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Tips to Market your Self-Published Children’s Book (if you’re not tech savvy!)

  • Get your book out there: Your best (and easiest) bet is to begin close to home if you plan to promote a children’s book independently. Contact booksellers in your neighborhood and ask if they have a Local Author section, then request to be included.  Offer autographed copies of your book to help spark sales. Stores often put markers on the covers of signed books to make them more attractive to buyers. 
  • Host an in-person event: If your book has a theme, offer to host a promotional event. Don’t be afraid to be creative! Interactive events are a great draw for families and the media (as well as a fantastic opportunity sell your books whilst you’re there)!  People are more likely to buy children’s books from authors they’ve met or read about online.
  • Connect with your local library and book stores: Many authors are surprised by the role libraries can play in children’s book marketing. Donate copies of your book to your local libraries or offer to hold a reading at your library, as most libraries provide activities for children.  If the library doesn’t let you sell books on-site, be sure to hand out promotional material or business cards directing people to stores or online sellers where your book is available.
  • Get to Know Your Neighborhood Schools (or teachers!): Schools are always looking for guest speakers and authors. In most cases, you can arrange to donate books to the school while parents receive order forms for autographed books—which are great for them to give as gifts! Don’t forget to be prepared with an exciting presentation about a theme in your book or your background.  
  • Talk to People!: Always have a camera with you to document children reading your book and viewing your presentations.  Don’t be shy about asking for testimonials, either! Testimonials from teachers and librarians are especially valuable because they lend credibility to your book. Make sure to include photos, testimonials, appearances, and events on your website and post to your social media.

Marketing your self-published children’s book can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not keen on using social media or other digital platforms. But whether you’re using tech or not, the key is to build relationships!! I don’t always have time to post on SM but I make it a point to build genuine relationships with people that are interested in the knowledge and ideas I have to share. And there’s no better way than to do that face-to-face!

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Writing a Teacher’s Guide for Your Children’s Book

As a bilingual educator and Ph.D. student in bilingual education, I know first hand that there is an increasing demand for bilingual education books and authentic resources for teachers that are developed and originally written (not translated!) in the languages of their diverse student populations.

As a children’s author, I’ve had the pleasure to meet and connect with other talented children’s book authors who have brought beautifully written stories to life. However, many of those authors don’t have a background in education and are unaware of what is needed in schools or how they can align their published books to those needs.

Writing and publishing a children’s book is one thing. Marketing that book to the right audience is another thing entirely. Authors, particularly those who are self-published, often struggle to find an audience in a saturated market. There is a market in schools, however. The increasing number of bilingual and dual language programs, for example, has created a significant need for resources that will help teachers integrate language, literacy and content in their instruction. Bilingual resources are needed to model rich vocabulary to students. Multicultural texts are needed to increase representation and depict stories from various cultural perspectives.

My books, Mi prima islena y yo/ My Island Cousin and I & Somos gemelas pero no somos identicas / We Are Twins but We Are Not Identical! are just two examples of bilingual children’s books published in the last year. Both of my books were published during the summer of 2021 and highlight the themes of multicultural identity and pride. Mi prima islena y yo juxtaposes the experience of two Puerto Rican cousins: one who lives in the island and one who lives in New York City. The first cousin has the privilege of being immersed in the language and culture of the island on a daily basis. The other cousin lives in a city surrounded by all of the world’s cultures, yet remains closely connected to her island heritage. Somos gemelas y yo juxtaposes the experience of two family members as well, but this time compares the experience of twin sisters of multicultural backgrounds. The twins’ Italian ancestry is more dominant with one twin whereas their father’s Guatemalan ancestry is more evident in the other. The themes of personal and cultural identity are important to highlight with young children who are learning about their connections to their families, their cultures and the world.

My bilingual children’s books (published in June & July 2021) are available for purchase on Amazon

I am working on publishing a teacher’s guide for these books, which will be published at the end of 2022. I will post updates on my progress as well as information regarding the launch of the guide.

I also recently had the pleasure of creating a teacher’s guide for author Naibe Reynoso, based on her collection of bilingual biographies including Be Bold! Be Brave!, Fearless Trailblazers & Courageous History Makers.

My experiences working on Naibe’s teacher’s guide as well as my own has inspired me to share important considerations for aspiring children’s authors who are looking to expand their work to a wider audience or hope to align their stories to topics students learn at school:

Familiarize Yourself with the Content

If you’re thinking of writing a teacher’s guide, it is important to ask yourself who the guide is for. Is it for elementary school? Middle school? High school? Will your teacher’s guide be focused on one subject area or will it be multidisciplinary? Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s important for you to familiarize yourself with the content area topics that may be covered for your target grade level(s). If you’re doing a teacher’s guide for social studies, for example, you want to make sure that the topics that are covered are appropriate for your grade level audience.

