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Lesson 3: Learning a New Language

How many languages are there?World Map

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is an estimated 1.95 million residents here in Broward County (Greater Fort Lauderdale). Out of that almost two million of us, more than 33% of us were born in a different country, that is why in more than 40% of homes speak more than language. In fact, in Greater Fort Lauderdale you can find more than 80 languages spoken across homes and families.

With that many languages around us, it seems like any day is a great day to start learning a new one!

Did you know that Broward County Library offers language learning, free of charge?

How long does it take?

You probably don’t remember how long it took you to learn to speak, but if you have younger siblings you might. And it takes a long time, right? It takes babies between two to three years to start speaking and then stringing sentences.

Now, it may not take you that long to learn a new and additional language, but it does take time.

A Few Tips Before You Start

  • Give yourself time, perhaps a bit longer than you think.
  • Give yourself permission to make mistakes, that is, after all, the secret to learning.
  • Give it a try, as soon as you can. Start speaking and reading right away.

Ready. Set. Learn.

So, you are ready to start:

Check out this video on 'How to Say Hello in 15 Different Languages.' 

Then, click here to go directly to the library's login page.

You will need your library card and PIN. If you do not have one, ask your parents to help you register here.

Choose from multiple language options. The system will track your progress, so feel free to stop and save your work. You will be able to come back to it later.

Take it outside.

Many of our friends and neighbors in and around Greater Fort Lauderdale have businesses and experiences where you will be able to chat and practice your newfound skill.

French – Enjoy authentic Brittany-style crêpes, while conversing with the owner and staff at Voo La Voo, inside The Yard, in Wilton Manors. Also, every year in February, visit Hollywood’s Art Park during Canada Fest!.

Portuguese – If you are really hungry (REALLY) and are ready to practice your Portuguese, head to Brazilian steakhouse Chima in Fort Lauderdale. And, do not miss the annual Brazilian Festival in Pompano Beach in October.

Spanish – have a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner in La Pequeña Colombia Bakery in Weston; or if Peruvian food is what you want, try Pachamanka Authentic Peruvian Food in Hollywood. 

Ceviche

NOTE: During the time of government-mandated “social/physical distancing," many of the restaurants above (and many more) are still open, offering take-out, curbside and/or delivery services.

Show your parents a full list of open restaurants here. Buying meals from any of them helps a local families and it is one meal that your parents DON’T have to cook!

(Parents deserve a break, too, y’ know?)

Career Corner!

LibrarianLibrarian

Other than helping us learn other languages, the good folks of Broward County Libraries do a host of other jobs. One of those jobs is the essential duty of librarian.

A librarian is someone who helps! They help us navigate all the resources we have available at the library: Librarians give lessons, they organize and catalogue, they host information desks, they create summer and after-school programs, they guide college students with their papers, they teach some of us how to read, and of course they help us find books, movies and more!

Those are some of the jobs you will be doing if you choose to become a librarian. In the case of Broward County Libraries, these are called “public” libraries, which means that the county is in charge of them.

Did you know? Former First Lady Laura Bush was a librarian.

Quiz Time!

Click here to take the quiz.

Let Your Imagination Fly

Some questions for you to discuss with your parents, siblings and friends:

How many languages can all the members of your family speak?

What is the main language? What would be your secondary language?

Who in your home was born in a foreign country? Who was born in the U.S.?

Which language would you like to learn?