Interpretation/Translation in the Schools

  1. Federal Requirements to Provide Interpretation/Translation in the Schools. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 4 page s . Spring 2011. English .

    Many school districts and refugee/immigrant-serving agencies are in need of clarification as to when interpretation and translation services are to be provided in public schools. This tool, which is part of a larger schools toolkit, highlights this topic along with "promising practices".

  2. Interviews for Suspected Child Maltreatment: Tips for Foreign Language Interpreters. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2009. English .

    This Webinar is for people who interpret interviews related to child maltreatment, as well for those who use foreign language interpreters in conversations related to child abuse. The presentation outlines best practices for interviewing in these sensitive circumstances, lets interpreters know what they should expect in the content and process of an interview regarding child abuse, and will help interpreters avoid common errors that might invalidate an interview regarding child abuse.

    *This presentation is meant to provide advice and orientation for those who interpret child abuse interviews and for those who use interpreter services in child abuse interviews. It is not meant to and should not be used in court to evaluate the quality of the interpretation of a child abuse interview.

  3. Language Access and Schools: Federal Requirements and School Experiences. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services , National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) page s . 2011. English .

    BRYCS' joint Webinar  with the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) explores federal requirements for providing interpretation and translation in schools, looking at how select school districts in Minnesota and Colorado have managed these requirements.

  4. Suggestions for Interviewing Refugee and Immigrant Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 3 page s . Winter 2009. English .

    Interviewing recently arrived refugee or immigrant children and families takes special sensitivity, preparation, and frequently a foreign language interpreter. Whether your topic is child abuse, education, health or other issues, this list of suggestions can help you prepare to interview refugee or immigrant children and families. Highlighted Resources: Interpretation: Serving Refugee and Immigrant Children

  1. 1970 Memo Regarding Language Minority Children. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare page s . May 25, 1970. English .

    This federal memorandum on "Identification of Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of National Origin" clarified the Title VI requirements of school districts to provide equal educational opportunities to all children, regardless of national origin and language. 

  2. 1985 Policy Memo on Title VI Language Minority Compliance Procedures. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights page s . December 3, 1985. English .

    This is one of the more recent policy memos related to discrimination on the basis of national origin in an educational setting that provides further clarity, in addition to the 1970 Memo and Lau v. Nichols, on school districts' requirements in servicing ELL students and providing language assistance.

  3. 1991 Policy Memo on Schools' Obligations Toward National Origin Minority Students With Limited-English Proficiency (LEP students). U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights page s . September 27, 1991. English .

    This is one of the more recent policy memos related to discrimination on the basis of national origin in an educational setting that provides further clarity, in addition to the 1970 Memo and Lau v. Nichols, on school districts' requirements in servicing ELL students and providing language assistance.

  4. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division (Web site). U.S. Department of Justice page s . n.d.. English .

    The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division enforces civil rights laws in a wide variety of contexts, including education. Their Web site includes information on how to file a complaint and examples of cases and settlement agreements.

  5. Ensuring English Learner Students Can Participate Meaningfully and Equally in Educational Programs. U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) , U.S. Department of Education (DOE) 4 page s . January 1, 2015. Arabic Cambodian Chinese English Hmong Korean Lao Russian Spanish Tagalog Vietnamese .

    This fact sheet provides an overview of the legal obligation of state education agencies (SEAs), public school districts, and public schools to ensure that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. (Description from source)

  6. Equity Assistance Centers (Web site). U.S. Department of Education page s . n.d.. English .

    This is a network of agencies, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, that provide assistance in the areas of race, gender, and national origin equity to public schools to promote equal educational opportunities. The following Web sites provide contact information for the Equity Assistance Centers that covers each region of the U.S.

  7. Executive Order 13166- Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency. Clinton, William J. 6 page s . August 16, 2000. .

    Describes the goals, activities, and oversight associated with an August 2000 Presidential Executive Order aimed at improving access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and services for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP).

  8. How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) page s . September 2010. Arabic Chinese English Farsi Hindi Hmong Korean Punjabi Spanish Swahili Urdu Vietnamese .

    The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (ED). This link to the Office of Civil Rights Web site provides information on who can file a discrimination complaint and how to do so. 

  9. Information for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Parents and Guardians and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them. U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) , U.S Department of Education (DOE) 2 page s . January 1, 2015. Arabic Cambodian Chinese English Hmong Korean Lao Russian Spanish Tagalog Vietnamese .

