By Lori Jena Freise with Translationz
As if school teachers and administration staff don’t have it tough enough these days--add communication complexities between families and school staff to their list of difficulties.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 18% of the total population aged 5 -17 (around 47 million people) in 2000 reported speaking a language at home other than English; a continuous increase from 14% in 1990 and 11% in 1980.
Here at Translationz, we facilitate effective communication between families with English language challenges and schools through our telephonic interpreting services. Translationz staff handle telephonic interpretation daily and in many language pairs for school districts throughout the US and Canada. Ever increasingly, schools are reaching out to language service providers seeking telephonic interpretation, as this tends to be more cost-effective and available immediately.
Government regulation is another component in the growing trend of telephone interpreters. According to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination based on race, color, or national origin is prohibited in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. School districts such as the Tulsa School District and Dallas IDS have proudly pioneered initiatives to comply with Title VI. Tulsa reports having utilized over 70 languages and Dallas has invested solely in Spanish-speaking assistance.
The top ten most commonly-spoken languages in the US are Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Polish. Schools that are embracing the need to establish communication portals for non-English speaking parents such as Tulsa and Dallas are positively reporting an increase in higher parent involvement as a result.
Parental involvement is vital in the education of a child. In a case documented by a teacher on a bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners in Colorado, Colorín Colorado, the teacher invited Latino parents to a meeting, of which 33 attended. The objective of the meeting was to discuss their children’s successes. To overcome language boundaries, the teacher had each parent write his/her child’s name on a post-it, and stick it to the front board. She started her discussion by knocking off half of the post-its in a drastic movement of her arms, pointing out that statistically half the Latino students will drop out before the ninth grade. Knocking off more post-its with names, she stated another fifth would drop out before high school graduation. Of the remaining five, she said that only one statistically would graduate college. The message was clearly understood by the parents.
Many schools are taking initiatives for non-English speaking parents to become more involved in their children’s schoolwork. Some offer the monthly newsletter translated into one or more languages and accessible on-line. Others are offering school websites completely accessible in foreign languages so that more parents may utilize the resources. Some schools provide seminars and plan meetings with an interpreter so that their message is clear and the information is most helpful to parents.
Whether you are a parent, guardian, educator or administration staff, your message is important. Be heard, and call us today at 1- 888-998-8840 or request a quote on our website www.onlinetranslatorlive.com for telephonic interpretation services, document or website translation, or on site interpretation. We pride ourselves in having the highest quality, reliable, dependable staff. Our mission is to provide the highest quality, cost-effective translating and interpreting services that exceed your expectations!
Ask about our discounted rates for school districts!