Equity in Education Access: Language Services for K-12 Schools_5-15

10 min read

Equity in Education Access: Language Services for K-12 Schools

When English language learner (ELL)/limited English proficient (LEP) students do not have access to language assistance they run the risk of failing, being left back a grade, or dropping out of school. They are often misplaced in special education classes and miss opportunities to enroll in advanced courses because of language barriers.

In 2019 approximately 22.6% of school-age children in the US spoke a language other than English at home. Currently in the US, 22% of the population five years old and over speak a language other than English in their residence. That’s approximately 67.8 million people (roughly one in five) who likely need professional language services when they or their children enter the education system.  Partnering with an experienced language service provider ensures the students in your school district have an equal opportunity to receive a fair education while also assuring you’re complying with laws and regulations surrounding language access. 

Under law in the US, all K-12 children must have fair access to education regardless of race, religion, economic status, or citizenship — and language access is essential to doing that. This applies to children with LEP, children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and their families or guardians. 

Language’s Impact on Education

Download our brochure to learn more about language’s impact on education and the advantages of partnering with an experienced language service provider.

SOLUTION:

For over three decades Language Services Associates (LSA) has been providing cost-effective solutions to ensure no ELL/LEP students and families are left behind.   

With hundreds of languages available, including American Sign Language (ASL) and rare dialects, LSA has the tools necessary for improving equity at your schools, ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state laws, and fostering consistent open communication with ELL/LEP students and their families.  

LSA Will Work with You to Ensure Compliance with US Laws And Regulations 

The Federal Government mandates that school systems provide language support for ELL/LEP students and their families. Schools are required to communicate information to limited English proficient parents in a language they can understand about any program, service, or activity. We help schools meet these requirements.  

LSA ensures your school is compliant with applicable laws, including: 

  • Title III (part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA)) 
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
  • Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA) 
  • Executive Order 13166 
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 

LSA will work within your budget to provide translation and interpretation services via the most appropriate modalities to provide efficient communication for: 

  • IEP (Individualized Education Program) Meetings and any Special Education Related Services 
  • PTA Conferences 
  • Student Evaluation Meetings 
  • School Policy Guides 
  • Parent Notifications 
  • Progress Reports 
  • Emergency Communications 
  • Registration and enrollment in schools and school programs 
  • Emergency communications 
  • And more. 

 

THE PROBLEM WITH TAKING LANGUAGE SHORTCUTS: 

Google Translate 

Google Translate may appear to be a reliable solution for communicating with LEP individuals, but it’s complicated because there is no way to incorporate context. This means words with double meanings can be incorrectly translated, and the entire message can be significantly altered leading to more problems than solutions. 

Inexperienced Language Service Providers 

Partnering with an inexperienced language service provider (LSP), or an LSP with limited tools and resources, can mean inadequate services, long wait times, or the inability to provide services for rare languages. Do not be fooled by low rates that seem too perfect to be real – if it seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

Independent or Freelance Interpreters 

Engaging the services of independent or freelance interpreters usually means paying a higher rate, working around that interpreter’s schedule, and language limitations. Working with an LSP like LSA will grant you access to hundreds of languages and thousands of linguists any time of day at one guaranteed price. 

Bilingual Friend, Family Member, or Another Student  

Using a friend, family member, or another student that is bilingual does not always lead to great results. Another student may be too young to comprehend important concepts or ideas, and friends and family do not have the training required to provide adequate interpretation in a professional setting. 

 

A PARTNERSHIP WITH LSA IN K-12 EDUCATION:  

LSA is a full-service language provider offering hundreds of languages, 24/7/365 via audio, video, and onsite solutions. We also offer translation services for important documents, forms, websites and any written materials, and language assessments to ensure your bilingual staff is qualified to provide interpretation at your school. 

Our interpreters and translators undergo a rigorous three-step verification process ensuring they provide culturally competent services and have expertise in the education field. This guarantees that any time an interpreter is needed you are provided with a highly qualified linguist who understands the terminology and nuances of your industry. 

LSA will work with you and your budget to create a language access program that meets the needs of your school. Our experience in the education system is proven and unmatched. Partnering with LSA is a cost-effective way to ensure no LEP students are left behind. 

Learn more about LSA’s language services today!  

Contact our team at 800.305.9673 X55305 or fill out our contact form in seconds.  

 

ABOUT LSA: 

For over three decades Language Services Associates (LSA) has offered a full suite of language interpretation and translation solutions to help optimize the experience of limited English proficient customers and patients. Providing native language support improves the efficiency and productivity of staff, raises customer satisfaction levels, and builds loyalty. For thousands of clients worldwide, in hundreds of languages, LSA provides a competitive differentiator across various industries including education, healthcare, government, finance, banking, insurance, sports, hospitality, and more.