Learning a Language at YPRL

Are you interested in learning another language?
YPRL can facilitate your journey to becoming a multi-linguist through classes, conversation groups, bilingual storytimes, online databases and our large language collections.


Just starting out?

Try attending one of our classes to start your language journey.

  • Learn Practical English for Chinese Speakers at Ivanhoe with Louise on a Wednesday.
  • Dip your toe into Espagnol at Ivanhoe’s Monday night Beginner class with Marcella, or head straight to intermediate level at Watsonia’s Wednesday class with Carlos or Whittlesea’s Monday class with Octavio. 
  • Learn the world’s most commonly spoken language, Mandarin in a cosy setting on a Thursday night with Yi at Ivanhoe Library.   



Wanting to practise?

YPRL offers conversation groups in seven languages across the three councils that turn into fun and lively discussions.

  • You can find the French Language Cafe with Monique on Tuesdays and a German Conversation Group with Suzanne on a Saturday morning at Ivanhoe Library.
  • Head to Watsonia to practise your Auslan with Anne on Saturday and chat in Italian with Eva at Eltham on Monday and Doris at Diamond Valley on Wednesday.
  • Practise conversational English with Keryn at Lalor, Pat at Watsonia, Judy, Raewyn and Maryam at Thomastown or join the friendly volunteers at Ivanhoe.




Online Resources

If you can’t make it to a conversation group to practise, you can try our online resources.

Transparent Languages Online (Byki). Byki allows you to set up an account and choose from over 100 different languages and dialects. It will improve your listening, reading, writing, pronunciation and recognition in short online lessons.

There are three databases designed to help you learn and practise your English and prepare for an IELTS exams.

The AMES Learn English Online database provides practical courses on working and living in Australia, and worldwide English skills. The IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic Training covers reading, writing and listening components to prepare you for your IELTS examinations.



Ready to go it alone?

YPRL has 15 different community language collections spread throughout the region. There are picture books, junior books, adult fiction and non-fiction, magazines, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese (mostly magazines and bilingual storytime books), Macedonian, Maltese, Polish, Serbian, Sinhalese (magazines), Somali (picture books only), Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. These items can be requested and sent to any branch for you to borrow and enjoy.

RBdigital offers magazine titles for you to download to your device in Chinese, English, German, French, Japanese, Italian and Spanish. These are accessible using your library card and pin from anywhere in the world.

The Chinese magazine database has a broad range of titles available in both traditional and simplified Chinese providing access to the latest issues directly from China.



Something for the kids?

As well as bilingual books and picture books in over 15 languages, there are bilingual storytimes that run throughout the region. You can visit Eltham to hear a storytime in French or German, Ivanhoe for Italian, Chinese and French, Lalor for a Vietnamese session, Mill Park for Italian and Watsonia runs sessions in Chinese and Japanese. Also see the Storytime booklet for all Storytime session details. 

If you can’t make it along to any of these sessions, you also have access to the International Children’s Digital Library which has children’s books in Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, French, Croatian, Portuguese, Hebrew, German, Filipino, Russian, Thai, Italian and many others accessible online.

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