Not long ago, translation was believed to inhibit non-native students as they learned a new language. Translation in the classroom was virtually nonexistent, and even today, schools are rapidly updating their translation policies to included outreach materials for parents and guardians in their native languages. As school districts across the United States continue to become more diverse, classroom translation for students and caregivers is becoming increasingly critical to guaranteeing a comprehensive education. 

 

five facts on why translation should be incorporated into the classroom.

 

PRESERVING THE STUDENT'S NATIVE LANGUAGE ENHANCES COMMUNICATION.

Encouraging students to make connections between their existing language knowledge and the new language they are learning is proven to give reluctant learners more opportunities to express themselves and helps increase their motivation to succeed. Since classroom learning, regardless of topic, is primarily accomplished through language, translation is a crucial component for assisting non-native speakers to continue to learn while becoming bi-lingual. Read More

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Additionally, preserving the student's native language can have a lasting impact on their future employability. According to New American Economy, demand for bilingual workers in the United States more than doubled over the last five years. In fact, bilingual employees earn an average of 5-20% more per hour than the position's base rate. For an American graduate, a second language could be worth up to $128,000 over 40 years. 

Psychology Today acknowledges these socioeconomic avantages while also emphasizing the many cognitive benefits of being bilingual. Bilingual students have a significantly larger working memory. In terms of brain structure, they have more grey matter and associated higher brain activity in the parts of the brain, which control language and attention. Superior brain function is a strong predictor of academic success.

STUDENTS ARE STILL LEARNING THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE.

This is particularly true of especially young children (i.e., from preschool to fourth grade). They should not be 

discouraged from learning their native language; instead, their teachers should be sensitive to their specific needs. Recent studies have shown that cross-language transfer, such as parents reading to their children in their native language, actually increases their ability to learn English and promotes language comprehension. 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO AVOID DIMINISHING THE STUDENTS' NATIVE CULTURE.

When students are encouraged to hold onto their cultural identity, it facilitates learning and enhances communication between the students and teachers and parents. The ability to communicate increases self-esteem in students, which improves their ability to learn.

Additionally, Non-native language students typically have guardians who also are non-native speakers, focusing on engaging a student's entire family increases parental involvement in their children's education. Outcomes improve, grades improve, and teachers can communicate with guardians about their children's progress.

SMOOTH AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH TRANSLATION.

It is vital for students to feel like they fit in so they can fully assimilate into the new culture. Students who struggle with English hesitate to engage and participate in class, which is an integral part of the learning process. The student's comfort must be considered, especially if the student is new to the classroom.

STUDENTS WHO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE DO SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER ON STANDARDIZED TESTS.

Research suggests that, in the long run, English learners gain more academic skills in any kind of two-language program than they do in English-only programs.

Providing translation in the classroom, despite its former reputation, has been proven to help students master a language more quickly and, at the same time, cultivate a positive attitude about learning new languages. Students benefit from translation services that enable them to maintain their native language while learning a new one and learning about diverse cultures. The benefits of facilitating learning by providing translation go far beyond the classroom.

 

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