Friday, July 22, 2011

Mexico calling language teachers.

by Leigh Thelmadatter

Things have been happening at Wikimedia México, we have one GLAM partner, the Museo de Artes Populares in Mexico City and two recent preliminary agreements with the Direction of Museums of the state of Colima and the Museo Ma Teresa Pomar at the University of Colima. This same university has also started a Wikipedia Club, the first in Mexico. Thanks to Rodolfo Velasco, Angie Mojica and Hugo Rodriguez for all their hard work!

This makes us really happy however, we want to do even more.

I recently posted a message on a listserv for English teachers in Mexico run by the U.S. embassy in Mexico City with the idea of recruiting language teachers to Wikimedia Mexico and the wider Wiki world. I have received sixteen responses so far to that mail and have directed them to our website and to add themselves to our listserv, but I will need to do more for this to get off the ground.

I believe foreign language teachers and foreign language students (especially those majoring in foreign languages) are a natural fit for Wikipedia and Wikimedia as not only is the encyclopedia multilingual, the organization is international and multicultural. It can provide language students a place to practice their language(s) in an “authentic” way (meaning in the real world for something other than grades) and give both teachers and students a way to network internationally, learning intercultural communication skills.

I would like to network with Spanish-as-a-foreign language teachers from anywhere in the globe to form partnerships with Mexican foreign language teachers using Wikipedia as a medium of communication. This could be a good way to get interested teachers started and more teachers interested. I teach English-as-a –foreign language but I can get in touch with teachers of other foreign languages here in Mexico.

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