About the Bilingual Village
The Bilingual Village is sponsored by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and funded by a grant—Dual Language STEPS— awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote proficiency in Spanish and English for children and adults.
It is a physical and virtual network of schools and community partners that enables language learners to practice speaking their new language.
Community partners are public businesses, organizations, agencies, individuals, and institutions that welcome second language learners, so they have a safe space to practice their new language in the real world.
Who is it for?
English Learners who need an encouraging space to practice their new language
Heritage Speakers and former English learners who would like to develop, maintain, or increase their Spanish speaking and listening skills
Spanish learner students in dual language or world languages programs who need an encouraging space to practice their new language.
Please note that the Bilingual Village is continuously expanding. If you are or know someone who would be interested in promoting a language other than Spanish and English, contact us!
How does it work?
Language learners are given the opportunity to visit and interact with the community partner(s) of their choice, in the language that they are learning.
Community partners provide a welcoming safe space for students to practice, where they don’t feel self-conscious or embarrassed.
They focus on:
- Being welcoming to show students that they are excited to practice with them.
- Staying in the language. They will not switch languages even if the student seems to struggle.
- Being patient. They will give the students time as they may take a bit longer to speak.
Participating employees will wear a Bilingual Badge so that students can recognize them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Why should I join the Bilingual Village?
There are multiple reasons to join the Bilingual Village. Whether you are a school or a business.
Language learners often have trouble to transition from their classroom to the outside world. Language teachers are trained to use “Teacher Talk” (slow paced, easily comprehensible output). That’s unfortunately something that is not always found in the real world. Our community partners know that and offer a safe, welcoming environment for language learners to practice their new language.
Do I need to pay?
The Bilingual Village is free for community partners and language learners. We are working towards building a community that encourages language learning. We do not force anyone to pay any type of fees nor do we ask for any financial compensations.
I am a business owner. What are the benefits for my business?
Businesses see new customers and are advertised on our website and social media platforms. They tend to build relationships with our language learners and word-of-mouth can also benefit them.
What do I need to do?
There are multiple ways you can contribute to the Bilingual Village. Please free to contact us so we can go over them with you.
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