The Introduction to Alaska Digital Resources: Opening Your Info Conduit program developed by members of AkASL and the Juneau chapter of AkLA to introduce you to the statewide electronic resources available through SLED and the Digital Pipeline.

This is your chance to Explore...Discover...Play!...and Learn about the statewide information and research tools and how they can be useful to you both personally and in your library or classroom.

To get started, see the lesson list on the right of this screen.

Need an an id/password for the Digital Pipeline? Call 1-800-440-2919.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lesson 6 : Mango Languages

To access Mango Languages, from the home page of the Digital Pipeline, click on the Education tab, and then on Mango Languages.

It's also listed under High School under Resources for Students, and under M in Resources A-Z.

The first time you click through to Mango Languages, you'll need to set up a profile. There is no charge for this, but depending upon whether or not your institution has set up any special settings, it may be required. Setting up an account is quick and easy. It does require you to have an email account. Just be sure to use Create a Profile on the right side of the screen, rather than Log In side on the left. Mango will send you an email, and you'll need to click on the link in it.

One problem that has come up for some people is that their spam catcher seems to think that this email is spam, and they don't see it. If you don't get an email within 5-10 minutes, check your email program's spam

catcher. If that doesn't work, you can try setting up a profile using another email address, or place a help request. You have a couple of options for help. Mango Languages provides help at http://www.mangolanguages.com/support/. (The link can be found at the bottom of the starting page.) If you have difficulty with this or don't get a timely response, you can request help through the main Digital Pipeline page.

Unlike most of the resources covered in this class, Mango Languages is not a searchable database. Instead, the main part of the resource is the language classes. There are 38 languages available for English speakers - 37 if you don't include Pirate - and English for speakers of 15 other languages. The classes are web-based, using Flash, and there's nothing to download and save on your computer. The exception is if you decide to study using an iPhone. The Mango Languages app is available through iTunes, and then you can download languages to your phone for study.

All of the languages are available at the "Basic" level, which really is basic, and just gives you a feel for basic sentence structure and enough vocabulary for a some short conversations. Many languages are also available at the more advanced "Complete 2.0" level. At this level, Mango says that they teach "in-depth and comprehensive language and grammar skills." It is certainly more advanced than the Basic level, but most users seem to place it closer to an advanced beginning, or perhaps early intermediate level.

The most interesting thing about the classes for me is that they are not structured like most book-form languages classes I've seen, nor is there much formal instruction. Instead, users learn the languages by listening and repeating words and conversations in the new language and in translations. This allows us to see rules in action before learning them as such. For this reason, some have also found Mango Languages to be a valuable tool to use in conjunction with more formal classwork.

If you find this resource is valuable and you'd like to help get the word out, contact Daniel Cornwall or Freya Anderson for information about the promotional materials available.

Discovery Exercises:
Create a blog posting discussing the following questions and other observations you have about Mango Languages.

1. Create a profile on Mango Languages.

2a. There are some other neat features in Mango Languages. What's your favorite feature in Mango Languages not mentioned in this post, and why?


2b. Pick a language to study, and share the first phrase you learned from the Basic level.


  1. Fun assignment...even for the linguistically challenged!


  2. This is such a rich resource for our students. I hope to share the lessons with those students struggling with high school Spanish

  3. http://fairbanksbookworm.blogspot.com/2012/05/lesson-6-mango-languages.html

    This really is an awesome resource, both for those who speak English and want to learn or review another language, and for those whose language isn't English, they can start in their language and learn English. Bravo to the State Library adding this!