Does your children’s book align with a particular subject? If not, is there a prominent theme you can extract from your book that can help drive the focus of your teacher’s guide? Maybe your children’s book touches on the development of social-emotional skills or executive functioning skills. The content of a teacher’s guide doesn’t only have to be linked to Language Arts, Math, Science, etc.

Get to Know the Standards

If you’re trying to break into the educational market, it’s important to consider that teachers follow standards when planning for instruction. There are different standards, depending on the course subject, but a great starting point would be to check out the Common Core Standards. These standards are organized by grade level and you can familiarize yourself with the skills students are expected to develop in both English Language Arts and Math. If you’re working on a bilingual teacher’s guide, like me, it’s helpful to also consider the Spanish Common Core Standards.

Make it Engaging, yet Rigorous!

As someone who was in the classroom for fifteen years, I can tell you that I have tried pretty much everything to “entertain” my students. Yes, school should be about learning and not entertaining, but let’s be real. It is much easier to get children to do what they’re “supposed to do” if they are highly motivated and engaged.

That is why it is very important to make sure that the activities and lessons included in your teacher’s guide are fun, as well as highly educational. Your teacher’s guide should have more than simple worksheets and fill-in-the-blank activities. If possible, make sure to include 21st-century activities and skills like digital literacy and environmental stewardship.

Teachers are busy, busy people. They are highly appreciative of resources that will make their busy lives easier and will save them time. If a teacher can find a resource that is well aligned to the content and the standards they teach AND will make their kids happy because they’re engaged and having fun, you have a winner!

Final Thoughts

These are just some preliminary considerations for anyone interested in creating a teacher’s guide. I will continue to share my progress in the coming weeks and months as well as some sample lessons and activities.

If writing a teacher’s guide seems too overwhelming and you’d much rather delegate the task, I’d be happy to help! Please reach out to me by completing this contact form so we can set up a time and date to meet to discuss your teacher guide or children’s book’s authorship vision!

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LATINA AUTHORS VIRTUAL HOLIDAY BOOK FAIR 

I am happy to announce that I will be part of this years LATINA AUTHORS VIRTUAL HOLIDAY BOOK FAIR! 

This HOLIDAY SEASON, get the gifts that your loved ones can open forever: BOOKS!

Please Join me and other amazing others on Sunday, Dec. 5th – at 2pm PT/3pm MT/4pmCT/5pmET!

Click on the link below to register: 

⚡️Free to Register!

⚡️Get Discounts on amazing books

⚡Support Latina Authors 

#supportsmallbusinessess #latinxstores #supportLatinaownedbusinesses #shopLatina #shopLatinx #smallbusinesssaturday #latina #bilingualbooks #spanishbooks #booksforbilingualbabies #ownvoices #ownvoice

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Self-Publishing Bilingual Children’s Books (Part 2!)

My debut children’s book Mi prima islena y yo / My Island Cousin and I will be released on Saturday June 12th

Countdown to launch!

It’s been a very hectic few months as I work to prepare all the final details for the launch of my debut books!

Self-publishing books hasn’t been easy. It’s been a journey full of as many ups as downs, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone truly interested in sharing a great story with the world to not take the risk and set out on this path.

In the first part of my self-publishing post, I talked about the first phase of my process, highlighting some of the major action steps that I took to get the ball rolling.

In this post, I want to highlight the steps I took after the illustration and proofreading process:

  1. Book Formatting: I’m sure everyone has a different experience, but for me, one of the most daunting and stressful process was the formatting process. Up to this point, my self-publishing journey had been relatively easy. I was fortunate enough to find fantastic illustrators for each of my books. However, before a book can be published, it needs to be properly formatted. Formatting entails that all of your spreads are laid out as they should be and that the illustrations and the text come out clearly.

Anticipate having to format your book multiple times! For one of my books, the spreads were off, so I needed to get it reformatted and reprinted. You have to pay each time you need to upload a new file and pay for the printing and shipping.

You should also establish a budget if you plan self-publishing your children’s book — something I quickly learned! With the illustrations, proofreading, formatting, etc. the expenses can quickly add up.

2. Choosing the right self-publishing platform: There are a few self-publishing platforms you can use to publish your book. Some of the most common ones are Amazon KDP, Ingram Spark and Lulu. Ultimately, I decided to publish the paperback and hardcover copies of my books on Ingram Spark. I decided to publish my e-books on Amazon KDP.

I found Ingram Spark to be very easy to use. Printing multiple proofs of my books and having them shipped out multiple times was a bit expensive, however. I ordered rush shipping for my proofs various times because I wanted to speed up the process. Expect to pay 15 dollars or more on shipping each time!