    This fact sheet answers common questions about the rights of parents and guardians who do not speak, listen, read, or write English proficiently because it is not their primary language. (Description from source)

  10. Joint Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to High-Quality Education. U.S. Department of Education , U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) page s . January 2015. English Spanish .

    This joint guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice reminds states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential. In addition to the guidance, the Departments also released additional tools and resources to help schools in serving English learner students and parents with limited English proficiency including multilingual fact sheets and a toolkit to help school districts identify English learner students. 

  11. Lau v. Nichols. U.S. Supreme Court page s . 1974. English .

    The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the requirements articulated in the 1970 Memorandum as a valid interpretation of the requirements of Title VI.

  12. Limited English Proficiency (LEP) (Web site). Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) page s . December 16, 2003. English Spanish .

    This Web site provides information about language access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and supports fair, reasoned and consistent implementation of Executive Order 13166, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This site also acts as a clearinghouse, providing and linking to information, tools, and technical assistance regarding limited English proficiency and language services for federal agencies, recipients of federal funds, users of federal programs and federally assisted programs, and other stakeholders.

  13. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. US Department of Justice page s . 1964. English .

    Provides policy guidance to United States federal agencies on the application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits national origin discrimination against individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). In particular, the policy guidance document sets forth general principles for agencies to apply in developing guidelines for services to LEP individuals. In addition, the document provides background about Title VI, definitions of key terms, relevant Supreme Court interpretations, and a discussion of difficulties that immigrants, some children of immigrants, and other non-English- or limited-English-proficient individuals have gaining access to the services and benefits for which they qualify.

  1. A Guide for School Staff: How to Effectively Use Interpreters for Parent-Teacher Conferences. International Student and Family Services , Howard County Public School System 2 page s . 2007. English .

    This brief brochure describes the benefits of using certified interpreters and outlines information for working with interpreters during parent-teacher conferences to create the best environment, convey information, and provides suggestions for LEP parents. The brochure includes additional considerations for special education meetings and a short glossary of LEP terms.

  2. Conversations for Three: Communicating Through Interpreters. Chen, Deborah , Chan, Sam , Brekken, Linda . n.d.. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This video is designed to show service providers, educators, and interpreters how to communicate effectively with all families, regardless of their cultural or linguistic backgrounds. The program walks professionals through characteristic situations with interpreters to show them how mistakes in interpretation and a lack of awareness of cultural differences can lead to ineffective communication.

  3. Cultural Liaisons, Interpreters and Translators in the Special Education Process. Minnesota Department of Education 24 page s . 2003. English .

    This is Chapter 5 of a larger "English Language Learner Companion Manual" that covers the intersection of ELL programs and special education.  This chapter provides information on cultural liaisons (their role, training them, etc.) and much information on interpreters and translators (their role, locating one, steps in working with one, training, etc.).  It also outlines the differences between cultural liaisons, advocates, and interpreters and where their roles may overlap.  Sample forms and a sample code of ethics are included.

  4. Cultural Mediators, Translators, and Interpreters. Colorado Department of Education 1 page . January 2011. English .

    This one page, brief document covers the similarities and differences between "cultural mediators," interpreters, and translators.  They define "cultural mediator" as "someone who helps translate between the culture of the school environment and the child's family." The author provides brief information on who can be a cultural mediator, how to locate one, and some of the tasks required of one. 

  5. Denied at the Door: Language Barriers Block Immigrant Parents from School Involvement. Advocates for Children of New York, New York Immigration Coalition 63 page s . 2004. English .

    This resource documents widespread failure to communicate in native language with immigrant parents based on a survey of immigrant parents and students in the New York City School System. Without parental involvement in the education process, students will be deprived of parental support and schools will not have the full cooperation of parents.

  6. Educational Glossaries. Saint Paul Public Schools English Language Learner Programs page s . 2002. English Hmong Khmer Oromo Somali Spanish Vietnamese This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Each glossary contains common English educational terms and recommended translations (available in Hmong, Khmer, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese). These glossaries were created because many students' languages lack the native language words for much of the terminology needed in the school setting. These glossaries provide the St. Paul Public Schools with standardized translations for much of this educational terminology.

  7. EIPA Written Test and Knowledge Standards: Roles and Responsibilities. Schick, Brenda page s . n.d.. English .

    This article provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of an educational interpreter. It was written for interpreters of deaf students, particularly those that seek to be evaluated by the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA). However, the information provided is applicable to foreign language interpreters as well. It includes sections on interpreter/student boundaries, understanding interpreter roles and responsibilities, and professional guidelines.

