A brand new online language software was launched to assist students and faculty in learning new languages and in maintaining foreign language skills.
BYU is home to many students and faculty who know a second language. Whether it is through a church mission, research, experience outside the United States or teaching, it is not uncommon to find many on campus that can speak a language other than English.
“The number of students and faculty at BYU who speak a second language range estimates as high as 70 percent, and language acquisition is a major priority on campus,” said Richard Hacken, the European study and Linguistics Librarian.
The new language database adopted by BYU is called Tell Me More. The Herold B. Lee Library, College of Humanities, Center for the Study of Europe and Independent Study hope that this new language database will serve as a supplement to language courses on campus, help students keep language proficiency, allow people to study another language individually and help international students in their study of English.
“Having looked at other products, this one provided more content, with more depth for more people at a lower cost,” said Harold Hendricks, supervisor for the Humanities Resource Center.
The Tell Me More software has many different ways to learn a variety of languages including American and British English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German. The software provides ways to learn to read, write, speak, listen and become immersed in the traditions, art, literature and culture of the people that speak the language. One unique aspect to Tell Me More is it allows for speech recognition so the student can work on speaking skills with the computer.
“The application Tell Me More has a ton of different ways to tackle a language,” said Robb Anglesey, a senior studying philosophy. “I have never seen a program go so in depth on how to pronounce words. Voice recognition and being able to compare your speech to native speech is second only to having a native teach you.”
The program has multiple levels of learning based on ability. Tell Me More is helpful to those on a beginning level looking to learn a language, or to those that have a desire to keep their language skills sharp, Hacken said.
“The program offers over 30 different types of activities for practice in a variety of skills while keeping you actively engaged,” Hacken said.
Tell Me More was launched and became available for all students and faculty in April of this year.
“In the last five months the number of users went from 71 in April, to 121 in August, and the numbers continue to grow,” Hendricks said.
Many students are taking advantage of Tell Me More, which can be accessed through the Humanities Learning Resource Center’s website.
“I really like it and find it very useful,” said Katelin Minetto, a senior majoring in Recreational Management and Youth Leadership. “There are so many things to do to practice. Overall, it is a great program.”
For more information visit hlrc.byu.edu.