BHPL is now offering free access to cardholders to an online language learning system called BYKI Online Library Edition! BYKI stands for Before You Know It and is based on the product (Transparent Language) used by top government language schools like the Foreign Service Institute and the Defense Language Institute. There are 73 foreign languages offered, from Afrikaans to Zulu. To get your own BYKI account, go to the library web site, click on Remote Databases and log in with your library card barcode number. Then, click on BYKI and choose a username and password so you can track your progress.
BYKI uses flashcards to teach you sets of words and phrases and periodically prompts you to recall phrases you've already learned, so you won't learn and then forget. You can analyze your pronunciation and take dictation in addition to taking multiple choice tests. Plus, you can follow BYKI through Facebook or Twitter and get daily updates that will help you with the language you've chosen to learn.
I've tried BYKI and it's great for learning nouns, but, I think it's awful for the phrases and sentences. They don't even teach you grammar! I don't understand how anyone can learn a language without learning the grammar.
I'm glad the library is looking at all kinds or resources to help us citizens educate ourselves, librarians really are great at that. This one isn't a great example of that so I hope the library didn't spend too much money since there is a free version online:
We're sorry you didn't like BYKI. You're right, it focuses more on vocabulary than on grammar. You can read about the studies that made Transparent Language decide that this is how adults learn languages the fastest here. If you'd like to learn more grammar, we have a more extensive version of BYKI on a USB drive that are available for check out. Just search the catalog for Transparent Language to see which languages we have available on USB drives. And yes, there is a free version of BYKI, but its content is supplied by volunteers.
I was really impressed by the number of languages offered by BYKI. Some other online resources (free and paid) offer a very limited selection.
I just took a BYKI webinar and am psyched to try it out. There is a "slow it down" button to draw out the pronunciation of a word which I found very helpful.
Its quite helpful and can analyze your pronunciation and take dictation in addition to taking multiple choice tests and also improves computer skills.
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