North Somerset Council has signed-up to Transparent Language to encourage everyone to learn another language. It is hoped that it will help people of all ages – from those who don’t have English as a first language, and people looking to learn a new language for business or travel, to general self-development or just for fun!
The council's Refugee Resettlement Team, who paid for the subscription using funding from central government, is already using the resource to encourage the people they work with to join the library service and improve their spoken and written English skills.
To learn a new language online for free, people must have a library membership. Those not already a member can join online for free at www.librarieswest.org.uk or in person at their local library.
The tool is web-based, making learning easy to access anywhere and at any time. Users have the option to use a desktop version, or download the free Transparent Language (Online) app from the Apple App Store or Google Play to use on a smartphone. Members of North Somerset libraries can sign-in using their digital membership number at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/onlinelibrary.
Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: “What a brilliant free resource available for everyone to use – just the latest in a long list of reasons to join the library! I’m sure that this will be useful for so many people and I’m delighted that some are already seeing the benefits of using it.
“Providing resources like this sits squarely with the council’s aim to reduce inequalities, promote fairness and opportunity for everyone.”
Councillor Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for both lifelong learning and the Ukrainian resettlement scheme, said: “Our new subscription to Transparent Language offers a fantastic opportunity. It's a fact that language learning offers huge benefits at any age – improving cognition, creativity and communication abilities – even in a person’s native language.
“Learning another language opens up opportunities to understand other cultures, boosts confidence and self-esteem, it could even improve employment or make a holiday experience much richer!"
For more information about the benefits of a library membership, including a range of free activities and events, and for a list of library locations across North Somerset, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/libraries.