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Translating Parent Notifications: 5 Tips for K-12 Schools

Translating parent notifications properly is one of the best ways to improve communication with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) parents or caregivers of K-12 students. In fact, effective communication between schools and LEP parents can make a significant difference in a student’s life. 

It’s one of the most powerful ways to expand learning access in K-12. 

That’s why we compiled 5 tips for enhancing the translation of parent notifications. These tips offer you tactics that provide higher-quality language translation while streamlining the process for your school’s administrative staff. 

But first, let’s discuss just how impactful it is on students to have effective communication with LEP parents or caregivers. We will use “parents” for the sake of brevity throughout this post.

The Impact of Effective Multilingual Communication

The positive impact of translated notifications on student success and family involvement is too consequential to be ignored. In 2019, the American Psychological Association’s analysis of 448 studies confirmed that parental involvement in a child’s education significantly enhances academic performance, engagement and motivation.

That being said, sub-par translations of parental notifications can alienate LEP parents, causing confusion or frustration. Unfortunately, these communication blunders can affect parent involvement in a student’s schooling. 

At the very least, it can leave correspondence open to interpretation and ambiguity. This means students might be left behind in their education and related social activities. Therefore, high-quality translations of parental notifications are one of the best ways to bridge the communication gap. 

5 Ways to Improve Parental Notification Translation 

1. Identify Target Languages

The very foundation of parental notification translation requires identification of all the languages spoken by LEP parents in your school community. 

First, you will need to discuss strategies for conducting surveys or assessments to determine the most prevalent languages. Seek resources and tools to help identify the target languages effectively.

2. Seek Professional Translation

After you identify key languages, adopt a translation management system. In the simplest terms, it is software that enhances productivity during the language translation process. 

We recommend finding one that uses machine translation to provide a credible first draft translation of files that you can then edit within the software, allowing you to reuse translations. It should be easy to use, intuitive and secure. Enlist human translators and bilingual staff to use the software to create high-quality correspondence that is accurate and culturally sensitive.

Check out Pairaphrase translation software for schools, which is used by schools all over the U.S. to translate parental notifications.

3. Create a Glossary of Common Terms

When translating parental notifications, it’s important to create a glossary of commonly used school terms in different languages. A glossary ensures consistency throughout your written correspondence with LEP parents and helps school administration to adhere to school-approved terminology.

For help, reference our tips on creating an effective glossary

The translation management system we referenced in #2 allows you to create and maintain a glossary that’s interactive allowing you to reduce human effort even more.

4. Develop a Delivery Plan for Translated Parental Notifications

Without a clear plan for delivering translated parental notifications, your translation efforts could go to waste. Discuss methods internally for disseminating translated materials, such as email, mail or in-person distribution. Share best practices with staff for ensuring that translated notifications reach LEP parents effectively.

5. Seek Feedback and Continuously Improve

An important part of this process is to collect feedback from LEP parents about the quality and usefulness of translated notifications. Surveys and focus groups will be instrumental. Use the feedback to make ongoing improvements to your school’s translation efforts.

Try Pairaphrase

By effectively translating parental notifications, your school can foster a more inclusive and supportive learning environment. 

Pairaphrase will make this process more effective for you and your translators. It’s the AI-powered translation management system for teams who value safer, smarter and faster translation in a web-based environment.

Schedule a Demo or share this article with a colleague.



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