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Development Practice: Language Training

Information resources to support Masters in Development Practice and other Emory development studies programs

Emory Language Resources

Emory College Language Center supports major languages (primarily European) on site and has a variety of training available online. They cover French, German, Spanish, Arabic and others.  Your Emory ID and password are required to login  for online services.  Despite its name, both graduate students and undergraduates can use the resources the ECLC provides.  

The Emory Structured Independent Language Study program (SILS) is a non-credit program designed for students who need to study languages that are not currently taught at Emory. Launched in 2008, SILS creates a structured, focused context for highly motivated independent language learners. SILS is primarily intended for students who have specific research- or project-oriented reasons for studying a given language. For example, many of our students plan to conduct overseas fieldwork or service projects. So far we have offered instruction in Albanian, Amharic, ASL, Bengali, Georgian, Greek (Modern), Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Serbo-Croatian, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Twi and Urdu. Any living language that is not currently part of the Emory curriculum is eligible for inclusion in SILS. Check for information on eligibility, application and fees.

The Woodruff Library collections also support foreign language training with a variety of resources including dictionaries and grammars.  Check discoverE under the language name.  To locate books and other materials published in various foreign languages use the "Advanced Search" function in discoverE and limit by language.

African Languages

Hint: Check out the Languages Guides tab in the African Studies Research Guide for African language learning materials the library owns.   

Spanish and Portuguese

  • The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory offers intensive summer languages programs beginning in May and ending in June.  Development Studies students may be interested in SPAN219-SAF: Practical Conversation Abroad or PORT111-SAF: Portuguese for Speakers of Romance Languages.  In partnership with the Department of History, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is also offering an intensive summer study-abroad program in São Paulo during the month of July.  
  • The University of Texas at Austin has online exercises designed to help students keep up their Spanish skills and learn the slang of different regions.  You can listen to native speakers speaking from scripted text or speaking naturally at Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
  • Austin also maintains Brazilpod, a collection of materials, links, projects, podcasts, and blogs that UT professors use/have used to teach Portuguese.  
  • Ponto de Encrontro by Pearson Education offers quizzes and activities designed to help you assess your Portuguese comprehension. 



  • RFI Langue Française offers audio clips, articles, and activities for learning French that are related to current events.  This is a good resource for those who already speak a bit of French but would like to keep their skills up or for those who would like to learn vocabularies related to modern problems.  
  • Tex's French Grammar, hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, is a reference grammar that uses cartoons (the epic love story of two armadillos, to be exact) to illustrate key concepts.  
  • Bonjour de France is a resource recommended by the Emory College Language Center for improving your writing in French. 

Hint: For an extensive list of Francophone resources, check out the University of Tennessee's Tennessee Bob's Famous French Links, especially those listed under "The French Language".   

Other Free Resources

  • The Live Lingua Project hosts U.S. Peace Corps Language Courses, which provides free access to books, audio files, and videos in 189 different languages ranging from Acholi to Zarma.  
  • The Foreign Service Institute also offers language courses developed by the U.S. government, which are available in the public domain. 
  • Forvo: The Pronunciation Guide is a web resource that features native speakers pronouncing words and phrases.  You can search by word, category, or language.  
  • To keep up your listening comprehension skills, you might also try an iTunes U Language Course.  (Requires iTunes.)
  • Live Mocha is a language learning community that allows users to connect with native speakers and take basic language courses.  
  • Students enrolled at Emory are considered DeKalb County residents and have access to Mango Languages through the DeKalb County Public Library. (See the DeKalb County Public Library's Databases Page under "Language Learning". for more information.) All you need is a library card and you can access the resource remotely. 

Hint: Check out the "Funding for Language Training" section under the Funding Sources tab in this libguide!  

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