Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Non-English Speakers

How do you communicate with parents who speak a different language from yourself?  Does the school ever provide interpreters?  What about publications that are sent home to the families?  Do you have to rely on the kids?  I am unfamiliar with how this works.


Cassandra said...

This is a great question, and it is definitely something that you will run into!

At East High School, there were different teachers (such as the language teachers) and councilors that spoke spanish and other languages. So, if you needed to call home, you could usually ask one of them to help with the conversation.

The school also had some of its 'standard' letters already printed out in spanish.

Students probably aren't a great resource, unless you are calling home to tell the parents that they are doing a great job.

Grace Butler said...

Okay, and what about the less common languages like Cambodian or Tamil where there might not be a faculty member who speaks it?

Kelly H said...

Grace - You do bring up a great point. For Jefferson, and most of the RCSD families, the majority of parents and students speak English or Spanish as a primary language. Because of this all notices mailed home are in English and Spanish. But... many of our international students have parents who do not speak English. Legally, we are required to have a translator for all languages represented in the district. But, with new students from all over the world arriving every week, finding a translator is extremely difficult. Unfortunately, parents and students are unaware of their legal rights to a translator, and if no one advocates for their rights, we fail to meet these needs. It's unfortunate, but true.

Grace Butler said...

Good to know. Thanks!