Language Resources

Trying to learn a second, or even a third, language? Studying for TOEFL or looking to improve your English skills? The Kingston Frontenac Public Library has a wide collection of resources aimed at helping our patrons learn a new language or improve your skills.

Online Resources

KFPL provides access to two online language learning resources: 

  • Mango is an interactive learning tool that uses sound and visual display to help immerse users in over 72 different languages and over 22 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses taught in the native language; 
  • Little Pim makes learning a foreign language (up to 10 languages on the site) easy and accessible to all kids at the age they learn best, up to the age of 6 years.

Searching the Catalogue

There are several ways you can find language resources when searching our catalogue; the best strategy for finding what you want depends on what you're looking for.

Materials for Learning a New Language

If you're looking for items to help you learn a new language, try adding just the word "language" to your search, e.g., select "Non-fiction (print)" and search for "Italian language" or "Spanish language" (but if you're looking for French, try "French language self-instruction").

If you're looking for materials with an audio component, you can add the word "sound" to your search when using the "All Fields" index, e.g., select the "All fields" index, then search for "French language self-instruction sound" or "Italian language sound" ("sound" stands for "sound recording").

You can also find all items in a specific language by searching for the language by it's name and using the Language index, e.g., a search "French" with Language select should return all titles using the French language. You can then filter these by format, year, subject, or author using the Limit By menu found to the right of the search resutls.

The same rules apply for whichever language you are looking to learn, from Mandarin to Cree.

Materials for English as a Second Language

The rules also apply if you're looking for materials to help you study for a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test or practise your English skills, e.g., search for "English as a second language".

French Collection 

KFPL has over fifteen thousand French language items. French language collections are located at Central, Isabel Turner, Calvin Park, Sydenham, Rideau Heights and Pittsburgh.

You can find these items in the catalogue by searching for a title or author in French, e.g., "Qui Est Le Vrai Père Noël?". To get the best results, you may need to use the restrictions found in the Limit By menu on the left of the search results. The Language option will allow you to filter your results to just those items in the French language (you can learn about more search methods and filtering on our page about Searching the Catalogue).

Once you've found an item, you can also explore the Summary and Details section found by navigating to the item record. Here you can find links under Subjects & Genres to explore more titles related to that work, e.g., "French language -- Vocabulary -- Juvenile fiction".

Multilingual Collection

We also collect books, DVDs and CDs in different languages. Some materials are in our catalogue, while others are in browsing-only collections, available at the branches themselves, but not yet searchable online.

Try searching for the format you're interested in, "Fiction", "DVD", or "Magazine", for example, then use the filters to the left of the search results, the Limit By options especially, to limit the results to the language you are interested in.

You can find more of our multiligual collection at the Central, Calvin Park & Isabel Turner Branches (see below for languages available at each branch).

Central Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese
Calvin Park Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Persian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu
Turner Chinese, Polish, Urdu

Indigenous Languages 

Our Indigenous languages collections are growing. If you are looking for a specific language, you can do a keyword search through our online catalogue for the specific language, e.g., “Mohawk language”, or, using the Language index, e.g., "Mohawk".

Once you've found an item, you can also explore the Summary and Details section found by navigating to the item record. Here you can find links under Subjects & Genres to explore more titles related to that work, e.g., "Cree language materials -- Bilingual."

Below is a list of indigenous languages include in our catalogue. You can find works from each of these languages using the method described.

  • Mohawk
  • Cree
  • Ojibwa / Ojibwe / Anishinaabemowin 
  • Inuktitut 
  • Michif 
  • Mi'kmaq
  • Navajo
  • Cherokee 
  • Cayuga (Dictionary)
  • Onadaga (Dictionary)
  • Oneida 
  • Mishnaabemwin (Dictionary)

Community Resources

Kingston Community Health Centres

Kingston Community Health Centres is home to Immigrant Services Kingston and Area (ISKA), a settlement services program provided in a variety of languages.

Immigration Kingston

At Immigration Kingston, a web portal designed for newcomers to the Kingston area, you can find lots of information about language training and assessment programs.

Kingston Literacy & Skills

On the Kingston Literacy & Skills site you'll find more information about the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, which provides free English classes for landed immigrants.