Why a makeover?
Updated: Jun 30, 2018
One of our key roles as the Bilingualism London CEN is to provide therapists, parents and educational professionals a common platform for sharing resources and offering advice for supporting children and young persons from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. With this purpose in mind, we embarked on a journey to create a new website that is user-friendly and provides readers with the latest information on theories of language development, assessments, interventions and links to current research evidence in the field of bilingualism. We aim to continue promoting evidence-based practice by further developing our website for disseminating information and hope to update it regularly to signpost readers to easy access to research evidence.
For the past two years, we have worked tirelessly to collate materials from various sources in creating and developing our website. We feel it might be useful to share our experiences and our challenges as well as offer some suggestions so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
So what’s new?
In order to make our website more accessible, we have created three main sections for parents, speech and language therapists and educational professionals. Each section has updated information, guidelines, and handouts, which are freely downloadable. Readers can enjoy easy access to information on theories of language development, assessments (including dynamic assessments), guidelines for interventions and a list of references and websites with recommendations and current research papers on bilingualism.
It’s been challenging but in a good way!
Our journey in a nutshell.....
Technical support - Finding a web designer who understood our aims and objectives was very tricky
Costs - Considering that our budget was low, we discovered that the costs for a shiny new website were way beyond our reach
Giving it our best shot - As speech and language therapists with very limited knowledge in web designing, we were initially really overwhelmed with what felt like a humungous task. Much to our surprise, we soon realised that the simple, and user-friendly Wix website was not as scary as it first appeared!
Why Wix? - We chose Wix to build our website with the hope of reaching a larger audience (apparently this system is being used by over 110 million people in over 190 countries).
Resources - We spent countless days searching for relevant resources and countless nights reviewing and updating information
Access - As our previous website was created over 8 years ago, we wanted to provide a new platform that is less information-heavy and easier to navigate
Time - Prioritising time to meet up regularly and work on actions between meetings was one of our main challenges but as you can see, we did make it eventually!
Some suggestions for breaking barriers:
Have a timeline for completion: Realising that the website did not need to be everything we dreamed of straight away. It was a work in progress and could be updated once it had been published.
Meet regularly: What really motivated us and kept us going was the fact that we met often despite maternity leaves and working as independent therapists where time was not compensated
Two heads are definitely better than one: Delegating tasks and sharing the workload made it much easier
Easy access and User-friendly: Two key words that really helped us in remaining focussed throughout this process
Keep it simple: 'Be minimalistic and share high-quality information' is our mantra
Moving across to Twitter: We decided to move on to Twitter from LinkedIn as this was not proving to be an interactive experience for our members. We believe that research is at the forefront on Twitter, and hence we will share all new updates on Twitter. Please follow us @LondonBilCEN
A new beginning......
Although we are now in the final stages of developing our website, which seems like an end to this journey, we do believe that launching our website is a new beginning! We will officially launch our website on our Study Day on 12th July and really look forward to your feedback and suggestions.