3 Ways Community Interpreters Promote Academic Success For LEP Students
Special Education team meetings depend on good communication among all team members including families, students, and school personnel. When family/students' home/native language is not English, the Special Education Office will include Community interpreters to ensure that parents are fully participating in the team decision.
What are the 3 Best Ways in which Community Interpreters can be used in an Educational Setting?
Multiculturalism in the education sector has brought about an increasingly diverse classroom and all the benefits of learning with and from classmates from a variety of backgrounds. Multiculturalism in the classroom has also created language barriers that require the help of community interpreters. Hiring community interpreters has become common practice in the US education sector. What are the three best ways in which community interpreters can help promote higher education standards in a multilingual classroom?
Community Interpreters as a Means to Propagate Holistic Student-learning
1. Community Interpreters as Simultaneous Classroom Interpreters
One of the foremost and most obvious ways to utilize an interpreter holding a Community Interpreter Certificate is in the classroom itself. Simultaneous interpretation of a teacher’s lessons in classrooms can help LEP students better understand what’s being taught. Certified community interpreters are equipped to render all of the teacher’s messages in the target language accurately and as-is, without omitting/substituting/adding words or phrases. Eliminating language barriers in the classroom is important, and doing it in a personalized, precise manner is what classroom community interpreters are trained for.
2. Community Interpreters as Facilitators of Parent-Student Synergy
There are several cases when LEP parents of English proficient students don’t connect with their child(ren)’s academic progress/life. LEP parents might not understand teachers in parent-teacher conferences/meetings, and other school/college events such as Science fairs, plays, public debates, etc. The community interpreter plays a very important role by bringing the parent back into major conversations about their child’s academic life. In one of the most important instances, they can do this by effectively interpreting via replicating the tone and style of the teacher(s) during one-on-one parent-teacher meetings. This gives parents the knowledge and feedback to help them help their children succeed in their studies. In another example, community interpreters can interpret for the parents during the plays in which their child participates.
3. Community Interpreters as Facilitators of Special Education Needs.
Some LEP students may suffer from learning disabilities, including physical or mental/intellectual disabilities that hinder their ability to succeed in school. Community interpreters ensure that students can get proper care and accommodations for their learning disabilities, while breaking down language barriers. Helping interpret a child’s needs to the school faculty is the foremost step; being present as emotional support for the student in itself is a major aspect of their job. Language barriers can cause emotional stress or fear and can even hinder students as they try to accurately communicate their needs. A community interpreter helps by managing the flow of communication between student and faculty member(s), along with maintaining transparency throughout conversations.
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