In my community of Austin, Texas the topic of bilingual education has been a heavily contested arena. It has also been a special interest of mine especially since I became a bilingual educator and advocate for learning multiple languages.
There have been several efforts, locally and nationally, to implement a different model for learning a second language. These efforts have brought together different members from our community from teachers, parents, university professors, local businesses, to students. Fortunately, dual language education also known as two-way immersion has, after years of hard work, finally made an appearance in Austin!
I cannot stress enough the importance to continue advocating for the education of Latinos in the U.S. It is, not only the importance of local efforts, but that of national campaigns like, Univision’s “Es El Momento” (The Moment is Now), that can make a difference for the education of Latinos.
Lastly, in our efforts to promote the importance of education for Latin@s, we must also acknowledge the role Latin@s play in moving the conversation forward. Personally, I have made efforts my attending meetings to promote dual language education and as a teacher I took the time to speak to parents to help them better understand the goals behind bilingual education and dual language education. One of my goals as a graduate student is to continue to do work that will promote bilingual education for Latinos, but I could not have gotten this far in my education without the help of individuals and organizations!
In other words, our Latino population needs support from varying venues locally and nationally. For instance, in the Latin@ blogosphere, it is sites such as, Latinos in Social Media (Latism), that highlight current issues and interests that cater to this growing, culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse group of Spanish-speakers in the US! This is clearly a sign of times. Not only do we have physical support from community organization, schools, other resources, but we also have a network in the cyber world which is making gains toward change! ¡Es el momento!