Federal law requires that all schools provide translation services for LEP (Limited English Proficiency) families. Because focusing on student education is the primary concern, communicating with LEP families can be left on the back burner.
Pittsburgh Pubic Schools faced this dilemma. A Somali Bantu family sued the school district because they were not provided proper translation services. As a result, Darling Garcia Saldana was tasked with coordinating thousands of translation requests. “Not having the resources should not be an excuse,” Saldana said. “We don’t have the resources? Let’s become creative”.
There are two ways to do it: keeping the translation in-house and assigning this job to your staff or outsourcing it to a reputable and professional translation agency that has access to a wide range of professional and experienced (freelance) translators. What are the advantages of outsourcing?
Your staff will love you
Many schools use bilingual teachers and secretaries to perform document translations. However, the enormous teacher workload can easily make translations overwhelming. Because schools should primarily focus on lesson plans, student behavior and parent interaction, outsourcing translation can quickly turn into your staff’s best friend.
If you are able to expand the bandwidth of time that your staff has, this may allow them focus on other crucial work that needs to be done onsite.
Your families will love you
Have you ever read a translated document from Google Translate?
This is what translations can sound like if they are not carefully handled by a professional team. A native speaker can quickly tell if the document was not translated by a native speaker. A translator must understand the nuances of language and culture. Words have the ability not just to reach the mind, but also the heart. If your communication reaches the heart, it can motivate families to be fully invested in their child’s education.
Your budget will thank you
In the long run, a translation service can be a less expensive option. Instead of having a staff member or an entire department dedicated to translation, the service can be paid for on an as needed basis.
Communicating with families in the language of their heart can also motivate them to support school initiatives that they otherwise may feel disconnected with.
Would you like to know if a translation service may be helpful for your school district?
Give us a call at 845.821.1292, or visit our website today!