Shylene Santiago, a language influencer, homeschooling mother of nine, and the founder and CEO of Learn A Language 4 Fun has continued in her good work of creating more beginner-level bilingual books for children learning Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, and other languages.
Based in Euclid, Ohio, her books not only teach the fundamentals of various languages but also include profiles of various professionals from around the world. Ms. Santiago decided to team up with various business owners in order to create a way that provides Black children with images that reflect who they are while learning multiple languages.
Stephanie Wallace, a longtime supporter and customer said, “This family truly understands how representation can help shape young minds.” “Our children are geniuses trying to function in a society that does not fully understand how Brilliant their minds are,” Shylene Santiago wrote in a post on Facebook.
After reading the books, Awakening the Natural Genius in Black Children by Amos Wilson and the Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. She then understood the importance of creating solutions that can help Black children successfully advance their minds into multilingualism.
Santiago began reaching out to families on social media and even ventured out into her community to connect with Black doctors, farmers, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, principals, authors, chefs, teachers, radio hosts, artists, comedians, and many more who could be featured on a page in her book that would describe their profession in another language.
This, in return, would result in free global advertising, and our children would be able to see and experience the greatness that the Black community has to offer. Ms. Santiago wrote in a Twitter Post whom she references as one of her inspirations, “If there is a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet then you must write it’, Toni Morrison.
“My mission is to provide our children with the educational material that is necessary for them to start learning multiple languages,” Santiago said in an interview with Sandra Wilson, CEO of Black Connections LLC, who is also featured in the Mandarin Chinese book.
Santiago has dedicated herself to creating a series called Our Colorful Multilingual Adventures which will consist of over ten hardcover beginner bilingual books in Spanish, English, Mandarin Chinese, Kiswahili, French, multilingual numbers, multilingual colors, Arabic, African languages, selected native languages, Russian, Portuguese, and many more.
“I have accepted the responsibility of using my gifts and talents to help empower our children through multilingualism. Their minds are our greatest assets,” Santiago stated on LinkedIn.
Comedian Godfrey, Edna Liliana Valencia Murillo (Journalist and Cultural Consultant for the film Encanto), Sonia Sanchez (American Poet), Dante Lee (Marketing Genius and PR mastermind), Natosha Clemons (Fire Chef), and Dominique Saatenang (Martial Artist) are just a few names who have appeared in these Amazing Books.
The Santiago family’s first bilingual books are still available on Amazon and are on display at the Public Library in Euclid, Ohio. Santiago has spent the last five years teaching her children the fundamentals of over ten different languages, which she taught herself using YouTube videos and library books.
Her passion for multilingualism has inspired her children to create a YouTube channel named Multilingual Stars Homeschool, which features over 30 videos that demonstrate how simple and enjoyable it is to learn different languages.