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ALA MW16: New Year, New Conversations

Mango Languages: New Year, New Conversations

It’s that time of year again! The American Library Association Midwinter Meeting  is just around the corner and we’re gearing up for another awesome conference. This year, the theme for ALA is “The conversation starts here…” and we’re feeling inspired. The Midwinter conference always happens right around the new year, which means that we have resolutions on the brain. We’re harnessing the energy of ALAMW and taking it to the streets (and the web) to start a larger conversation around new year’s resolutions and language learning. Why not resolve to start some new conversations in the new year? Let’s dig into all of the January happenings around the upcoming Midwinter conference.


What to expect.

If you’re attending ALAMW16, you’re in for a treat. Right off the bat, you get to visit Boston - New England’s hub for all things art, culture, and history. Plus, it’s a foodie heaven, known for iconic dishes and hip eateries. Plan to explore Boston by night, and indulge all of your library-nerd tendencies by day. This year’s conference hits some major home runs on the keynote speaker front: expect to hear from Isaac Mizrahi, listen in on a writer’s forum featuring documentarian Ken Burns, and close out the conference with Chelsea Clinton. Beyond the speakers, your day will be packed with workshops, discussion groups, visiting exhibitors, and specialized institutes. It’s going to be a big (and fun!) five days.


Don’t miss Mango.

We’ve kind of got a thing for ALA. When it comes to these conferences, our motto is go big or go home - and we really don’t want to go home. This year, make note of our booth number (#1861!) and pencil us into your calendar - you’re not going to want to miss us. Our theme this year is “New Year, New Conversations,” and our booth will be fully-equipped with everything you need to kickstart a year of language learning that actually works. Stop by the Mango booth to pick up some motivational swag and to take our products for a test drive. We’re also collecting new year’s resolutions - leave your mark by writing your resolution into reality on our 2016 vision board. If you can write it, you can do it - and we’ll be there to help you along the way.


Make some resolutions.

We’re going into 2016 strong, and we want you to join us. Share your new year’s resolutions with us on social  media with the hashtag #mangolingual2016. We’re looking for resolutions of all sizes, shapes, and topics - dream big, small, or in another language. Throughout January, we’ll be sharing the resolutions of our own Mangos, our users, and our news friends made at ALA. If you’ve  been harboring some language-learning aspirations, 2016 is the year to finally tackle that new language you’ve been making eyes at. Whatever your resolution may be, consider us in your corner. We’ll kick off our month of resolutions by sharing a few of our own - and feel free to co-sign on any that speak to you.


I'd like to read a novel in Portuguese cover to cover. #mangolingual2016

And not a children’s book - an actual, whole chapter book. We know it sounds impossible now,  but when you’re learning with courses that are designed to help you learn useful vocabulary you can actually use, a few chapters can get you moving through a book that seemed totally daunting before. Your first José Saramago novel is right around the corner.


I want to be able to have an entire meeting with a co-worker in French. #mangolingual2016

Whether it’s your new intern or your supervisor, there’s nothing like being able to speak with someone in their native language. We know you tried in 2015, but 2016 is going to be the year you actually pull it off. We’re calling it now: with a little useful language-learning and some conversation tips from your colleague, you’ll be chatting in français in no time.


I want to join a Spanish club to overcome my fear of speaking in a different language. #mangolingual2016

You’ve got the skills, you’re just lacking the courage. We’ve all been there - you’ve studied Spanish before, but you’re just not sure you have the chops to actually speak the language. Here’s the thing - you do. The only way to practice speaking Spanish is to find people to converse with, and a Spanish club is the perfect place for it. Nobody expects you to speak perfect Spanish, they’ll just love that you’re trying. Bonus: most Spanish clubs host awesome potluck dinners - get ready to have some of the best tamales, mole, and pupusas of your life.


I'd like to go to a stand-up comedy show in French—and understand it. #mangolingual2016

You want to be in on the joke. This year, you’ll laugh along with the audience, and actually mean it. Whether you’re going to a comedy show that’s spoken in French, English, Armenian, or Spanish, there’s nothing as rewarding as attending an authentic cultural event in another language and actually keeping up. Our recipe for success: mix equal parts language studies with cultural material. For every hour spent logged onto a course, spend another hour taking in television, podcasts, and movies in the language. Pretty soon, you’ll be the one cracking jokes in your new language.


I'd like to teach my son Portuguese and English at the same time. #mangolingual2016

Sounds impossible, but it’s actually one of the smartest language-learning moves you’ll ever make. Kids retain new languages much faster than adults, so you can teach your child the basics of another language while they’re still learning the ropes of English. Plus, it’s proven to make your children smarter and more cognitively flexible in many important ways. Use simple techniques like reading bedtime stories to them in another language, and complement the learning with fun, engaging resources like Little Pim (available through Mango!). They’ll love learning a new language with you by their side.


I want to listen to French music on my way to work (and sing along)! #mangolingual2016

Think about how  many songs are ingrained into your brain against your better judgement - now imagine leveraging that musical reflex to learn a new language more effectively. Music is often a key ingredient in effective language-learning, and you can use your passion for world music to fast-track your retention and comprehension. Plus, you’ll  gain exposure to all kinds of awesome new music, and you can show off in front of your friends by singing along and actually understanding the words. A little gloating never hurt anyone.

Ready to kick off 2016 with us? The new year, new conversations movement starts now - tweet, post, and share with us your New Year’s resolutions and join the #mangolingual2016 conversation. If you’re in, we’re in - we can’t wait to hear from you! 


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Jillian Rodriguez

Jillian is a writer and editor out of Detroit, Michigan. She loves connecting people through new ideas, interesting stories, and good conversation. In her free time, Jillian loves to read, write, and listen to podcasts - in Spanish and in English!

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