courses. These online courses feature pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing and vocabulary building lessons. All you need is your library card number and PIN.

Perhaps you already speak a foreign language but don’t have enough opportunities to improve your skills. The library provides a relaxed, informal setting in which you can meet other people to practice speaking a foreign language. A French Conversation Exchange Group meets in Malahide Library every Monday from 4.30 – 5.30 PM. As one member of the group noted, “everybody makes an effort to help one another”. Members who were initially hesitant about using their French are now speaking more confidently. Blanchardstown Library also hosts a French Conversation Exchange Group every Tuesday at 6.30 pm and a Spanish Conversation Exchange Group every Monday 6.30 pm.

So whether you want to learn a language or improve your skills, make the library a part of your linguistic journey.

By Orla Drohan