Schools are under federal pressure to translate for immigrant parents

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Reed James
Local time: 08:17
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
It's a good idea, albeit a temporary solution. Jul 5, 2016

Communication is key. These interpreters will no doubt make the parents and others understand the message, and the fact that they are native speakers of the target language will create a bond. Most people feel comfortable being addressed in their native language, even though they may be proficient in the language spoken in their adopted country.

What concerns me is that if this is the final solution to the problem, then it could make the immigrant community dependent on interpreters instead of hearing the message in English, which, for now is the unofficial language of the United States. It would be best for parents to speak to teachers directly in English, as for anyone who has dealt with someone through an interpreter, knows that there is a barrier that cannot be traversed, not to mention the extra time it takes to convey the message in the source language to target language speakers and vice versa.

Which brings me to this thought: immigrants have to seek help so that they can help themselves. I'm not advocating the rude statement, "Speak English, you're in America!" America is constantly being defined and redefined, and if the current wave of immigrants wants to retain more of its language and culture, then that's okay with me. But I think it's to everyone's advantage to share a common language. This could be achieved through ESL classes.

I was also thinking of something of an exchange program, only no one travels abroad. Local children could be assigned to immigrant children — like sponsors, and spend time with each other, go to each other's houses, get to know the others' parents. This would both improve language skills and foster a sense of community.

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Schools are under federal pressure to translate for immigrant parents

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