ESU to Offer Campus Community Chance to Learn Over 100 Languages
“Learn 100+ Languages” is a five-year initiative at East Stroudsburg University that complements traditional language courses and provides all ESU students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to explore over 100 languages via state-of-the-art apps. Whether for academic, professional or personal reasons, ESU community members can now learn a variety of languages that span the world’s societies.
The two apps at the center of this initiative are uTalk and Pronunciator. Both stream to any device, anytime, anywhere. Both are multimedia, with vast banks of recorded audio dialogs, images, and some video. uTalk has a crisp user interface, and includes a variety of personal and professional settings for conversation. Pronunciator likewise has a wide variety of settings and applications, as well as a deep reference section for each language, and a number of extras such as help for those studying to become U.S. citizens. These two apps are complementary. The third app, Ethnologue, allows users access to the world’s premier language site, with facts and references on every known language. Ethnologue will prove useful to a wide array of ESU students whose majors and coursework touch on language or culture, including but not limited to art, communication, communication sciences and disorders, English, Spanish, sociology, social work, and education.
The last of the resources is Pimsleur. This time-tested series of audio-based language learning resources is not available through streaming, but rather it is based exclusively in the Language Learning Center, located in Room 204 of Stroud Hall. Pimsleur includes the more commonly studied languages, including Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, and German, as well as a wide array of other languages considered to be critical languages by the U.S. government such as Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, and others.
According to Jeffrey Ruth, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of modern languages, philosophy and religion, students already enrolled in language courses at ESU will find these apps to be useful supplements to extend classroom time. Students not studying a language, as well as faculty and staff, can also expand on languages they have some experience with, or they can begin with one they’ve never learned before. “As with the language courses at ESU, no prior exposure to a language is necessary,” says Dr. Ruth. “If you are planning to be in a different country, even for a short time, you can start practicing basic expressions now, like how to buy a cup of coffee or ask for directions.”
With the exception of Pimsleur, which is only available in the Language Learning Center, all the apps are available on personal computers, tablets, and smartphones allowing ESU students, faculty and staff to utilize their free time efficiently while learning or becoming fluent in a language. “Academically, we are giving our students, no matter their major, a chance to prepare for the global society that awaits them after college. They can, in their own time, incorporate a language into a class presentation about a respective culture, get ready for a study abroad trip, or prepare for a job interview with an international company,” says Ruth. “We are giving our campus community the ability to learn something new. They can learn conversational phrases to enhance an international vacation, or they can dig deep into the roots of their family tree and learn about the places they come from.”
To learn more about the 100+ Languages initiative visit www.esu.edu/learninglanguages, or contact the department at 570-422-3407.