Mango Writer Jillian Rodriguez highlights what Mangos have been doing to learn and teach new languages.

When it comes to language learning, you’ve got a friend in us. We’re not just your sideline cheerleaders; we’re in the game with you, scoring a language-learning touchdown. In January 2013, Team Mango resolved to devote 90 minutes a week to learning a new language and four hours each quarter teaching a language to others. Mango’s core purpose is to enrich lives with language and culture, and we were thrilled to join in on the fun. Over the last year, the language-learning initiative made for a Mango office that’s brighter than ever. We’re a multilingual, multicultural group, and we’ve been having way too much fun learning and teaching each other new languages and cultures.

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Some Mangos are bilingual, some tri, and others are language-learning first-timers (we’re jealous – there’s nothing like your first time). This diversity in language expertise birthed many new traditions, collaborations, and culture swapping not just in the office, but in the community at large. TLAB (Technology, Laboratory, and Professional Development Center), an accelerated learning center in Detroit serving students K-12, opened their doors to us last year, resulting in a partnership of the ages.

Each quarter, Mango employees team up with the dedicated, enthusiastic, and awesome staff and students at TLAB for a Mango style language and culture learning session. We knew right away that TLAB kids are the next generation of language gurus (like August TLAB Student of the Month Simone Cotton) – with their fun, focused, and innovative love of language learning, we’re kind of glad they can’t apply for our jobs just yet. We still have a lot to learn from them, and we love our TLAB time, where we use Mango programs to help students reach extraordinary academic achievements and increase their cultural IQ.

So, what does a TLAB and Mango study session look like? Well, Mangos usually show up in overly bright t-shirts, but the kids have learned to love us for it. Otherwise, our Saturday sessions are interactive, learning-based collaborations, where Mangos and TLAB students use our programs to learn a new language, build English skills, and instill a permanent passion for learning and language. Nothing reinforces the power of language learning like an excited kindergartener powering through five or six courses – from Portuguese to Mandarin – in a single session. Or a group of middle-schoolers using Mango to quiz each other on new vocabulary, with a Mango native speaker by their side to help perfect their pronunciation, share insider culture knowledge, and swap language tips.

TLAB, you’re one of the best New Year’s resolutions we’ve ever made. We can’t wait for our next session with you – just try not to get too much smarter than us while we’re away.

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