3. ISBN & Copyright: You cannot publish a book without an ISBN number, so you must apply for copyright protection under the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure that your work is protected. I purchased a package of 10 ISBN numbers along with two copyright registrations from Bowker. If you plan on publishing multiple versions of your book (hardcover, paperback, eBook), keep in mind that each version will require its own ISBN number.

Once you’ve purchased the copyright protection, you must complete an application from the U.S. Copyright Office website. You must pay a fee for each copyright registration.

4. Marketing: Once you are satisfied with your proofs and all paperwork has been completed, you are ready to enable your book for distribution. However, I wouldn’t recommend publishing your book without having done some serious marketing first. I spent about a month and a half launching my marketing plan and these are some of the things that I did to increase visibility for my book launch:

Organized an in person book launch: I am pairing up with another local author to organize a book promotion event on Saturday June 12th & Sunday June 13th. At this event, we will be doing a book talk and reading of our books. We will also have printed books available to sign and sell.

Interviews: A great way to bring visibility for your books is by doing interviews prior to your launch. I participated in an interview for a podcast called Wachame: Testimonios de Resilencia, which is set to air on Saturday June 12th (the day of the launch of my first book). Here is the link:

I also participated in a radio interview by Vocalo Radio in Chicago. There is a segment called Domingos en Vocalo and I had the opportunity to talk about my books, as well as the event I’ve been planning.

Social Media Promotion: Posting consistently on social media is also very important. I make it a point to post an update on my publishing journey, digital flyers advertising my book and promotion event, pictures of my books, etc. at least once a week. The two social media sites I use the most are Facebook and Instagram, but other platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can also be helpful in raising visibility.

-Develop a launch team: Recruit people who would be willing to read and help you promote your book. Since I am a bilingual educator and I am publishing two bilingual children’s books, I am part of various social media groups for bilingual/multicultural parents, bilingual educators and bilingual education scholars. I announced my launch to various special interest groups that I am a part of, and I was able to gather a team of people who would provide me with feedback on my books and would help me promote the launch of each book.

Overall, I have learned SO much from this experience. I felt overwhelmed before I started and I experienced moments when I felt unsure about being able to pull this off. I didn’t give up, was able to push through and I learned a lot from the process.

I am beyond excited to announce the launch of my two children’s book, inspired by my four daughters and my experience raising bilingual / multicultural children.

My first book, Mi prima islena y yo / My Island Cousin and I will be released on Saturday June 12th. It will be available on paperback, hardcover and eBook.

My second book, Somos gemelas pero no identicas / We Are Twins But We Are Not Identical! will be released on Thursday July 1st. It is also available in paperback, hardcover and eBook.

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Self-Publishing a Bilingual Children’s Book

I’ve been in education for almost twenty years and I do love it. As stressful as teaching can be, it is highly rewarding. I love children and it is a privilege to serve their families and their communities. That being said, my pipe dream has always been to be a children’s book author.

When I was a kid, I wrote many stories during my spare time. Internet didn’t exist and my mom didn’t let us watch a lot of of TV. Being bored helped me develop A LOT of creativity. So I began putting my scattered ideas on paper. Sometimes I wrote stories about animals. Sometimes I wrote about princesses. Some of my stories were about little girls, just like me. Sometimes, I wrote the stories and my younger brother drew the pictures. I stapled the pages together and created a book. I remember feeling an immense sense of pride whenever I created a new one. I didn’t realize it then, but I was acting out what, in my heart, I knew I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

At some point along the way, I internalized the message that writing wouldn’t be a lucrative career. I never saw many books with characters or stories that connected to me in a real way. Growing up in the 90s, I didn’t have access to a lot of multicultural literature at school. Writing and publishing a book always seemed like an unattainable dream. Who would publish anything I would write? What does publishing a book even cost? What if I published a book and everyone HATED it? So I put my dream in a box, and I tucked it away somewhere deep in my mind, so that I could focus my attention on following a path of certainty and stability.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I have loved being a teacher. Following that path of stability has served me well. It has taught me so much about children, our society and myself. Being an educator has helped me a better mother. It is helping me tremendously in my doctoral research. And perhaps now that experience and knowledge that I’ve acquired as a bilingual educator can help me unpack my tucked away dream of writing books for children who, like me, are eager to really see themselves in the stories they read.

For the past year, I’ve been working on self-publishing my first two children’s books. Both of these books are very personal and are also closely tied to my identity as a Latina, a mother and an educator. I will publish more details about each book in the weeks to come, but for now, I wish to share a bit of my journey as a self-published author.

