LiveMocha makes learning a language fun!

When looking to learn a new language, the choices for how to go about doing so seem endless.  From immersion classes to software to books, the language education business is big and booming.  If you want something simple, effective, and online, why not give LiveMocha a try?

LiveMocha is a web-based system that puts a neat spin on learning a language.  When you join, you are connected with native speakers around the world.  It is not just about being taught or teaching a new language.  No.  LiveMocha builds a community of speakers and learners who support each other in practicing new language skills.  And in joining LiveMocha, you actually DO get the chance to learn AND teach.  You are encouraged to give back to the community.

LiveMocha’s combination of online learning and community participation has won it numerous accolades, including being named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 sites.  Currently, over 25 languages are offered and over 6 million people are participating.  Some course are free, while others are very affordable.

As our patrons and our world become icreasingly more diverse, language skills are becoming a premium.  It is never too late to start learning a new language or brush up on the ones you know.  LiveMocha makes it fun and economical.  What is not to love about that?  “Awesome” in any language describes LiveMocha!

Worlds of Words does children’s lit a world of good!

America’s rapidly growing cultural diversity has having wide-ranging effects.  From our laws to our language to our elections, the “great American melting pot” is getting bigger ever day.  As wonderful as it may be, this increasingly complex weaving of the American fabric is also presenting new challenges as we seek to best cover all of our rich and diverse cultures.  This is particularly the case in our schools where we are striving to take the messages of education to a body of students that is more diverse than ever.

To this delicate end, the University of Arizona is on to something hot.  Its College of Education and libraries have teamed up to create Worlds of Words (WOW) – one of the largest collections of international children’s books in the nation.  An almost unparalleled collection of culturally authentic resources, WOW is an invaluable tool for educators looking to reach out to diverse learners in a context and at a level they will understand.

The collection is easily searchable by title, region, age and genre.  There is also a list of recent additions.  Every Wednesday, a new selection from WOW is featured on the site and educators are invited to discuss and comment on it.  WOW additionally offers to excellent online journals: WOW Stories, featuring vignettes written by educators about children’s experiences reading and responding to literature, and WOW Review, which contains reviews of selected books with an eye towards their cultural authenticity.

Worlds of Words is an amazing resource in a nation (and a world) who cultural diversification requires a rethinking of its approach to education.  It is freely available to the public and a true boon to educators and librarians who work with children and adolescents.  Check out their site today and do not miss their blog WOW Currents for the latest news and updates on this fascinating collaboration.