New York City Schools Need More Translation Services to Help Parents
Last Updated On: July 7, 2017 by The Migration Translators
The reason for having more and better professional translation services in New York City (NYC) schools is so the schools have representatives of the various different language groups which helps to address student issues in schools.
Also, when parent representatives have to communicate in a diverse range of languages, they should be assisted by any means possible to understand each other.
Families who are immigrants face many problems when speaking with their children’s teachers and feel intimidated if they have to talk to the school’s Principal. Ensuring there are good interpretation and translation services means parents can play an active role in their children’s education.
Recently, the New York Immigration Coalition and other organisations have got together to represent the Arab, Asian, African, Caribbean, and Latino communities to launch the “Build the Bridge” campaign which is advocating more interpretation and translation services for immigrant parents.
As a result, 9 full-time jobs in the Borough Field Support Centers and other relevant groups have been employed to assess the individual requirements of all NYC schools and organise the necessary translation support.
The expansion also includes new direct access to over-the-phone interpreters available after 5 p.m. In the past, schools had to contact the Translation and Interpretation Unit, which then connected the call — a step that has been eliminated. This will help reduce wait time for an interpreter, and allow teachers and staff to call non-English speaking families after business hours. Interpreters are available in 200 languages.
In addition, starting this month, members of the Citywide and Community Education Councils will also receive additional language support. Elected parent leaders are expected be representative of the city’s diverse school system and the city wants to make sure they are able to communicate among themselves no matter the language they speak.
The state’s Department of Education (DOE) feels that being able to communicate effectively and quickly with parents in a language they understand is essential. The department is committed to work together with professional translation services in the city to ensure that the bridge to communicating with immigrant families is maintained and strengthened.