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Students are lost in translation

MON. | 11-15-21 | OPINION

     Each child in the public school system deserves equal access to education and should be provided with the necessary resources to learn. While those who have limited proficiency in English are just as capable of learning as someone whose first language is English, it can be a struggle trying to keep up when being taught in a foreign language. This is why we should hire more translators to work in our schools.

     Hiring more translators in schools would not only be beneficial to non-English speaking students, but also to our teachers. Teachers instructing English as Second Language (ESL) students have to spend additional time teaching these students due to language barriers. This would not be a problem if translators were widely available for assistance throughout the day. 

     Many of these students' parents do not speak English well either, making it even more difficult for these students to learn. This limits their ability to seek help from family members when studying or doing homework.

     Not only is it difficult for these students to learn and apply lessons to their class and homework, but it is also extremely hard for them to participate in class projects with fellow classmates. It can be very difficult for them to understand these students and communicate personal ideas with the rest of their group.

     Bilingual students are taken out of class to translate for others when they could be in class learning or doing their own school work. Though they are very empathic to these students, it isn't fair that they have to spend their time doing something that should be a resource provided by the school.

     “While it doesn’t bother me to be taken out of class and help those who need assistance, especially since I know how it feels to be in their situation, it does take away my class time and learning,” bilingual Rose sophomore student Mia Padilla said.

Why do we need more translators in schools-2.png

Graphic by Edie Yount

     Each student who is not proficient in English should have a personal translator who is available for contact during and after school hours for homework help. If this is not a possible option, another alternative could be Refresh blocks designated for these students to get additional help with their classwork.

     Hiring foreign language translators in schools would solve many problems and inconveniences that we have within our school, help ESL students feel more included and supported, and give ESL students a better chance for academic success.

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