Farmington Hills, Mich. and Herndon, VA, June 27, 2011 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, and Middlebury Interactive Languages today announced the addition of five new languages to Powerspeak Languages, an online language-learning product. The new languages are: English as a Second Language (ESL) for Mandarin speakers, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Korean. With these additions, the total number of languages taught through Powerspeak Languages has grown from five to ten.
The new languages were selected based on extensive research into language-learning needs among patrons of public libraries. With the addition of these languages, Powerspeak Languages is now ready to meet nearly 95% of language-learning requests in public libraries.
Gale and Middlebury Interactive (who produces powerspeaK12) worked hand-in-hand in a unique partnership to develop Powerspeak Languages. The online courses in Powerspeak Languages use research-driven techniques that include a variety of multi-sensory activities to take full advantage of the brain’s ability to acquire language. Rooted in more than 30 years of research and development and designed to teach students of all ages, Powerspeak Languages includes a combination of scored online activities, exercises, lessons and games.
“Powerspeak Languages goes much deeper than other language-learning products that merely skim the surface and focus on flashcards and simple memorization,” said Jim Draper, vice president and publisher, Gale. “Users of Powerspeak Languages have choices. They can learn the basics of a new language quickly and easily or, if they wish, extend their learning to a much higher level. Along the way, they have the option of enriching their experience through culture lessons, video interactives, pronunciation guides, and much more.”
In addition to teaching a deeper understanding of the target language, Powerspeak Languages offers instruction from a virtual learning coach, who leads users through all units of the course from start to finish. The learning coach helps with pronunciation and diction and travels with the user to explain concepts and provide cultural reference as part of learning the language. Users will develop functional proficiency to read, listen, speak and draw language characters through videos, stories, activities and interactive games.
“We’re excited to share our expertise in teaching world languages through our partnership with Gale. Languages are an important skill for everyone in our increasingly global society, and the addition of these five critical languages to the Powerspeak Languages program will greatly expand the resources of library patrons who desire to learn, and learn them well,” said Dave Benoit, CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages.
Powerspeak Languages is designed to benefit all types of users in different settings. It can be used to help those who desire to learn for personal growth, for family members looking to learn the language of their heritage, and of course for travelers simply looking to learn language basics before embarking on a vacation.
The benefits of learning a second language are much broader than simply the ability to speak another language. Research affirms the importance of second language education on intellectual potential, scholastic achievement, first language skills, citizenship and the economy. Coincidentally, Powerspeak Languages supports five of the most studied languages at K-12 institutions in the U.S. For K-12, and also college and university students, Powerspeak Languages can be used as a supplement to classroom activities and a study tool for different types of learners.
In professional settings, Powerspeak Languages can be used by international business professionals who need language practice or to brush up on cultural authenticity, and it can be useful for introducing languages for staff at businesses that operate on a global scale.
Previously announced and currently available Powerspeak languages include the five most-studied and most-demanded languages asked for by public libraries: Spanish, French, German, English for Spanish speakers and Mandarin Chinese – the third most widely-spoken language in the U.S. Libraries have the option to purchase all Powerspeak Languages modules available or only the specific language modules that are relevant for their patrons.
For more information on Powerspeak Languages, please visit http://www.gale.cengage.com/powerspeak/. To set up a trial, or for any questions, please contact Kristina Massari at firstname.lastname@example.org.