​Schools and School Districts Create a More Inclusive Environment with Language Interpretation Services

According to the US Census Bureau, America’s Hispanic population is growing three times faster than the population as a whole, and the fastest-growing segment of this group is younger than 17; by 2025, Hispanic children are expected to make up 25 percent of the school-age population. These facts impose the need for special attention over the different dynamics inside the educational environment. We know that good and fluent communication is essential in every aspect of our life, but there is a specific environment where accurate and precise understanding is particularly critic: Education. The complex and challenging context of educational environment makes interpreting a key asset for schools and school boards, raising the responsibilities placed on the interpreter.

Simultaneous Interpretation has become a key aspect of many educational institutions. Schools are communities of practice and the educational interpreter is a member of that larger community. Schools and school boards seeking to better serve the community and fairly represent the population of a city or county may need to make an effort to be inclusive, as the learning environment impacts cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development. In that development, language is the tool that allows for social interaction. For example, students and teachers use language to exchange ideas and information, to negotiate and encourage, and to tease and bond.

Schools depend on input from parents and parental involvement through parent-teacher organizations. In order for all parents, regardless of their ethnicity or language, to contribute to and be a part of their children’s education, it is fundamental for them to understand what is going on at school and to be heard at meetings dealing with the educational needs, interests and rights of their children.

For many people whose first language is not English, protecting their children’s rights and advocating their interests before school administrators can be a daunting challenge that calls for innovative solutions. And if parents do not have the ability to communicate in English, these parents can be overwhelmed by student registration, back-to-school nights, and many other events. To overcome this struggle, some innovative educational institutions are offering bilingual or multilingual language interpretation services to make communication a much easier task not only for parents and teachers, but also for school staff.

Using Enersound FM interpretation equipment, schools can provide translation services to enhance parent-teacher communication and parent involvement in many activities, including training and participation in decision-making and volunteer committees. Language Translation equipment for schools usually consists of a wireless transmitter (that can be either desktop or battery operated) with a microphone for the interpreter and a set of wireless receivers with headphones for those needing translation.

In many institutions, innovation and hard-work have built meaningful and long-lasting relationships among teachers, parents, students and several other board members, enabling a loop of feedback and information that ultimately strengthens the communities’ bonds. Thanks to Enersound language interpretation equipment, schools are able to conduct meetings and workshops in both English and Spanish as well as in other languages bridging the language gap.

It can be very difficult for a teacher to help a student when the last one does not adequately speak the lesson language, and this can lead to serious failures and holes in a students´ academic and personal development. Even more, it is usual that families of non-English speaking students also have poor understanding of English, and this double-level difficulty imposes a greater challenge for teachers and school staff. At this point, it is important to seek for solutions that bring everyone closer.

The unique portability and lightness of Enersound receivers enable them to be used either while sitting at the conference table or while moving about the conference room or classroom. There are no wires restricting movement, and the sound remains crystal clear anywhere in the room. The Novato Unified School District in California, affirms that the Enersound system used by her district enables bilingual interpretation into English and Spanish at school district meetings and that participants especially appreciate the fact that Enersound receivers, compared with other bulkier receivers that the district formerly used, combine full-featured quality with pocket-size convenience.

For larger groups or events, such as college classes, auditoriums, congresses, dissertations, etc., Enersound translation equipment can enable to hear a lecture or discussion clearly and comprehensibly and to take active part. We provide a wide range of solutions for educational institutions and organizations, from K-12 schools, to Colleges and Universities. The Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Medicina of Veracruz, Mexico, is a perfect example. This institute provides advanced training in medical specialties. The institute hosted a conference with over 600 participants speaking Spanish and English, using Enersound equipment to provide simultaneous interpretation. The lead interpreter during this event observed that the equipment delivered sound “of impressive clarity”, free of any interference. Such high quality results in better interpretation since it enhances the interpreters’ ability to focus on the speakers’ meaning.

11th Feb 2015 Federico Holm

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