Bilingual is Better

One of the biggest challenges for bilingual homeschooling families is the lack of resources and support systems. Today’s Ask an Expert question was sent by Monica, a Latina mom, blogger and entrepreneur who has taken on the challenge to homeschool her kindergartner

“I’m a Latina who started homeschooling my kindergartner this year. I would love, love, love to be able to incorporate more cultural lessons, but it has been a real struggle for me to find not only bilingual or bicultural lessons on-line, but to also find a source of support for being a homeschool Latina mom. Can you suggest ways or resources for supplementing my English curriculum? And are there any groups out there for Mamis like me?”

Dear Monica:

There are lots of wonderful resources for homeschool moms online. The problem is that there are SO many, it can often be an overwhelming experience to sift through all the rubble and find the gems! The best advice I would give to homeschool moms looking for great world language lesson ideas, materials and resources would be to sign up for the Ñandutí ListServ.

According to the official homepage, “Ñandutí is a comprehensive resource on foreign language teaching and learning in grades preK-8. Based on the premise that learning another language is beneficial and that students of all ages can learn a language, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), in conjunction with the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State University, offers a variety of resources on this site for teachers and parents interested in children learning foreign languages.”

Nandu, as members like to call it, is an excellent clearinghouse for ideas, materials and resources. A post to Nandu with a query usually yields responses within minutes from experts from around the country (and around the world). I am always more apt to heed the advice of my Nandu compatriots regarding good materials than I would be simply Googling or searching for material on my own. Nandu is also just excellent support for educators, parents and language learners. Its members are enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of early language teaching and as such, can provide wonderful advice and encouragement to anyone with similar interests.

Hope this helps! ¡Buena suerte!

Lori Langer de Ramirez.- -Bilingual educator who began her career as a teacher of Spanish, French and ESL. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently the Chairperson of the ESL and World Language Department for Herricks Public Schools, New York. Lori is the author of Take Action: Lesson Plans for the Multicultural Classroom and Voices of Diversity: Stories, Activities and Resources for the Multicultural Classroom, as well as several Spanish-language books and texts. Her interactive website ( offers teachers over 40 virtual picture books and other curricular materials for teaching Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish and Thai. Her areas of research and curriculum development are multicultural and diversity education, folktales in the language classroom and technology in language teaching. You can read her answers here and submit your own question for any of our experts here.

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