Channel View Publications is delighted to announce the creation of a new award to support multilingualism in families, schools and communities. Each year we will award £2000 to a group or individual that needs financial support in setting up and running a project to promote and develop multilingualism. The recipient of the 2011 award is Corey Heller and her Multilingual Living website. Here she tells us how she came to set up her website and about her plans for the money.
In 2002, after an argument with my mother, I sat in front of my computer and did a long search for information about raising children in more than one language. I was frustrated, concerned, worried and nervous. My German husband and I had decided that we definitely wanted to raise our son bilingually and that we would make German, my second language, our home language. I was delighted with our decision. My mother was not. She felt hurt and disappointed. She was worried that her first-born grandson would not recognize her as part of our family since she spoke a different language. She felt that I was rejecting my native language and country. When my son said his very first words, all of which were in German, she felt left out.
Although my web search in 2002 came up rather empty, I did find one resource that had exactly what I was looking for: Multilingual Matters. The publications which I found there were amazing. They opened up a whole new world that I did not even know existed: research, case studies, articles, information, interviews and support all about multilingualism. I was in heaven. Not only did publications like The Bilingual Family Newsletter and A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism give me reassurance about my mother’s reactions, they made me realize what I wanted to do: I wanted to create an online network where families around the world could find information and support in raising children in more than one language and culture.
When I was told that Multilingual Living had won the 2011 Multilingual Matters Multilingualism in the Community Award, which included over $3,000 in prize money, I was breathless! After all of these years of dedication and focus, it is an honor to be recognized by the company that I have looked up to all of these years for trustworthy guidance and information on multilingualism.
The award money will help keep Multilingual Living going strong for yet another year by covering many of our day-to-day expenses. It will also help us finally complete a number of community outreach projects and parent support packets that we have had in the works for some time but haven’t had the resources to finish. In particular, we would like to put together some printed booklets consisting of articles from the Multilingual Living Magazine back issues. The award money will help to make this happen.
Ultimately, the greatest honor is that of being recognized for having succeeded in that which we set out to accomplish. Thank you Multilingual Matters for celebrating our efforts with this distinguished award. We wear it with pride.
Watch this space for information on how to apply for the 2012 award and also for more details from Corey on how she uses the money. If you would like more information about the award please email firstname.lastname@example.org.