In many schools, parents who don’t speak English have problems communicating with teachers. This can be especially difficult during parent-teacher conferences. Franklin Learning Center has a lot of people from different countries; because of that, FLC has many students who speak different languages. This can make it very hard for parents to know how their children are doing in school.
Bilingual counselors offer some help, but they cannot speak every language. Even with a translator in each building, there are too many parents for just one person to translate.
At FLC, this lack of translation services is usually solved by having students translate between their teachers and their parents. This is a problem because it forces parents and teachers to trust the student and also because it forces students to be the peacekeepers in potentially stressful environments. Sometimes bilingual students are even asked to translate for someone else’s parents. It’s good that they can be helpful, but the end result is that they can feel used and underappreciated.
It is not fair for students or the parents. The solution to this problem is for the school to employ more translators. That would help the parents to know how their children are doing and would keep a sometimes emotional conversation clear and professional.
Author: Maria Santos