Get inspired by your surroundings

It is no secret that many authors often connect their writing to personal experiences. When I taught Spanish literature at the high school level, my students and I would explore how many of the authors wrote about topics that were very closely tied to their lives. Federico Garcia Lorca wrote about his experiences living in under a tyrannical Spanish government. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fictional town of Macondo was heavily inspired by his own birthplace. It was through reading the stories of some of these world-renowned authors that I realized that I have my own interesting stories to tell. My life right now isn’t ultra adventurous but that doesn’t mean I can’t write about what I am most immersed in right now, right? And right now, I’m most immersed in the lives of my four young daughters.

My two books: Mi prima isleña y yo & ¡Somos gemelas, pero no somos idénticas! are inspired by my four daughters. In fact, one book is dedicated to my older daughters and the second book is dedicated to my fraternal twin daughters.

Work on your craft

Months before I sat down and wrote out each story, I signed up for a few writing courses on Udemy. The two courses I took are called:

  1. Publish your Children’s Picture Book
  2. The Foundations of Fiction

There are various other writing courses on Udemy and online, in general. The price of the courses now may be different than I what I paid for but Udemy often has promotions and I often purchase courses when they are on sale.

It was important for me to really verse myself on the elements of writing a good story before sitting down and writing one. Writing a children’s book isn’t as easy as people might think. It is true that the stories are generally shorter and the language is simpler, but because of those things, it is important to choose your words carefully and be thoughtful about the flow of the story.

I’m by no means an expert in children’s writing yet and I hope to continue working on improving on my style and my ability to tell a cohesive story.

Research the process

To research how to publish a children’s book, I also spent a good amount of time researching the process. I downloaded and read through various self-publishing checklists I found on the internet. I joined a few Facebook groups for self-published authors. I watched a few videos on YouTube. I tried the research various perspectives on the self-publishing process so that I could find overlapping themes and get some ideas on how to carve out the path that best worked for me.

Some of the videos that I found on YouTube are linked below:

  1. thatssojayah
  2. Scattered Brilliancy
  3. Michelle Farley

These videos stood out to me for various reasons. Firstly, all of the authors on these videos are people of color who write books to give a voice and authentic representation to children of color. Secondly, these authors provided interesting insight on how to self-publish a book entirely on your own. I learned something valuable from each of these videos ranging from book illustration, marketing, setting realistic goals and solidifying my niche.

Hire an illustrator

Drawing is not my thing. In addition to my fear of failure, my lack of artistic ability is probably the other factor that kept me from attempting to publish a children’s book for so long. Originally, I was hoping my brother would illustrator the two books I am now publishing but, unfortunately, our schedules didn’t coincide. I’m hoping to get him on board to publish some of my children’s books in the near future!

Thanks to the videos that I found on YouTube, I learned about Fiverr and the many services that are offered there. It was there that I was fortunate enough to find the illustrator of Mi prima isleña y yo: Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar.

I worked with Vidya for a total of five months. The experience was fantastic. She is an extremely talented illustrator who is based in England. It was truly a honor to collaborate with her and have her integrate her personal style to make my book come to life.

I found the author of my second book, ¡Somos gemelas, pero no somos idénticas! on a Facebook group called Chicago Latina Moms (https://www.chicagolatinamoms.com/). I’ve been part of this fantastic community for years now and I’ve found recommendations from everything ranging to bakers and travel ideas. I knew that perhaps I could find a talented Latina artist in the group and I wasn’t wrong.

I knew that I wanted one of the illustrators of my books to be a Latina and working with a local artist was a tremendous bonus. Through CLM, I was able to connect to Diana Torres. Working with Diana has also been an outstanding experience. Her quirky style gives my second book a look that is different than the other book but breathes life into the story in a unique way.

Get your work proofread

Even though I am highly proficient in both Spanish and English, I knew that it was important for me to get my book proofread by an experienced, bilingual proofreader. I was able to connect to a bilingual proofreader through Fiverr who not only checked my story for grammar and accuracy in both languages but also gave me some meaningful feedback pertaining to the overall direction of my story. It was a bit nerve-wracking to have a stranger pick apart my story, but it was an extremely valuable experience. It is a part of the self-publishing process that should NOT be left out, by any means.

Both of my books are currently undergoing formatting and, at a later date, I will post updates on that process as well as another crucial component of the self-publishing journey: marketing. Marketing is a tricky beast and that topic may require multiple posts in the near future.

Conclusion

For now, I will end this post reiterating how important it is to not relinquish your dreams. I have learned so much from starting this process and I am hopeful for the future. All of our stories have value and sharing them with the world is both cathartic and altruistic.

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Acceso a auténtica literatura española para adolescentes

Una noche, hace unos meses, mientras mi esposo y yo estábamos preparando a nuestras niñas para ir a la cama, les pedí a mis niñas mayores que fueran a buscar un libro de su biblioteca para leer. “Vayan y busquen un libro, “digo mientras suben a su habitación.

