Translation SERVICES in Public Schools

Language rights in canada

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms specifically sets up a framework to preserve and promote the two official languages of Canada and the cultures represented by those languages, by ensuring that each language flourishes, as far as possible, in provinces where it is not spoken by the majority. Language is culture, and the lifeblood of a people. Beyond the standard bilingual situation of Canada, thanks to immigration, more people are speaking languages other than French of English in their day-to-day. A place that this is especially noticeable is in schools, where a student may speak a different language at home.

Translating your school district's notices and newsletters into multiple languages is an essential part of your overall communication plan to help students succeed. At first glance, some school districts are more diverse than others, but studies show that over 20 percent of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English at home!

As daily life revolves more and more around the Internet and digital sources, most families obtain school information exclusively from your school's website. It's important to provide this content in multiple languages to accommodate your student population, and also to ensure that the translation is accurate. Giving your students the tools they need early on will help them succeed throughout their school years and later in life. Especially post-pandemic, when many schools are short-staffed and classes are taught online, effective communication is more important than ever.

In this article, we take a look at 3 key areas that require translation in the school system and discuss real-world case studies where Idiomatic Canada has been able to help.

Student permission forms and registrations

COVID-19 forced the education system to make a sudden about-face from face-to-face instruction to conducting much of its instruction online. With schools closed, it was suddenly impossible for students and parents to go to school in person to register for events or sign permission slips, etc. Parents and students who spoke a language other than English were immediately at a disadvantage because they could not visit the school to get help with the required paperwork. These forms were only made available online, and often only in English.

A school district in a large metro area contacted Idiomatic and described the same problem. The school district has a large number of Spanish, Bengali, and Arabic-speaking students and was struggling to effectively serve these families. Idiomatic Canada helped the school district put its permission forms online using Google forms and translated the questionnaires and possible responses. In this way, the school district was able to automatically gather information from these parents and make informed decisions.

Student progress reports

As the saying goes, education takes place outside the classroom, and a student's personal life is important to academic success. Therefore, it is important that teachers are able to communicate effectively with parents to support students in their educational journey. An important aspect of this is the quarterly or monthly progress reports that teachers send home for each student.

Another school district, also in New York State, turned to Idiomatic for help translating teacher comments into multiple languages for students whose parents do not speak English.

School websites

We live in a digital age, and an organisation's website is the starting point for finding information. For a school district, its website is the main point of contact for students, parents and staff. On the website, you'll find information about school closings for vacations or bad weather, and even the weekly cafeteria menu.

Idiomatic was hired to translate a school district's website into 15 different languages to accommodate the growing number of immigrants in the area. The languages requested were as diverse as Filipino, Spanish and Creole. Idiomatic translated the content of the website and eliminated graphics that contained text, as the text of an image on the website is not searchable. This allowed parents to effectively search for information on the school website and play a more active role in their children's schooling.

If you need assistance translating materials for your school district, you can contact us here for a free quote and references.