Educational Interpreter Services

As the United States becomes more and more diverse, the number of children and young adults with limited English proficiency in the school system continues to rise steadily. If you’re an educator or a school official, especially in the public school system, you may have noticed the issues that the occasional language barrier can cause between teachers, students, and the students’ parents or legal guardians. Fortunately, professional educational interpreter services easily fix these issues and can ensure mutual understanding among all parties involved.

The Importance of Educational Interpreter Services

Everyone knows that education is power, and, under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, it’s a human right. It’s illegal to deny services on the basis of race, religion, and gender, and a student’s English proficiency is no different. That’s why educators are obligated to do everything in their power to ensure each student receives a high-quality education, regardless of whether or not they’re in the process of learning English. 

Schools across the nation have worked to develop best practices regarding English Language Learners, a task that without a doubt is still a challenge for many educators and administrators. However a key factor that is often overlooked, or ignored altogether, is how can schools communicate with parents and guardians when they have limited English abilities? If a school can’t communicate with a student’s parents or legal guardians, the family is less likely to be satisfied with the school and the student is more likely to fall behind.

Therefore, comprehensive education interpretation services apply to all aspects of a diverse educational setting. In this way, the education interpreter is an integral part of the educational team, and they provide an invaluable service to the school, the parents and legal guardians, and students.

Children and teacher in a classroom

Educational Interpreter Services: The Settings We Serve

TNOLA Languages excels in every modern educational setting. As previously mentioned, communication between school employees and parents or legal guardians of limited English proficiency is vital to the student’s success. That’s why TNOLA Languages’ education interpretation services are perfect for:

  • Enrollment events
  • Parent/teacher conferences
  • Internal meetings
  • Assemblies
  • Graduations
  • Extracurricular events

These are just a few of the areas that TNOLA specializes in, and the scope of our education interpretation services matches a wide variety of settings outside of these areas as well.

Although these settings usually call for an on-site interpreter, TNOLA’s interpreters can provide education interpretation services over the phone, as wel

Types of Interpretation Services

When it comes to on-site interpretation, TNOLA’s interpreters use two main techniques: simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation.

Simultaneous interpretation is the act of communicating what’s being said in the source language to the target language speaker in real-time. This means two people are talking at the same time, and the target language speaker is listening to the interpreter rather than the source language speaker.

Consecutive interpretation is the process by which the interpreter listens to the source language speaker and takes careful notes. After the source language speaker is done speaking, the interpreter will relay what they said to the listener in the target language. The benefit of this method is that the listener can effectively “listen” to the source language speaker while they talk and receive the meaning afterward.

When these two techniques are used in unison, the interpreter can provide the most detailed and accurate understanding possible. The interpreter not only communicates the meaning behind the messages, but they also allow both parties to understand one another’s tone.

Professional education interpretation services are important because meaning is deeper than the words we use to convey it. Professional interpreters are well familiar with the idiomatic expressions, cultural intricacies, industry-specific, and other non-conventional phrases that exist in all languages. For example, there are words and phrases that simply don’t exist in English, and they wouldn’t make any sense if they were translated word-for-word.

If you were to use someone who is bilingual but untrained in interpretation, they may stumble over these types of expressions and relay an inaccurate message in the target language.

TNOLA understands that effective communication is crucial to providing all of our students, parents/guardians, and educators a quality educational environment.

Education Translation Services

As you may already know, translation is different from interpretation. However, you may not know that both are equally important. Before we get into which education translation services TNOLA provides, we must first define translation and interpretation.

When something is translated, the meaning only flows one way. This is why translation is primarily used for written material, like instructions or a form that needs filling out. When we read, we don’t respond to the information that we receive. We simply understand what is written and internalize the meaning.

On the other hand, interpretation deals with the spoken word. Interpretation is inherently more interactive because meaning is both given and received. We hear the interpretation, internalize the information and the meaning, and respond to the speaker with our own information. In this way, interpretation is an ongoing and intimate process between the three or more people involved.

In the education system, translation is just as important as interpretation. TNOLA has years of experience in translating:

  • Websites
  • IEPs
  • Handbooks and policies
  • Instructions
  • Report cards
  • Foreign transcripts 
  • Legal documents
  • Enrollment papers
  • Official communications
  • Progress reports
  • And more!

Document translation is deeply important because there’s little room for error, or ambiguous language or meaning. Many educational documents, such as IEPs and Student Policies, are legally binding documents and accordingly must be fully understood by the parties signing them. The translations need to be accurate, to the point, and complete because the reader won’t often have the opportunity to ask the person who wrote it to clarify their meaning.