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Schools bridge language gap

According to a survey released this week, communicating with limited-English speaking students, parents and communities amidst shrinking budgets is a major concern for school districts for the 2010-2011 school year. Nearly half of school districts reported that limited budgets are their largest challenges in serving their ELL communities, with 44 percent stating that in 2010 they will see a decrease in the federal Title III funding that helps them serve these special populations.

Nearly 90 percent of districts reported that they regularly use the Internet for parent-student communications. However, despite nationally reported growth in social networking, only 12 percent of districts said they used sites such as Twitter and Facebook to build the home-school connection.

"Our 2010 education survey quantified the trends that K12Translate and viaLanguage have been seeing over the past decade,” said Chanin Ballance, president and CEO, viaLanguage. “Schools are educating a growing number of students who are non-native English speakers, and education leaders are looking for effective, affordable and timely translation services that will help them ensure that their diverse student and parent populations are connected to the overall school community."

Faced with the growing number of English Language Learners (ELL) and shrinking budgets, many of these school districts are turning to K12Translate to help them bridge the language gap.

K12Translate offers translation services for a range of projects, from health notices or field trip permission slips to larger documents such as school manuals and educational materials. The company works with more than 1,000 native-speaking translators to ensure that the finished product uses the appropriate dialects and reflects cultural sensitivities. Documents are translated by a native-speaking translator, proofread and edited by a secondary native speaker for accuracy and reviewed