Leí el libro Contando con Frida de Patty Rodríguez a mis mellizas de dos años. Es uno de sus favoritos ahora que están aprendiendo colores, números y formas. Compré ese libro, junto con un algunos otros libros bilingües de Amazon. Obtener material de lectura en español para ellas ha sido bastante fácil.

Pongo a las mellizas a dormir y subo para leerles un libro a mis hijas de ocho y seis años.

Cuando entro al cuatro de las niñas, veo el libro que me eligieron para leer en la parte superior de la litera de abajo: Pinkalicious (en español). “¡Otra vez!” me quejo.

“Mamá, es que no encontré nada en español!” dice mi hija mayor. “Me acerco a su estantería y empiezo a hurgar en su selección de libros. Después de unos cinco minutos de buscar en todas sus estanterías, me doy cuenta de que mi hija tenía razón. Ya habíamos leído todos los libros en español varias veces. Mis opciones eran elegir un libro en inglés para leer o volver a leer Pinkalicious (en español) para lo que hubiera parecido la décima milésima vez esa noche. ¡Sin ofender a Victoria Kann (la autora del libro)!

Estoy compartiendo esta breve anécdota, porque hizo que me diera cuenta de algo importante: a medida que mis niñas crecen, me resulta cada vez más difícil encontrar textos apropiados en español para su grado escolar para que los lean en casa. Mi hija mayor, por ejemplo, está leyendo libros de capítulos. Al buscar en Amazon, descubrí que faltan opciones para libros de capítulos que pudieran llamarle la atención. Esto me preocupa un poco porque si el objetivo es asegurar que mis hijos sean completamente bilingües y biletrados cuando sean adultos, necesito poder encontrarles material de lectura en español que sea comparable al material que puedo encontrar para ellos en inglés. Necesito abordar este problema ahora que aún son más pequeños, antes de que lleguen a la escuela secundaria y no sé cómo ayudarlos.

Esto es definitivamente algo en lo que he empezado a trabajar bastante recientemente. Afortunadamente, he podido encontrar algunas librerías en línea que venden textos literarios en español para niños mayores (de 8 a 12 años) y adultos jóvenes (de 13 a 17 años). Muchas de estas librerías realizan envíos a Estados Unidos y ofrecen una amplia selección de libros de varios géneros.

El propósito de esta publicación es compartir estos recursos con otras personas
que están en esta situación también. Espero que puedan encontrarlos útiles y si puedo recomendar más, ¡dejen un comentario a continuación!

NOTA: Ninguna de las compañías a continuación me pagaron para anunciar o promocionar sus productos en esta publicación.

  1. LA Libreria:  https://www.la-libreria.net/iguales-pero-diferentes/

Nacida en 2012, como se describe en su sitio web, esta librería online se creó “con el objetivo de promover la literatura infantil en español en todas sus formas” En este sitio web, uno puede encontrar libros en español organizados por tema y apropiados para niños de 0 a 15 años. No solo puede encontrar libros que pueden complementar lo que su hijo está aprendiendo en ciencias, estudios sociales e idioma, pero puedes encontrar un montón de libros que atraen una amplia variedad de intereses. En particular, me encantó que el sitio ofrece clásicos del idioma inglés como Treasure Island, pero también ofrece series en español como A lomo de cuento, donde los estudiantes pueden aprender sobre la geografía y la cultura de varios países de habla hispana como Cuba y Perú.

2. Books del Sur: https://booksdelsur.org/

La filosofía detrás del trabajo que realiza Books del Sur es “Desarrollar Colecciones de Libros Españoles Equitativos.” Books del Sur ofrece una variedad creciente de libros para niños desde la primaria hasta la secundaria. Los libros ofrecidos son libros traducidos al español, libros bilingües y libros auténticos publicados en toda América Latina. Los consultores trabajan con usted en persona o en línea para ayudarlo a alinear sus prioridades con la selección de libros que tienen disponibles.

3. . Libros 787 (Puerto Rico): https://libros787.com/

Libros 787 es una librería en español en línea con sede en Puerto Rico. La variedad de clásicos ofrecidos en inglés en esta librería era un poco mayor que mis dos primeras opciones. Estaba totalmente emocionada de ver Alicia en el país de las maravillas, 1984, El Conde de Montecristo y muchos títulos familiares traducidos al español. ¡También estaba emocionado de ver muchas variedades del idioma español, como libros sobre historia, cultura y películas puertorriqueñas! Encargué el libro Ellas: Historias de mujeres puertorriquenas para leer a mis hijas antes de acostarme. Con más de 50 biografías breves en español, ¡definitivamente tendré mucho material para dormir ahora!

