Another variation of the parent engagement coordinator question involves the wide variety of languages spoken by parents, such as Somali, Burmese, Swahili, or Arabic. Program coordinators will want to know how impactful the training would be if they translate and interpret the training for the parents.
Language is important, but training environment is important as well. More emphasis should be placed on what grade levels and ages work best together. For example, mommies with same-aged children work better together.
Language Links is probably one of the best models for administrators to facilitate communication with our diverse populations of parents.
If you are looking to translate, I would recommend spending some of your Title I money to invest in translation devices. We use them in several school districts with great success and the come with a menu of hundreds of languages.
I recently transferred from a school district—the 18th largest in the country—that uses a tool called Language Links. Anybody in any district school, any administrator or teacher, can pick up the telephone and be connected instantly with a continuously monitored call center. The school administrator might state, “I have a mother here who only speaks Mandarin. Can you help me?” On the other end of the line, a language translator from some far-off location will come on the phone and begin speaking Mandarin (or whatever language is needed) to help translate. Language Links is probably one of the best models for administrators to facilitate communication with our diverse populations of parents.
This post is excerpted from my book ¡Andamio!, where you can learn more about ELL success through brain-based learning. Get your copy here.