Bilingual Bridges is on a mission is to bring high-quality, language and academic instruction to the fingertips of language learners everywhere. Its doors were opened in 2017 by an Alaskan bilingual teacher, Kelly Minks, who was frustrated by the lack of support available to English learners in her school and across the United States. From limited access to quality curriculum, bilingual materials, and qualified instructors, to a widespread insensitivity toward the needs of English learners, it was clear that changes were needed.
Beyond the dwindling number of school-based bilingual programs in the United States, where could English learners find academic support in their native languages and English? If they didn’t have access to bilingual tutors, family members, or friends, who could help them on their homework assignments? These were some of the questions Kelly began asking her colleagues and school administrators, which were often met with shoulder shrugs, eye rolls, or frustration.
It was at this point that Kelly decided to develop an online tutoring platform that could connect English learners with bilingual teachers through live, online tutoring lessons. She formed a small team of likeminded bilingual educators that she had worked and studied with in the past. Together, they leveraged their knowledge and experiences to launch Bilingual Bridges.
Today, the Bilingual Bridges team is made up of 30+ certified, bilingual teachers from around the world. Through partnerships with schools, companies, NGOs, and families, Bilingual Bridges has served 2,500+ students. Private and small group classes are available to students of all ages in: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, and American Sign Language.
Bilingual Bridges was founded in 2017 by an Alaskan bilingual teacher, Kelly Minks. She has 13 years of experience delivering in-person and online language and academic instruction, focusing on: English as a Second Language (ESL), Spanish, literacy, accent training, and K-6 bilingual education. Kelly has worked with students of all ages, from kindergarteners to retirees.
Kelly holds an M.Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education from DePaul University, a B.S. in Human Development & Family Sciences, a B.A. in International Studies, Illinois and Indiana teaching licenses, and a CELTA teaching certificate from the University of Cambridge. In addition to teaching in public and private schools, Kelly has led the development of English as a Second Language and dual language programs in diverse, urban school districts in Chicago and Indianapolis.
Kelly’s passions for language, culture, social welfare, and education have led her to live, volunteer, and teach around the world, in countries such as: Argentina, South Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and India.