Mango Languages: Simple as Un, Tree, Drei
As in several sessions at the conference, technical difficulties hampered the sharing of information, but presenters, including Freya Anderson, stayed upbeat, and made sure our time was well spent. I was surprised to hear that 16.5% of Alaskans speak a language other than English in their homes, and that there are about 90 languages spoken by students in the Anchorage School District. Aside from the need to accommodate those students, plus function better in today’s world by being able to use and understand other languages, there is always a desire to learn about other cultures through language. Mango Languages offers online learning, which fits into the busy schedules of our times. Students can enjoy both visual and audio help as they are introduced to the language chosen for study. Through the support of the Alaska State Library, access is easy and free, with tech support available by phone and e-mail. Freya has created a lib guide for users.
For the sake of the students in our district, I will be happy to report to our Native language coordinator that AK native languages may be added to the Mango Languages system at some point. There is currently a good effort to preserve local languages in our villages, but with an online tool such as Mango, the curriculum could be strengthened, and students wouldn’t have to wait for Athabascan classes to practice what they’ve learned.