When we are young, our brains are like sponges. We soak up everything around us – knowledge, habits, body language and, most impressively, languages. Growing up in a country that is not native to your parents can give you some unique advantages in life, particularly that of an extra tongue to speak – a skill that can be priceless in later life.
However, for those that are raising the child, who have moved far away from home at a later stage, languages aren’t as easily picked up. Schools up and down the country are dependent on the children themselves to communicate with their parents, being unable to do so directly, and as the UK becomes ever more diverse, families in this position are becoming all the more common.
The challenges associated with engaging parents that don’t speak English can have far-reaching consequences if they aren’t tackled appropriately, ranging from children being kept away from social groups outside school time to teachers being unable to raise concerns about the child’s development; something the parents need to play a large part in if the child is to succeed.
Particularly in the early stages of a child’s education, it is a lot of help for parents and teachers to be able to identify and tackle any problems that arise, be they with learning difficulties, behaviour or alternatively to convey praise. When we are young is when we are at our most malleable, and if any barrier stands in the way of addressing negative or encouraging positive traits, it can have long-term effects on a child’s development.
The impact can be felt as far as the administration teams, with special measures needing to be taken to ensure that the messages are being delivered, often through manual translation into any number of different languages. It is never surprising when you see eyebrows raised and lips pursed when the topic of communicating home to EAL students it mentioned.
Groupcall Messenger, the award-winning parental engagement platform, comes with built-in translation functionalities, being capable of translating into over 100 different languages.
The software reads information directly from the MIS, selecting the child’s mother tongue and translating your original message automatically. These messages can be sent out just like any other, including email, text or push notification. Naturally, the message can also be sent alongside the English version, either to encourage engagement in English or to clear up any confusion that arises from a translated message, such as idioms or quirks of phrase present in one language but not another.
A useful addition is the ability to translate any replies from parents. Simply select the ‘Translate’ option and the message will be converted into English, based on the language the parent is set to in the MIS.
To find out more about how Groupcall Messenger can help you engage with parents in your school, take a look at our information on translation.