English Language Learners (ELL) have specific needs from the education system. For ELL students to have the same access to education that English-speaking students have, translation services must be employed. Beyond the federal regulations demanding translated educational materials, translation for English Language Learners has many benefits. Students engage more fully with their education if they are able to study in their native languages, and the parents of ELL students also become more engaged with their students’ education when given documentation in their native language.
English Language Learners: Do You Speak your Students Language(s)?
There are federal regulations in place to protect English Language Learners and their parents. These federal regulations increase the ability of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students and parents to engage in the education system. The regulations require schools and school districts to communicate with LEP families in languages they understand, and that the following documents and information be translated into those languages.
- Information about registration and enrollment in school and school programs
- Information about language assistance programs
- Report cards
- Student discipline policies and procedures
- Information about special education and related services
- Grievance procedures and notices of non-discrimination
- Parent handbooks
- Information about gifted and talented programs
- Requests for parent permission for student participation in school activities.
Federal regulations also necessitate that your school or district make interpreters or bilingual staff available for parent-teacher conferences, meetings discussing special education, and any other meetings in which parents or students are involved.
English Language Learners and Language Access Plans
For schools and school districts nationwide, it’s time to assess language services, identify shortcomings and potential pitfalls, and shore up English Language Learner programs. Creating a Language Access Plan can help ensure your LEP students can effectively engage with their education, and that their parents can offer meaningful support as they do so. To begin creating a Language Access Plan, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- What languages do our English Language Learners speak?
- What documents do our English-speaking students and parents have immediate access to?
- Are those documents translated in a meaningful and accessible to our ELL students and their parents?
- What documents do we still need to translate?
- Do we have bilingual staff or access to interpreters who are available for parent or student meetings?
These questions will help you start to develop a Language Access Plan that allows for meaningful parent and student education.
Expert Help from a Trusted Language Service Provider, Where and When You Need it
As an educator, it makes sense for you to call on experts for advice and guidance. At Avantpage, we specialize in providing language services, Title III Compliance materials, translated documents and multimedia, assessments and more to the education market. We can help you create a Language Access Plan and translate your documents in an effective, meaningful way. Give us a call at (530) 750-2040 or request a free quote today.
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