We often hear feedback about how regular communication from school can make parents feel confident and connected. We can only wonder how it must feel if, as a parent, you received plenty of communication with all the news from school – but couldn’t read it. 21% of the population speak a language other than English at home, so how can we bridge this language barrier? Enter, the School Stream Translation Feature. This week, we take a look at how School Stream can support your school by keeping everyone connected and help build an inclusive school community where our kids can all thrive.
We’re here to support schools. Read on to learn how our Translation feature can support your school – whether you are teaching face-to-face or remotely. Click here for a quick demonstration of how School Stream works.
Why is the translation feature important?
Did you know over 300 languages are spoken in Australia? It’s a very multicultural society. The results of the 2016 Census reported that 49 per cent of Australians had either been born overseas, or one or both parents had been born overseas. This presents a couple of issues for schools and teachers when keeping LBOTE (Language Background Other Than English) parents in the loop.
Does this sound familiar?
If your school has students whose parents don’t speak English at home, you’ll be well aware of cases where the child, or their older sibling, has to interpret at teacher meetings and translate any information sent home to their parents. It’s quite a responsibility. As a flow-on effect, we know schools worry that parents who don’t speak English at home feel hesitant to engage with school life. Not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t feel confident in their language skills or there is a gap in understanding what the expectations of school are in a different country. As a result, parents can feel disconnected from the school and a bit lost when it comes to knowing what is going on in their child’s life. We know other situations where parents would traditionally engage with the school community are also a strain for this group of parents due to language barriers. We’re talking about things like parent-teacher interviews and coming along as the parent helper on excursions. We all know that the best educational outcomes for children come when their parents are involved in school life, which is why the Translation feature is so important.
The School Stream Translation Feature can help
With School Stream, you have access to over 100 core languages, and you can translate every single piece of content you send to your school community. This means every parent is getting the alerts you send in a language they can understand. It’s easy, it’s fast and it’s effective.
One school’s experience
Mount Roskill is a vibrant primary school in New Zealand who are using the translation feature to successfully engage their school community.
‘We have increased attendance at school events because parents are actually receiving school communications and are accessing the translation feature. Previously, many of the paper-based notes sent home from school were not understood.’
And this will be of particular interest to School Administration Managers:
‘Traffic through the office has significantly reduced. If the office gets a couple of calls with the same enquiry, the office staff will send out an alert via School Stream to keep the parents informed and we find this stops further disruption to the administration team.’
An affordable and effective solution to school-family language barriers
Translators and interpreters can be expensive and are not always a viable option. Community guides and leaders are pretty much run off their feet most of the time. The translation feature is a small step to take for schools, but a significant support for those communities who cannot read English. Everyone wins.
Get in touch. We are available to answer any and all of your questions about how School Stream can support your school community.