Language Services in Education Supports the Growing EL Population
The need for language services in education is growing as the number of English Learners (ELs)* in the United States continues to increase. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2015, there were nearly 5 million ELs in US public schools, representing 9.5 percent of all US public school students. However, by the year 2025, roughly 1 in 4 of public school students will be English Learners (ELs).
The US Department of Education estimates that ELs “in U.S. public schools speak over 400 different languages.”2 And while this is highly diverse, the Spanish language remains the most spoken language among the US-EL population.
* The term, “EL” (English Learner) is gradually becoming more commonplace than the previously used term, “ELL” (English Language Learner).
To put this into perspective, out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the only states in which Spanish is not the predominant language among ELs include Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, and Vermont.
Language Services in Education Strengthens the Economy Students who graduate from high school, and indeed, students who go on to achieve higher education don’t only benefit themselves – the entire society benefits as well. In fact, there are positive correlations between student graduation rates and an overall increase in economic growth (not to mention significant decreases in healthcare costs). According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, if we look solely at Latino high school students and increase the graduation rate to 90%, the United States would gain over 100,000 additional graduates who would go on to earn more than USD 800 million annually in additional income. This additional income would then flow into national, state, and local economies leading to a USD 646 million increase in spending, a national healthcare cost savings of USD 8.8 billion, and USD 1.5 billion in economic growth.*
There is simply no debate – the need for language services in education strengthens our economy. However, there are glaring disparities among certain student populations affecting the overall graduation rate. As recently as 2017, National Public Radio (NPR) analyzed data from the United States Department of Education Data and found that “[o]nly 63 percent of ELs graduate from high school, compared with the overall national rate of 82 percent.”3 And, “[w]ithout appropriate educational supports, ELs are less likely than their peers to succeed in school and are more likely to drop out.”4 But there are solutions that, if implemented, can create a level playing field for all EL students.
*Ask to see our delsurtranslations infographic on the economic benefits associated with increased Latino graduation rates.
Language Services in Education Breaks Down Language Barriers Until EL students are more confident with the English language, schools need to implement strategic plans to help them achieve academic success. Not only will translation services in the classroom facilitate the learning process but by also communicating regularly and effectively with limited English proficient (LEP) parents in a language they understand, schools will act as a launchpad for EL student academic success. And remember, it’s the law. Under both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title IV) and under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA), public schools (and state educational agencies) must work to remove “language barriers that impede equal participation by students in their instructional programs.”5
So, what types of information require language services to ensure EL students can meaningfully participate in their school educational programs and services? We’re glad you asked!
*IEP documents and the IEP process are heavily regulated. There are particular regulations that must be followed and parental and student rights that must be clearly communicated. By translating these legal documents into a language both the EL student and their parents understand, schools will build much stronger lines of communication and increase the likelihood of IEP program success.
The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) continues to affect nearly every sector, and education is certainly no exception. As all 50 states now decide how to safely reopen schools, many are moving toward new approaches that will likely continue to include some form of online instruction. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) place virtual-only classes, activities, and events in the “lowest-risk” category. Many families are also considering home instruction for the foreseeable future, creating a need for multilingual online home instruction services.
A Trusted Partner for Language Services in Education For over 17 years, delsurtranslations has partnered successfully with multilingual service providers (MLVs) offering exceptional Spanish-language services in education. Working closely with our partners, we have expertly handled translation projects for a wide range of educational institutions. As a trusted translation partner for all your school-related and classroom translation needs, we confidently handle the translations of student handbooks and academic assessments, educational transcripts, certificates, and diplomas, educational games, school menus, counseling information, student guidance procedures, and much more. We also offer decades of experience translating IEP files for the New York City Department of Education (DOE). These IEP files have often involved the translation of other related files such as assistive technology evaluations, psychoeducational reports, bilingual speech evaluations, classroom observations, and occupational therapy evaluations.
Outside of IEPs, we also offer translation services for school directories, attendance policies, grading system reports, enrollment forms, learning style reports, letters for parent-teacher organizations (PTOs), parent language surveys, family literacy assessments, welcome letters, parenting education profiles (PEP), parenting guides, and resources for caring adults who support home education. And with COVID-19 still posing a threat to the health and safety of both students and faculty, our translation expertise that supports elearning programs will likely be needed for an extended period of time. It is simply not enough to just “attend” school.
Students need to be fully engaged and parents need to have the communication tools necessary to play an integral part in their children’s education. By investing in professional translation services, you can set these goals with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you have achieved what you set out to do. Place your trust in delsurtranslations – we satisfy the need for language services in education. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”6 Let’s change the world together. Reach out to delsurtranslations today.
REFERENCES 1 1 in 4 Students is an English Language Learner: Are We Leaving Them Behind? (2018, May 01). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://counseling.steinhardt.nyu.edu/blog/english-language-learners/ 2 OUR NATION’S ENGLISH LEARNERS. (n.d.). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www2.ed.gov/datastory/el-characteristics/index.html 3 Sanchez, C. (2017, February 23). English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/23/512451228/5-million-english-language-learners-a-vast-pool-of-talent-at-risk 4 Hakuta, K., & Pecheone, R. (2016, December 20). Memo: Supporting English Learners and treating bilingualism as an asset. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2016/12/20/supporting-english-learners-and-treating-bilingualism-as-an-asset/ 5 US Department of Education. (2015, January 7). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-el-201501.pdf 6 Education: The Most Powerful Weapon for Changing the World: USAID Impact. (n.d.). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://blog.usaid.gov/2013/04/education-the-most-powerful-weapon/ In addition to: Bialik, K., Scheller, A., & Walker, K. (2020, May 30). 6 facts about English language learners in U.S. public schools. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/25/6-facts-about-english-language-learners-in-u-s-public-schools/ Alliance for Excellent Education, Latino: The Graduation Effect: Every Student’s Potential to Impact a Community. (2019). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from http://graduationeffect.org/Latino-GradeEffect-Infographic-Subgroup.pdf Considerations for Schools. (2020, May 19). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html