4. Syncretic Press: https://syncreticpress.com/collections/early-school-years

Syncretic Press no parece ser tan conocido como algunos de los otros títulos de esta lista, pero definitivamente veo espacio para el potencial después de leer detenidamente su sitio. Fundada en 2016 y ubicada en Wilmington Delaware, Syncretic Press es una “editorial independiente de libros para niños en español, con un enfoque especial en autores e ilustradores latinoamericanos.” Los libros a la venta en el sitio son para niños de entre 2 y 12 años. Una cosa que encontré intrigante en su sitio, más como maestra que como padre, es su oferta de “Club de lectura en español.” Al igual que en el Scholastic Book Club, cada vez que los estudiantes de un aula determinada compran cinco libros de Syncretic, sus maestros obtienen un libro gratis de la empresa para agregarlo a la biblioteca de su aula.

5. TiendaMia: https://tiendamia.com/libros

Esta joya de tienda en línea tiene su sede en Miami y vende más de MIL MILLONES de productos de los Estados Unidos y varios países de América Latina. Además de comprar todo tipo de productos (como ropa, electrodomésticos, etc.) TiendaMia cuenta con una librería online muy amplia. Los libros no solo son asequibles, sino que me encanta que puedo encontrar libros en español para personas de todas las edades e intereses, no solo para niños pequeños.

6. Libros in Espanol Libreria Online: https://librosinespanol.com/collections/8-12

Libros en español es otra gran librería en línea donde puedes encontrar todo tipo de libros geniales en español, para personas de todas las edades. Ahora que mi hija de tercer grado está empezando a leer libros de capítulos, estoy muy emocionada de ver títulos populares como El diario de un niño débil, Harry Potter y Los juegos del hambre disponibles en español para ella. Pude acceder fácilmente a textos de autores como Isabel Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa y Laura Esquivel. También me parece increíblemente fascinante que este sitio web tenga otros clásicos de autores como Shakespeare (Macbeth en español), Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Nathaniel Hawthorne y Victor Hugo. Realmente amo la versatilidad de este sitio web.

7. . Rueka Libreria Infantil (Colombia): http://www.rueka.com.co/home-2/

Esta librería en línea de Colombia contiene muchos libros lindos en español de varios géneros para niños de 0 a 12 años. El blog de este sitio web también es un gran recurso para los padres que desean aprender más sobre cómo apoyar las habilidades de alfabetización y el amor general por la lectura en casa. Sin embargo, lo que más me llama la atención de este sitio web es que cada libro que compra viene con algún tipo de actividad o material educativo que permitirá a los padres interactuar con el libro de una manera pedagógica con su hijo. Supongo que el propietario de este negocio en línea era un ex profesor. De cualquier manera, lo que están haciendo aquí es genial.

8. BuscaLibre Libreria Online: https://www.buscalibre.us/libros

Este sitio web es muy similar en formato a TiendaMia (mencionado anteriormente) con su propia selección de diversos títulos, todos disponibles en español. El pago de los libros se acepta en dólares estadounidenses, aunque los libros disponibles provienen de varios países como Chile, México, Colombia y España.

9. Libreria Internacional: https://www.libreriainternacional.com/Libros/Infantiles

La selección de libros para niños aquí solo varía de 0 a 11 años, pero todavía hay muchos títulos para elegir, especialmente para maestros de dos idiomas de secundaria. Hay muchos títulos en español disponibles en ciencia, historia, arte y literatura. Después de leer detenidamente el sitio web, definitivamente vi algunos títulos que compraría para usar como referencia al planificar una clase de ciencias o historia en dos idiomas, por ejemplo.

10. Lehmann Virtual Online (Costa Rica) : https://www.lehmannvirtual.com/

Esta librería costarricense fue fundada en 1896, lo que la convierte en una de las librerías más antiguas de América Latina. Se caracteriza por su servicio al cliente de alta calidad y su toque personal. El catálogo de libros en línea contiene una variedad de títulos de libros para niños tanto en el nivel primario como en el secundario. Hay muchos ejemplos de títulos españoles para jóvenes adultos como la popular serie Divergente y títulos de cómics y manga japonés. Lehmann también contiene varios recursos educativos para maestros de diversas áreas de contenido, como Historia Mundial, Historia Latinoamericana, Artes del Lenguaje en Español y Química.

11. Casa del Libro (Espana): https://www.casadellibro.com/

Fundada en 1923, Casa del Libro es la cadena de librerías más importante de España. La cadena cuenta con 47 librerías repartidas por todo el país. La librería en línea es impresionante. Si está dispuesto a gastar un poco más en euros para obtener títulos auténticos en español, entonces esta opción valdrá la pena. El catálogo de libros en línea de Casa del Libro contiene títulos de libros impresos y electrónicos en español de varios géneros para niños de 0 a 18 años. Los maestros de dos idiomas de secundaria también agradecerían la disponibilidad de libros de texto, libros de trabajo y materiales educativos disponibles en varias áreas temáticas.

