Ways In Which Educators Can Overcome Language Barriers With Parents
Communication is an important element that promotes education. Since parents are a key element in their children’s education, they must always be involved by educators in matters pertaining to their children. But what happens when parents are unable to communicate with educators? It becomes the responsibility of the educators to reduce the communication barrier. Here are the basic steps that educators can take to overcome language barriers with parents.
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Use professional translators
Did you know that you can use professional translators to improve communication between parents and teachers? This should happen if the two have different languages. It mostly affects parents who are from a different country and have learners in a new country with a new language. While learners have accommodations in school to adopt the new language, parents should have professional translators during parent-teacher meetings.
Use translation apps
The evolving technological advancement has seen the development of translation applications. They can be used to help parents communicate with teachers. The apps are different with varying features. Teachers have a duty to find an appropriate app that has features needed for effective communication with parents from different language backgrounds.
Use direct language
Most teachers use jargon, figurative language, idioms, and technical terms to communicate with parents. This is fine if the target parent understands the terms. However, it can be frustrating to a parent that is struggling with the language. The best approach is to use direct language that simplifies the meaning of the intended message. When a teacher is aware that a parent needs language accommodations, they should make it easy for them to access the language. Always remember that you are communicating with an adult. This means that you should avoid talking loudly as it may appear to be condescending.
Use visual cues
Another strategy that you need to make parents understand you better is using visual cues. In all written communication, always use visual cues like using symbols that represent certain ideas. If you are sending a calendar of events, you should ensure that it has symbols that are reflective of certain events. You should also incorporate pictures into newsletters and notices sent home. For example, if you are sending an invite to parents to attend an event, you can include pictures of the type of dressing that you are expecting them to wear on that day.
You can also let them know of short courses that they can do while in the country. For example, they can apply for AHA PALS Renewal Course.