How to build a bilingual online community?

Last semester I explored best practices to build an online bilingual community. I performance individual interviews with two social media experts about their recommendations regarding how to build an online community. In their opinion the most important common factors in successful online community groups are:

Identity: Establishing an online identity. This is aligned with the purpose of creating a community that is the process to interact with other members that share common interests.

Passion: Developing an online community requires time, commitment, and interest that are provided by members’ passion for the subject.

Leadership: The responses collected indicated the importance leadership plays in managing efficiently an online community.

Ethics: One of the participants mentioned the importance of respecting the ethical procedures and participation in a virtual group.

I also investigated which are the best practices to create a bilingual site. Both participants empathized the importance of applying a technological approach to the site. How to address Technology integration? They recommended utilizing web technologies for the majority of their interaction and content sharing. “Utilize accessible technologies that accommodate and communicate the site’s content and messaging to users of all targeted languages.” One suggested incorporated translation features. Encourage interactions facilitated by networked technologies – like chats, discussion forums, comment section, and any other features than enhances participants’ interaction.

After this experience I begin to build a Facebook site with the purpose to share ideas, concerns, and resources related with Second Language Acquisition. It is still in the development phase. Now I faced the challenge to improve, maintain, and promote the site. I need to find the effectively approach to manage my personal and professional scheduled to address effectively all my online spaces.

4 responses to “How to build a bilingual online community?”

  1. Hi Rosanna,

    I see how passionate you are about building an online presence in the bilingual community. This would be a great service for many people who speak more than one language and who would like to connect with others with the same background and language. Of course, that would probably mean finding resources for many different language speakers, and it can be a very big task for only one person. I think that choosing to start with only one main language and one secondary language: making connections, offering services, links, or leadership that others can count on would make a very big impact in the online community of second language speakers. as well.

    I like that you considered ethics as important in creating an online group. Some people will join just to make a sales pitch, or to distract the users from the real reason for the group in the first place. I think the rules need to be spelled out, in both languages, so that there will be no misunderstanding. In my travels through the internet, I found this interesting site for adults to learn to speak Spanish in 12 weeks. I hope you find it interesting and perhaps useful as a link to attract users to your site. Here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/

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    • Hello Carmen, thank your for your positive feedback and for your very useful ideas. It is great to know your experience and your point of view. I used that site during my time as Spanish teacher. I agree with you, it is great! I found the course very inspiring and tried to replicate some of the approach during a pilot Spanish course I developed as a final project for one of the course program. I think they would like to consider develop more episodes, my students and I love the “Mi Vida Loca” BBC language course.

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  2. Rosanna, your blog is very interesting to me as I teach foreign language in face-to-face, hybrid and online environments. The information you have provided in your blog entry is very useful. I am wondering who the two social media experts were and whether they are monolingual, bilingual or multi-lingual?

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    • Hello Patricia, the social media experts are two professors from this master program. I performed interviews with them in English since they don’t speak Spanish. Their recommendations were focused on recommended practices even though during my inquiry I pointed out they didn’t have experience developing bilingual web sites. I didn’t provide the names because in the protocol for that research I specified their identities will remain anonymous. This is a link to the research presentation in case you want to know more about it.

      http://prezi.com/cibfvymnwv3j/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

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