12.  Librimundi Libreria Internacional (Ecuador): https://www.librimundi.com/lm#/home

Esta cadena de librerías de Ecuador contiene libros a precios muy razonables (usan dólares estadounidenses) para niños pequeños y adultos jóvenes. Al igual que Libros en español (mencionado anteriormente), Librimundi tiene una muy buena selección de literatura clásica traducida al español, como Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes y 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Cualquiera que esté interesado en presentar los clásicos en español definitivamente podría beneficiarse de las opciones que se ofrecen en este sitio web.

Creo firmemente que para lograr altos niveles de alfabetización bilingüe, debemos ser muy intencionales en lo que respecta a los recursos que ofrecemos a nuestros hijos en AMBOS idiomas. Incluso en hogares y aulas bilingües en los Estados Unidos, es muy fácil para el inglés dominar el idioma minoritario. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que elijamos recursos en el segundo idioma que aprovechen las mismas profundidades del desarrollo cognitivo que el inglés.

Como persona bilingüe educada en los Estados Unidos, no tuve muchas oportunidades de leer literatura en español a menos que me dieran la oportunidad de hacerlo en la única clase de español que tomaba cada año en la escuela (de las siete clases que tomé, en total) o si tomé la decisión consciente de leer un texto en español sobre un texto en inglés por mi cuenta. Ahora que muchos distritos escolares ofrecen programas de dos idiomas (una oportunidad que no estaba disponible para mí cuando era niña), las generaciones futuras de niños tienen el tremendo privilegio de acceder a recursos auténticos en dos idiomas.

Todos los sitios web que he incluido en esta publicación contienen recursos auténticos en español que podrían ayudar a desbloquear habilidades de alfabetización de mayor nivel para los adolescentes. ¡Espero que los padres y maestros encuentren útiles los recursos que he incluido en esta publicación!

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Are All Dual Language Programs Created Equal?

Earlier this month, NPR published an article in which it highlighted the expansion of dual language programs in the city of Chicago. In the article, linked below, it was mentioned that CPS has expanded the number of dual language programs by adding an additional 26 over the last five years.

Link to article: https://www.wbez.org/stories/as-cps-expands-gold-standard-bilingual-program-questions-are-raised-about-who-benefits/e6c10006-fba9-4617-9ef2-fa7435dd3c09

Sounds like a good thing, right? After all, isn’t the mission behind dual language programs to provide equal opportunities to all students to become bilingual, biliterate and multiculturally aware? The fact that CPS is rolling out so many programs in such as short period of time must mean that there is increased buy-in for dual language programs and that that buy-in is probably due to the incredible success dual language programs have demonstrated in educating ALL of its student participants, regardless of race, cultural and socio-economic background, doesn’t it?

For years, many English Language Learners have had to renounce their native language at the expense of learning academic English. Well-intentioned pediatricians or teachers have discouraged parents from speaking their native language at home as to not “confuse” their children. However, current research has shown the opposite: children who are exposed to two languages experience many benefits that their monolingual peers do not such as delayed memory loss, increased cultural awareness and increased ability to learn subsequent languages.

Dual language programs are created with the intention to promote social justice and dismantle inequities, specifically by providing English Language Learners with the language and literacy support that would allow them to develop English literacy skills, without having to renounce their heritage language and culture. When the program is implemented with fidelity, participants exhibit stronger academic growth than their monolingual peers. But like Dr. Sonia Soltero, a professor from Depaul University in Chicago, mentioned in the article linked above: “Dual language is a lofty goal and ambitious,.”It is set up for failure if you don’t have the teachers who are trained, [and] support and buy in from policymakers. If these things are not in place, this does not work very well.”

When shopping around for a school for my daughters, I decided early on that enrolling them in a dual language program would be non-negotiable. My oldest daughters, ages 8 and 6, can now understand Spanish and English perfectly and are learning to speak, read and write in both languages as well. However, I do often wonder how their language and literacy skills in both languages will develop as they get older. Will they prefer English over Spanish? Will they have have academic language gaps in one language or both? How can I, as a parent, tell that the dual language program my children are enrolled in is truly promoting their biliteracy development? How do I know that the dual language program that they are a part of is of high priority at their school?

I don’t think I can answer all of these questions with absolute certainty given that there is so much about dual language programs that I still need to learn, see and experience. However, there are a few characteristics that I have identified over the years, through my experiences as a dual language parent and educator, that are definitely worth noting. I believe that dual language schools that encompass many, or all, of the characteristics listed below have a higher probability of long-term program sustainability and are more likely to develop a program that is consistent, coherent and equitable.

