Home > Bilingual Education, Bilingualism > Social Networking and Virtual Multilingual Communities

Social Networking and Virtual Multilingual Communities

social-networking-pic-1It’s easy to feel isolated when you are working in the field of bilingual or multilingual education. Bilingual teachers are often the minority in schools, considering the fact that the majority of English learners in the public school system are placed in English settings. Bilingual teachers grow accustomed to attending staff development that is primarily geared towards teachers in English settings. The lack of school, district and community support systems for bilingual teachers is astounding and can be emotionally and professionally grueling to dedicated bilingual teachers.

Parents who wish to raise bilingual and bi-cultural children often face similar isolation. Many parents sometimes have to confront the seemingly never-ending barrage of criticism from friends, family, and society about the decision to raise children in a multilingual environments. Some parents may not have access to bilingual programs, bilingual materials, or accurate information in order to dispel many of the deficit myths that exist in society regarding bilingualism and bilingual education. Other parents are not multilingual themselves and are often in need of guidance as to how they can raise multilingual children as monolingual parents.

Luckily with the advent of Web 2.0, isolated communities of bilingual educators and parents can more easily come together through virtual support systems of online multilingual communities. Long gone are the days when bilingual education advocates are isolated and alone. Teachers, parents and other multilingual education advocates can find online communities in the following places:

  • Facebook: Facebook is a large social networking site where people can network with others who have similar interests. We just started a Multilingual Mania facebook page-become a fan of our page and send friend requests to others who are fans of Multilingual Mania to meet other online bilingual advocates! If you are a bilingual education advocate and wish to network with others, leave your facebook link in the comments section here and we will post them later so that others can find you!
  • Twitter: Twitter is a microblog social networking site which also connects people with similar interests. You can find Multilingual Mania on twitter, and will find many other people interested in bilingualism on our friends and followers list. Reach out and start connecting with people with similar interests. We won’t bite-I promise! If you have a twitter account, leave your account here in the comments sections so that others can find you.
  • Bilingual Bloggers: I’ve recently began to become familiar with many others in the blogging community who write about bilingualism. If you are a blogger or know of a blog that discusses issues of bilingualism, then please leave the site address here in the comments section. In the meantime, check out the following blogs that I have discovered: Spanglishbaby, Reach for More/Aspira a Más, Blogging on Bilingualism, and Latin Baby Book Club. Spanglishbaby.com also has a list of additional blogs here.
  • LatinoEducators.com: Latino Educators is an online community of bilingual educators and parents interested in bilingual education. They are raffling off a Jose-Luis Orozco presentation for eligible participants who bring additional people to the website. You can read more about the raffle here.

If you are aware of any other online communities where people who are interested in bilingual education and bilingualism, please feel free to leave them in the comments section!

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  1. papaetpiaf
    August 10, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Would welcome views, suggestions or even criticism of my blog

    http://www.papaetpiaf.wordpress.com

    Good luck to anyone else attempting to raise a bilingual child – my view so far is, “hard work, but worth it!”

    • multilingualmania
      August 10, 2009 at 7:15 am

      Yes, it is most definitely worth it! Your post about being being embarrassed and in fear of being judged is exactly what I am talking about regarding feelings of isolation. Rest assured that there are many of us out there who are in support of everything that you are doing!

  2. August 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for writing this post and including us. We really admire the hard work you´re putting into all of this from the educators perspective.

  3. August 28, 2009 at 7:13 am

    My Russian translations of English nursery rhymes at http://russianforkids.blogspot.com can help those who are interested in teaching their children Russian.

  4. September 9, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Awesome posts! Thanks for the initiative!

    We’re blogging on our site about the method that we use to raise 2 boys (ages 5 and 7) to speak Spanish: music/songs and fun. We’ve recorded our original songs about day-to-day activities and are building teaching materials around those songs…sticky notes with household vocabulary and reminders to use Spanish, singable books, vocabulary cards. We just launched our first YouTube music video to teach the dance moves that help retain word meanings…AND a video game for kids that reinforces the vocab taught in our songs is nearing completion!

  1. August 23, 2009 at 1:03 am

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