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Educational magazine review: Learning about Bilingual Times

Literacy is such an important aspect for parents, nowadays. It is even more essential when parents have children that struggle with reading or have a learning disability. Reading can be daunting or a chore. But reading can be a wonderful activity.

Parents can encourage children by reading different types of materials such as audio books, picture dictionaries or encyclopedias, read-along-books, and even magazines.

Sometimes magazines can be wonderful resources for their short stories, educational games and interesting facts. Perhaps, in less than 30 minutes, children along with their parents can read about Spanish culture, cuisine and how to say Spanish greetings.

Bilingual Times or Tiempos Bilingües presents fun and interesting materials to children in very simple ways. The magazine is organized in a manner that educators can utilize the information to teach about science, social studies, geography and culture. Spanish4Kiddos had the great pleasure to interview Bea Martinez, editor of Bilingual Times, to learn more about the magazine and its future.

The concept of a bilingual magazine can appeal to so many. How did it come about? What are your hopes for the magazine?

The experience of teaching Spanish as a foreign language and being instructors gave us the idea of developing interesting and creative material that stimulates conversation and develops the vocabulary. Our magazine is bilingual because we believe it opens up other possibilities and options for teacher’s and student’s interaction and provides entertainment to bilingual families as well.  We started this project a year ago, after being in our minds for a while. We wish and plan to continue with it for many years to come!

Bilingual Times (Tiempos Bilingües) talks about science, literature and so many other wonderful topics. Do you have a particular favorite topic for the magazine?

We feel drawn to everyday life topics and news, social issues and the environment, information technology, facts from the past and ideas for the future. We try to catch the reader’s attention and at the same time inspire them to learn a new language.

Many children and students may not be familiar with magazines as they are with books. Can you tell us what type of information you can gather from magazines? What type of periodical is Bilingual Times, biweekly, monthly?

Bilingual Times is a bimonthly publication. It provides information on interesting points of view with articles on a variety of topics, play on words, and vocabulary related to the text and the incentive of receiving interesting and new material with each publication.

It seems that there are plenty of talented people involved in a magazine. Can you tell us a little bit more about the functions of each person involved in putting together this awesome magazine?

We have two directors, who are in charge of development and marketing, as well as editing, contents of each issue and articles. We have contributors who help us choose different materials (texts, photography, and illustration).  We also have a translator, an editor, a proofreader, a graphic designer and an illustrator.

Can you tell us a bit more about the next Bilingual Times issue? Where can students, educators, parents obtain copies of past and future issues?

In our next Bilingual Times issue we will write about the mountains, the challenges they present and the sport activities they offer us.  The circus, its magic, its history and romance are also themes. The importance of sleeping & dreaming as it relates to our health is another aspect of our magazine. We talk about our “New buddies” the robots. And we will also write about the future of cities, its plans and possibilities.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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