Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, signed in 2000, require “meaningful access” to services for people with limited English proficiency (LEP). Now, Amended Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154 has renewed the pressure on New York State schools to meet their obligations to LEP parents.
Authentic Voices: Educational Setting focuses on home-school communication. There are more than 4.4 million English Language Learners in U.S. schools, a number that continues to grow. Almost all of their parents are English Language Learners, and since many second generation children who speak English have parents who do not, the actual number of people who need interpreters to facilitate meaningful access to their children’s schools is enormous.
The Authentic Voices DVD has a segment in English that provides information and strategies for educators planning and participating in bilingual meetings as well as a segment in Spanish, designed with the largest population of English Language Learners in mind. The Spanish segment contains information and strategies for communicating through an interpreter that parallels the English version for educators. It also features additional content about how U.S. schools operate, giving immigrant parents a window into a foreign system.
Even for immigrants who do not speak Spanish, the vignettes from the videos are a useful illustration of key techniques for communicating through an interpreter, such as where to sit during a meeting, how long to speak, and who to look at. Additionally, the resources that come with the DVD include facilitator’s agendas, which provide people with the tools to teach the content to speakers of other languages. All of the handouts for parents have an English version to be used as a base for translation.
The Administrative Manual/Facilitator Guide supports systemic implementation. It features resources for facilitating workshops with educational professionals, parent groups and students, including information about adapting the agendas to include the Medical and Workplace Setting DVDs. All three videos can be used in Migrant Education Programs, within community-based education events serving immigrants, and in schools with Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE). For example:
- The Workplace Setting contains a dairy farm staff meeting, an employee evaluation and workers in an orchard receiving instructions. A workshop mini-lesson could focus on U.S. cultural norms in the workplace while at the same time teaching strategies for using an interpreter.
- The Medical Setting features several scenarios, including a young mother and her baby at the first well-child visit and a young man with a sexually transmitted disease. A workshop or mini-lesson could focus on safe sex or the importance of regular well-child visits while at the same time teaching strategies for using an interpreter.
To discuss bringing Authentic Voices to your organization or to learn about upcoming Authentic Voices turnkey trainings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.