Finding Resources

Anyone with access to a search engine and can easily find numerous resources for almost any language.  Textbooks, websites, YouTube videos, and podcasts abound.  Software--both stand-alone and browser-based--is widely available and varies widely in both cost and pedagogy.  The problem for most learners is choosing resources that meet their needs and, in the case of free computer-based resources, teach the language they need to know.  

Remember:   Resources do not teach; you use them to learn.  Do not invest heavily in an expensive resource before exploring the free and inexpensive options.  Combine several resources to meet all your learning needs.

Getting Started

If you are a member of the University of Richmond community, both the Media Resource Center at Boatwright Memorial Library and the Global Studio in the Carole Weinstein International Center have resources you can use.  MRC resources can be checked out; you must use the Global Studio resources in the Studio.  MRC resources can be found in the library's catalog.  Global Studio resources will be incorporated into this catalog during 2012.  Until then, these pages will list much of what is available.

Marcia Whitehead, the reference librarian for languages and literatures, has prepared two online guides that are good places to start:
Both Sharon Scinicariello, Director of the Global Studio, and Marcia Whitehead are happy to help you locate resources to meet your needs.

Social Bookmarking and Networking

Social networking is often an effective way to find and evaluate resources.  Thinking of using/purchasing a resource?  User reviews at usually identify the strengths and weaknesses of various texts; an excellent classroom textbook may not be a good resource for independent learning. 

Social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Diigo allow you to search for useful websites tagged by others with keywords.  For example, if you are interested in learning Korean, type 'learning Korean' into the search box and you'll see sites tagged with those words.  The Global Studio manages a number of Diigo groups where self-directed and independent learners can bookmark sites they find particularly useful.  Membership in these groups is moderated--contact Sharon Scinicariello if you wish to join--but their bookmarks are available to  anyone.  Links to most-used groups:

Social bookmarking sites are becoming social networking sites, but do not limit yourself.  You can probably find a social network of people interested in 'your' language by using a search engine.  There are numerous Facebook groups and pages dedicated to languages and cultures; you may also find groups on LinkedIn, etc.