  1. The long-term vision of the school is to expand to a “school-wide” dual language program: When a school has a “single -strand” dual language program, this means that there is only one group of students enrolled in the dual language program while the rest of the student population is enrolled in monolingual English classes. Dual language students that are part of a single strand program may attend school in a bubble and may feel isolated from the rest of their peers. However, a school that has a “school-wide” dual language program has implemented their program at a much larger scale. Most, if not all, of the students participate in the school’s dual language program and the value of the program is deeply instilled in the school culture. When implemented at a school-wide level, the dual language program shifts from being just another initiative that passes through the school to a majority priority. Decisions made about resources, staffing, professional development and all areas of the school structure are made with the dual language program in mind.
  2. There is buy- in from ALL stakeholders: When certain stakeholders have little to no knowledge about their school’s dual language program, are dismissive of the program or flat out oppose it, the greater the chances the program will fail at meeting the. needs of the students. However, when all members of the school community believe in the benefits of dual language, all of them will be much more likely to work together to sustain the program. Buy-in from all stakeholders creates a stronger sense of purpose for the school and when an entire group shares the same purpose, there will be more people working actively and collaboratively to accomplish all of the program’s goals.
  3. There is substantial collaboration and mutual respect between monolingual and dual language teachers: I’ve observed programs where dual and monolingual teachers appear to be at odds with one another. I’ve heard dual language teachers express resentment over the fact that they have to do twice as much planning as their monolingual peers or are pulled into more meetings while their monolingual peers are given more time to grade or course plan. Conversely, I’ve heard monolingual teachers express feelings of fear and anxiety over the possibility of losing their jobs for not being bilingual. I’ve met monolingual teachers who take the coursework towards an ESL/Bilingual endorsement only for job preservation and security, not because they have any real desire to learn more about biliteracy development. These feelings are valid and understandable, but not very conducive to the development of a dual language program that puts the needs of the students first. When monolingual and dual language teachers have a clear understanding of the unique role they ALL play in the success of their school’s dual language program, they are more likely to find the time and develop the desire to work collaboratively and respectfully to create curriculum that is intentional about taking the nuances of both languages into account.
  4. The dual language instructional and leadership team is mindful about promoting linguistic equity: Other fear-based comments that I’ve heard surrounding dual language instruction include: “We can’t offer Math or Science in Spanish because it’s too hard” or “If students take their Math classes in Spanish, they will perform poorly on the Math standardized tests that are administered in English.” I have seen Spanish (and other second languages of instruction) take a back seat to English once a sense of fear sets in that children will “fall behind” in English. These feelings of fear are heightened during testing years. When a school decides to implement a dual language program, it is crucial that both languages be given the same level of priority and are designated the same value. The same opportunities that students are given to learn academic English need to be provided in the second language of instruction. Designating “English-only” spaces send the message that the other language of instruction doesn’t really matter as much. If these types of practices continue to expand, dual language runs the risk of becoming another subtractive bilingual education program, instead of the additive model it was intended to be.
  5. The dual language instructional and leadership team is mindful about promoting cultural equity: For many years, American education has been monolithic in nature. Students, regardless of cultural and linguistic background, have had to read the stories of characters that lack any parallel to their own lives or study the history of the majority culture, while little to no attention is given to history of the people from their own cultural background. Today, educational policy makers are emphasizing the implementation of anti-racist curriculum, culturally responsive teaching and dual language programs as initiatives to dismantle the cultural hegemony that has long existed in traditional American curricula. But old habits are hard to break. What if these pernicious ideas somehow manage to weave themselves back into classrooms? Students in dual language programs not only need to study history and literature in other languages, but from different cultural lenses as well. The same amount of attention that is given to analyze the causes of the American Revolution needs to be given to the Mexican Revolution, for example.
  6. The dual language program provides equal access to those who need it the most : A major challenge presented in the article that I linked above is that the many of the dual language programs that have been launched in the last five years in Chicago all happen to be in neighborhoods that are gentrifying or have gentrified. The gentrification of neighborhoods like Logan Square and Avondale, has pushed out many of the low-income Spanish speaking families who have lived there for many years and are now unable to afford housing in those communities. Some of the schools in these communities, who have experienced low enrollment, have decided to implement dual language programs in order to make their school more appealing and marketable to prospective homeowners. These circumstances make dual language programs seem like a marketing ploy rather than a tool for real societal change.

I personally don’t have a problem with the expansion of dual language programs. In fact, I hope for a future where dual language programs are the norm. However, I also believe that all dual language program implementation should be thoughtful, coherent and equitable. Dual language instruction should place both languages of instruction, as well as their respective cultures, on equal footing. But above all, high-quality dual language programs need to be made available to the students they were meant to serve in the first place.