First off, the good news! I'm officially a Certified Google Educator! I could not be more excited. I thought I knew Google Apps for Education (GAFE) inside out, but I still learned so much in the process of studying for and taking the exams for certification. I sure haven't been using it to its fullest!
If you work with ELLs and have difficulty communicating with parents, you're going to LOVE today's tech tip! Today's tip is not only super easy, but super effective. As you probably guessed....it's a Google trick! If your school email is through GAFE then you're ready to go, but it's worth adding that this little trick also works in a regular Gmail address.
If you receive an email in a language you don't speak, you can easily and quickly translate that email without ever leaving your Gmail window. Just click the arrow in the upper right of the email, next to the reply window and select "translate message" (shown in image below).
For convenience, you can even set it to always translate messages that come to your email inbox in a particular language, as shown in the image below.
Google has more detailed instructions here. If you want to teach parents this trick, scroll to the bottom of the instructions and you'll see a dropdown box that will allow you to view (and print) the instructions in many languages. Why not set up a computer station on parent night or during parent teacher conferences where parents can get a free Gmail account and set it up to translate messages?
Why this is great for ELLs:
This is a perfect tool for making your communication with parents who may not speak English even easier! If they also have an Gmail account, you can teach them how to do this as well! That way, you can communicate easily and quickly with parents without the need for an interpreter! Parents can feel more connected to what's happening in the classroom on a daily basis and more involved in their child's education.