Use Google Docs to Translate Documents for ESL Parents
- Make sure your school is signed up for a free Google Apps for Education account.
- Go to http://drive.google.com
- Click the red ‘Create’ button and select ‘Document’ from the drop down menu.
- Create your document. You can copy-paste from other text editors like Microsoft Word or create it from scratch.
- Go to the ‘Tools’ menu, and click ‘Translate document….’
- Type the name of the new document, select the native language of the ESL parent, and press OK.
- A translated copy of your document will be created. You can now access this copy in your Google Drive.
Once the document is translated, you may want to print the translated copy and staple it to the English version for the student to take home to their ESL parent.
How Translated School Documents Promote ESL Parent Involvement
Definition of ESL Parent
Expert Take: Dr. Chris Craft on Translating School Documents using Google Docs
As I travel around and meet with Google Apps for Education users around the world, there is one feature that I feel like is seriously underutilized. The ability to instantly translate any Google Doc is a feature that can and will allow schools to communicate with parents and community members through documents.
Schools in my area seem to be experiencing an increase in students for whom English is a second language. Language barriers can make communicating with a student’s parents difficult. For many schools and districts, there is no easy way to handle this, and they resort to copying and pasting blocks of text into a translation website. This process is cumbersome, to say the least. Google Apps for Education offers a quick and easy way to handle this need. Let’s assume that a school or district has made the switch to GAFE and have adopted Google Docs for collaborative document editing. They already experience data security, ubiquitous availability, mobile editing, and more. Now they can also translate documents quickly and easily by simply clicking Tools –> Translate Document. A copy is created and is instantly translate into the chosen language.
Here’s a scenario. Let’s say a family enters the school having recently arrived from Croatia. There is likely no one on staff at the school that speaks Croatian. If the school has their documents in Google Docs, they simply go into the Doc, click Tools, Translate Document, and select Croatian. In moments, they have a document to give to the parent in his/her native language. Thanks to Google Docs translate a document feature, the communication barrier is effectively lowered. – Dr. Chris Craft