Using Edtech to Facilitate Immigrant Family Engagement
Have you ever experienced what it’s like to enter into a room full of people you can’t communicate with? Teachers often wish that parents were more involved in the classroom, but that might not be possible for immigrant families. The language barrier between many parents and teachers might make engagement between home and school almost impossible. However, this might not have to be the case in the very near future.
There is good news on the horizon as many edtech programs are beginning to facilitate these interactions. Parents can begin to understand the work their child is producing and communicate concerns clearly to the teacher. This essential link promises to set students up for much greater success. After all, family involvement has been proven to boost grade point averages and improve social skills at school.
How is edtech beginning to lead the way with this type of family engagement? Take a look at these top techniques that edtech implements to make communication much easier for immigrant families.
Better translators are easily available.
Many families take advantage of the digital translators available on the computer or their smartphones. This is a quick and easy way to speak a sentence in their language and translate it into English for the teacher. Some terms and subject matter don’t lend themselves well to conversational English.
Unfortunately, conversational English might be the only level of mastery that a particular parent has. Research demonstrates that it takes five to seven years of active studying to achieve advanced proficiency in a new language. The ease of translators can make deciphering these interactions much simpler and less stressful.
Schools can make language acquisition materials available at home.
A long time ago, students could only study their new language within the four walls of the ESOL classroom. This made it difficult for parents and siblings to also try their hand at acquiring English vocabulary. Now, students often have the opportunity to bring home software that can help increase their language at a much greater rate. The software might also be available to help parents learn how to speak more fluent English.
Teachers can send emails more easily to parents.
Verbal communication isn’t always the most effective way to get in touch with parents. Email might be even easier to translate into another language, allowing immigrant families to respond completely in their own tongue. Services such as Google Translate can allow teachers to share more about what is going on in the classroom with parents. As a result, they can be more actively involved in supporting their child’s academic endeavors.
Edtech is radically changing the way that immigrant families can communicate and engage with the local school district. Educators should discuss which of these methods might work best to help immigrant families to better learn English and to communicate more openly about their child’s academic successes and failures. Community engagement is key to achieving a healthy learner.