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Bilingual and Spanish-Language Websites

As an educator, I am often concerned about whether students aregaining the technology skills they need. Because I have alwaystaught in predominantly working-class schools, and because manyof my students' primary home language is Spanish, I have addedconcerns.

By Cathy Amanti

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, "Falling Throughthe Net: Defining the Digital Divide," confirms that high-incomehouseholds are much more likely to have Internet access. Further,the development of educational Spanish-language software has notkept pace with the development of English software.

Fortunately, there is an increasing number of Spanish-languagewebsites available for classroom use. The following are a goodplace to start for both bilingual educators and Spanish-languageteachers who want to experience the wealth of high-quality Spanish-languagewebsites now in existence:

Lengua y literatura (www.edukt.com/colegios/indexlit.htm#li) is a comprehensive site with links to Spanish poems, riddles,tongue twisters, stories, and plays for students by Latin Americanauthors. This site is easily navigable in Spanish. Since noneof the poems or stories I viewed are illustrated, teachers maywant to download them into a wordprocessing document, print them,and let their students draw illustrations to accompany them. Thesite also links to articles on Latin American children's literaturefor teachers, as well as bibliographic information about the authorsfeatured. For older students there are links to bibliographicinformation and the works of classic Latin American authors suchas Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, and RubenDario.

De par en par is an online Spanish magazine for teachers with stories andactivities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.Published by the Spanish embassy in Washington, DC, each issuecontains four or five stories, illustrated by children, followedby lesson plans and student activity sheets that can easily bedownloaded and printed for classroom use. A list of related activitiesfollows each story with material lists and step-by-step directions.The stories are thematic and tie into science, math, history,and language arts. A paper version of this magazine is availableand teachers can be placed on a list to be notified when new editionsof the magazine are available.

¡Hot Internet sites en español! (www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/spanish) is a collection of Spanish sites organized in the followingcategories: elementary, secondary, Internet resources, and teacherresources. Although links are to Spanish sites, the homepage isin English. Very easy to navigate. One link is to Mundo Zoo (www.familia.cl/newweb/animales/animal.htm), a colorful, attractive resource for intermediate elementarystudents with photos and information in Spanish about animalsaround the world.

Spring 2000