Blogs for English Language Learners and their Families

I was thinking about my 1st grade class from last semester and for some reason I remember thinking in class that I would never be able to do it, but I had no idea why! Then a few days later I realized that it was the language barrier that would make this so difficult to achieve. Many of the parents I worked with did not speak English or had trouble reading English. We always had to send home Spanish notices. Most of the children could speak fluent English, but being that they are in 1st grade it would be difficult for them to translate everything on the blog for their parents. If I wanted to make a blog as a teacher in a classroom like this how would I do it? How would I make it assessable for parents and children that speak and read in a different language?

Even the notice that we received was a  great example for a permission form , but it was in English.This is something that I think we have to keep in mind with all the technology products we use. Even with one-on -one ipads for the class, everything is in English. From the login to what is written across the top of the computer screen. Are families given an option on which language their computer can be set too? Can it easily be changed to a different language? I think it would be very interesting to explore this in class!

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2 comments

  1. mzipke · April 14, 2015

    Here is how to change the language on an Apple device:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204031

    I haven’t actually tried it (because I am afraid to mess up my settings!), but I trust it works…This just changes the language that the iPad/phone communicates in, though. The apps are all created in a specific language–that wouldn’t get translated just because you change your settings on the iPad.

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  2. mzipke · April 14, 2015

    And yes, communication is challenging when you and the parents don’t speak the same language! Whether you use a blog or not, the issues will be the same. One advantage to a blog is that the parents will have more time to spend figuring out what you write (rather than trying to communicate in quick conversations at drop-off/pick-up, or parent-teacher meetings). You could also make an effort to post more visuals: pictures of the students’ work, video clips of their day, etc.

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