Translation Apps: Increasing Communication with Dual Language Learners
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Dual language learners (DLLs) represent one of the fastest growing populations in classrooms, and yet many teachers are monolingual and not trained in English as a Second Language. Many teachers strive to create an anti-bias classroom that puts goals of diversity and equity at the center of all that they do, but are unsure of effective strategies for communicating with all students. By supporting the home language, teachers show their DLLs and native English speakers that every child’s home language is important and welcome in the classroom. Using translation apps can help teachers talk to their students, build relationships with children and families, and support bilingualism. Once teachers and children can communicate successfully, DLLs can increase their understanding of content, engagement, motivation, communication, and sense of self-esteem. The three apps discussed in this article, Speak and Translate, Microsoft Translator, and Google Translate have been shown to be helpful in facilitating interactions with children in their home language. Additional information is provided on using these apps, as well as their potential benefits and drawbacks.
KeywordsDual language learners Translation apps Technology Anti-bias curriculum
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