Embracing Multilingualism: SEAL's New Partnership with Planet Word Museum

June 28, 2024
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We are uplifting the beauty and importance of multilingualism with a special new partnership. Planet Word Museum’s blog post sheds light on an interactive exhibit in Washington, D.C. that features a SEAL video.

A New Addition to the Spoken Word Gallery

In a new collaboration, SEAL and Planet Word Museum are celebrating the beauty and importance of multilingualism. Through this partnership, Planet Word features SEAL's expertise and research through an exhibit in their Spoken Word gallery. This provides visitors with an immersive experience, featuring our "Bilingualism Through the Eyes of a Student" video. Read more about the exhibit.

Why Multilingualism?

Planet Word Museum writes,
"Creating content about multilingualism was a no-brainer for Planet Word. In the Spoken World gallery, visitors can learn all about languages — from 30 mini language lessons celebrating linguistic diversity across the globe to beacons about constructed languages and endangered languages. This new addition speaks to our many visitors who may be multilingual, raising bilingual children, interested in learning a new language — or simply curious!"

They shared that the growing number of bilingual schools and programs serving English language learners and native English speakers shows that Americans are keen on embracing multilingualism as citizens of a world where more than half of all people speak or sign more than one language.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1 in 5 Americans speak or sign more than one language, with the most spoken languages in each state being English and Spanish. Photo credit: Planet Word Museum and U.S. Census Bureau 

Creating the Interactive Display

There were three stages involved with developing the exhibit: exploratory research, content development and production. SEAL provided Planet Word Museum with our video, “Bilingualism Through the Eyes of a Student,” which features bilingual students sharing advantages of using more than one language.

Planet Word Museum writes, "For the multilingualism display, we sought video rights from ILABS at the University of Washington and SEAL, a California-based organization that provides an evidence-based approach to multilingual learning. Videos like theirs let visitors hear and learn from people with firsthand experience and expertise in the field of multilingual research." 

Planet Word Museum quotes Patty Chavez, the Head of External Relations at SEAL.

“We are honored to partner with Planet World and join in our shared mission to foster love for language, celebrate multilingualism, and embrace the diversity that defines our global community. We hope the video will continue to inspire all.”

The process also involved writing a detailed script, which was reviewed by Planet Word’s Advisory Board.

Planet Word Museum writes, "We consulted with Kevin Donley, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgetown University who specializes in multilingual pedagogy. 'This is such a timely inclusion to the museum because it reminds us that the United States has never been a monolingual country and that, really, multilingualism is the global norm,' said Donley. 'Additionally, as our theories and general understandings of language and multilingualism continue to shift, this beacon recognizes that there is no standardized or ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to learning and communicating in multiple languages. Rather, multilingualism is an inherently strategic, flexible, and creative practice that can take a multiplicity of forms.' "

And just like that, the exhibit came to life!

Looking Ahead

This collaboration between SEAL and Planet Word Museum, marks a significant step in promoting the value and beauty of multilingualism. This exhibit not only celebrates linguistic diversity but also provides an engaging and educational experience for all visitors.

By highlighting the voices and experiences of bilingual students, the exhibit underscores the benefits and importance of multilingualism in today's interconnected world. We invite you to visit Planet Word Museum, explore the Spoken Word gallery, and be inspired by the stories and insights shared in this exhibit. Discover how multilingualism is more than just a skill—it's a superpower!

READ Planet Word Museum’s full article 

Photos by Planet Word Museum