  8. English Learner Tool Kit. U.S. Department of Education (DOE) page s . January 2015. Cambodian Chinese English Hmong Khmer Korean Lao Russian Spanish Tagalog Vietnamese .

    This toolkit is designed to help state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) in meeting their legal obligations to ELs and in providing all ELs with the support needed to attain English language proficiency while meeting college and career readiness standards. (Description from source)

  9. Getting It Right the First Time: Setting Up A System that Will Stand the Test of Time. Palma, Kleber , Kutty, Vinodh , Laglagaron, Lauren page s . May 2009. English .

    This Webinar provides listeners with an overview of two successful Limited English Proficiency (LEP) programs in New York City, NY and Hennepin County, MN. Speakers discuss their work with LEP persons, review tips for long-term program sustainability, and identify key components of the programs' successes, both large and small scale, in creating and maintaining a LEP program. School districts will particularly be interested in the presentation by Kleber Palma, the Director of New York City Department of Education's Translation and Interpretation Unit. He reviews the history of the development of his Unit, services provided by the Unit, and internal policies and procedures that may be replicated by other districts.

  10. Interpretation Guidelines. Los Angeles Unified School District 1 page . n.d.. English .

    This short list of guidelines is for those working with interpreters in a school setting. 

  11. Interpreter Code of Ethics. WA Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) page s . 2008. English .

    List of 14 codes of ethics to ensure professionalism and effective delivery of interpretation services. This code of ethics is used by interpreters and translators at Washington state’s Language Testing and Certification Program.

  12. Interpreting in a Classroom Setting. Shamseddine, Randa 2 page s . 2011. English .

    This is a short list of considerations for interpreters to make while working in the schools. It includes tips for before, during, and after the session.

  13. Language Portal: A Translation and Interpretation Digital Library. Migration Policy Institute page s . 2008. English .

    The Language Portal offers one-stop access to thousands of state and local agency documents—including contracts, planning reports, and translated material—used to provide services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals. The database gives you thousands of state and local agency documents used to provide services to LEP clients, including contracts, planning reports, and translated material.

  14. Language Services & Special Education: New York City. Advocates for Children of New York 2 page s . 2009. Arabic Bengali Chinese English Haitian Creole Korean Russian Spanish Urdu .

    Translated into dozens of languages, this brief pamphlet provides an overview of immigrant parents and students' rights to language services and special education. This handout lists all of the school documents which parents have a right to receive in their primary language along with all of the school situations in which parents are entitled to interpretations services. 

  15. Quality Indicators for Translation and Interpretation in Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve. California Department of Education 49 page s . 2006. English .

    This document was developed to assist teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, or others who might serve as translators and interpreters or who work in multilingual educational settings. The purpose is to improve the quality of translations of parental notifications and other documents into languages other than English and to ensure more appropriate and effective interpreting practices.  Quality indicators are provided for assessing the work of those who serve as translators and interpreters for parents and guardians of English learners.  (Description from source.)

  16. Resource Materials for Planning and Self-Assessments. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights 49 page s . 1999. English .

    This collection of resources was created to help school districts design or revise programs for English Language Learners.  For guidance on situations that may require interpreters or translators, refer to pages 12 and 17 for examples. 

  17. School-Home Communication in Multiple Languages. Avila, Verdi N. page s . October 2005. English .

    This article takes a look at the Cobb County, GA Public School District and their efforts to meet the parental language access requirements of No Child Left Behind. It discusses the district's Refugee Immigrant Parent Outreach Services, how the program started, and how a staff of multilingual interpreters was recruited, screened, and trained. 

  18. Translation Resources. New York City Department of Education page s . n.d.. Arabic Bengali Chinese English French Haitian Creole Korean Russian Spanish Urdu .

    These translated resources were created for the New York City Schools, but most are useful to those in other districts. The collection of resources includes: bilingual glossaries, signs (that say "Interpretation Services Available," "Please see a staff member for interpretation services," "Welcome Parents!" etc.), and report cards. 

  19. Working Effectively with Spoken Language Interpreters - Tips and Considerations. Hersom, Dolgormaa . 2011. English .

    This Webinar discusses topics related to working with interpreters such as necessary qualifications of interpreters, the roles of interpreters, modes of interpreting, considerations to make when arranging for an interpreter, and tips on working with interpreters. 

  20. Working with Interpreters and Translators. Minnesota Department of Education 4 page s . February 2009. English .

    This short publication provides concise information on what is interpretation and translation, types of special education interactions with interpreters, steps in working with an interpreter, selecting an interpreter, qualifications, payment, and general principles for working with interpreters.