This PDF-based article details the trials and tribulations of communication when different primary languages are spoken. The article is thought-provoking and a must-read for any teacher trying to establish positive lines of communication with a parent who speaks another language. My favorite part of the article? -When a parent speaks another language, it is important to establish a relationship which is one of equality and respect from the start,
setting the tone for the future.
An academic article with some great information for bridging communication gaps. The best part, in my opinion, is the very thorough list of tips for parent participation. Most are aimed at the parents, but as a teacher I found these tips to be useful from my own perspective as well. Some excellent thoughts are presented here, such as appreciating the value of bilingualism.
This is a second article from the same series about positive communication. This particular one deals with reaching out to foreign-language speaking parents and how to keep them informed and actively participating in their child's education.
Tools for effective communication are presented here from the viewpoint of a parent group. However, the tools and tips are very relevant for teachers as well. The author points out the differences in terminology between different languages. English is not an easy language to grasp, and often it's because of our use of slang terms and multiple meanings of a lot of words. These suggestions help to alleviate that potential confusion.
Focusing on Parent-Teacher Conferences, this article outlines how to best break through a language barrier. The article is also primarily geared towards bilingual parents as opposed to parents who speak no English. I appreciate that the article has specific sections for before, during and after a conference and the quality tips it provides for this unique circumstance.
This video is thoroughly informative. It points out important aspects of communication such as the different ways that eye contact is used in different cultures. Examples of phone calls home are presented here to give you some practical ideas for communicating well with all parents.
Hiring interpreters can get expensive (particularly if you are the teacher of a class that consists of several different families who speak a foreign language primarily). This article describes an alternative to that strategy. I have experience personally with this strategy and it can be very effective. A fellow teacher at my school spoke German and was able to sit in at Parent-Teacher Conferences to translate as needed. Very important and helpful!
This is a quick, yet informative, read about interacting with parents who do not speak English. The author lists five strategies for maximizing understanding and good communication. My personal favorite amongst the tips presented here is that notes home could be made in different colors depending on the nature of the information (i.e. newsletters are blue, field trip forms are green). This is a simple way to help avoid confusion that I had not thought of before.