At a recent workshop on blogging by seasoned blogger Bill Belew, I learned of a book and site that chronicles the experience of being bilingual in the United States from a young bicultural girl’s point of view. Hearing of this book made me realize how the interest in bilingualism is spreading and how cultures are blending more and more. It is also becoming easier and easier to find resources on bilingualism and other languages and cultures.
One of the easiest ways to promote bilingualism and multiculturalism is to read and share books about the the multicultural experience. These can be in one language or bilingual. You may even find some that are written in more than three langauges. Even if you don’t know the language of the bilingual book, you can discuss the words or the way they look (if the writing system is different from English) with your child. Some books, like the famous Dora the Explorer books will offer the possibility for expanded learning and exposure through television shows, video and games you can buy.
Share these books with friends and family. Read them to your children. Enjoy them on your own as you learn other languages. We are all kids again when it comes to learning another language! With the the vast resources of the Internet and “shrinking of the globe,” there’s no reason why we can’t learn more about other cultures and languages.