Connecting & Colaboración & Kommunikation Across Languages & Cultures

I have been blogging for over three years now. I use my blog to:

  • document my thoughts about educational technology and my journey as a connected teacher
  • share  educational resources, lesson plans, How-To guides, web 2.0 tools, experiences in the classroom
  • develop professional development workshops
  • sprinkle awareness about cultural, country and language specific differences among us

This blog is written in English, since it is the language of the country I have studied, live and work in. 99.9% of the comments left by my readers are in English.

Why does it still not seem natural to me? Why do I  feel (and have always felt) that something is missing? I am the product of three languages, histories and cultures that are ALWAYS present in me. It feels unnatural to be confined to one language. I feel disconnected to the German and Spanish voices of educators that are and should be in my PLN.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philospher

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”

We have to understand that NOT everyone is comfortable in reading, learning and participating in English. There are many different levels of English learners. Some will read comfortably in English, but will not feel they are able to join the conversations on Twitter, a blog or a Wiki in writing. Others simply might not even join, because of the language barrier.

What can we do? What can we do to invite and include the voices of Non-English speakers?

First, we should recognize that the “global” part is missing in global network if we are excluding non-English speakers. I am not saying that we  are intentionally excluding them, but I feel it is important to recognize that VOICES ARE MISSING!

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I am also not saying that EVERYONE should learn another language (although that would be great!), but maybe the edtechies among us who already know another language chould make an effort to include their “other than English” language and facilitate an interchange between the English speaking world and “your other language” world.

Maybe I should start to blog or twitter more in Spanish or German to invite these voices to participate in this amazing network that has changed my own learning forever?

While pondering HOW I can invite teachers around the world to the conversation of the English speaking edusphere, I revisited Alec Courosa’s graphic of The Networked Teacher. I started looking at what makes a teacher a networked teacher, a connected teacher? BUT…

  • Does that mean the same thing in different countries?
  • Are we all there yet?
  • Are we talking about the same issues?
  • How does culture influence (support/hinder) our issues?
  • Are (and why) certain areas of connections preferred and others not popular?

How will I find out, if only English speakers read my thoughts, only the ones who feel comfortable in written English will respond?

Maybe it is time to open the dialogue further.

If you are a speaker of another language, will you be the one to bring non-English speaking voices in? Maybe you can take the time to blog or twitter (in the other language) about some of the issues that are floating around in the twitter- and bloggersphere? Bring those voices back and share with the English speaking monolingual world.

We can’t talk about global connections, if that only includes English speaking connections and leave it at that. The power of collaboration should take all of our contributions, creations and voices across languages and cultures.

No podemos hablar de conexiones mundiales, si solamente están incluídes las conexiones del habla inglés. El poder de la colaboracion debería llevar todas nuestras contribuciones, creaciones y voces encima de idiomas y culturas.

Wir koennen nicht ueber globale Verbindungen reden, wenn diese nur Englisch sprechende Verbindungen bedeuten. Die Staerke der Zusammenarbeit muesste alle unsere Beitraege, Gestaltungen und Stimmen ueber Sprache und Kulturen hinweg tragen.

Here is my first effort of opening up the dialogue across languages.

Aca está mi primer esfuerzo de abrir un diálogo encima de idiomas.

Hier ist mein erster Versuch einen Dialog ueber Sprachen hinweg zu oeffnen.

What is a networked teacher? ¿Qué es un docente enchufado? Was is ein vernetzter Lehrer?

Please feel free to comment in the language you feel most comfortable in. Let me know if you feel that your culture or language is not represented correctly? What will you share with (and from) the non-English speaking twitter- and blogging world?

Por favor, deja tu comentario en el idioma en que te sentís más cómodo. ¿Tu cultura o idioma está representado bien? ¿Qué vas a compartir con (o desde) el mundo de los blogs o twitter de habla hispana?

Bitte hinterlasse ein Kommentar in der Sprache, in der du dich am sichersten fuehlst. Ist deine Kultur oder Sprache richtig representiert? Was wirst du mit (und aus) der Blog oder Twitter Welt des deutschsprachigen Raumes teilen?

The Networked Teacher based on Alec Courosa’s graphic.

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El Docente Enchufado, based on Alec Courosa’s graphic.

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Der Vernetzte Lehrer, based on Alec Courosa’s graphic.

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