Aloha, friends! I hope that you are all enjoying your summer break!!
Is there more than one language spoken in your class? Maybe the primary language for your class is English, but you also have non-English speakers or English Language Learners in your classroom? Are you thrilled to have more diversity, but wonder how to handle the challenges it brings, and more importantly, how to best help those second language students? HELP, in the form of Google Translate, is only a finger click away!
Whether you're a classroom teacher, or just someone who enjoys traveling and learning other languages, Google Translate has many amazing features!
For teachers, some of the best features of Google Translate are:
- Google Translate works both online and offline. If you're not online, or you're out and about, Google Translate has an app that's FREE in the iTunes store!
- Google Translate has a Common Phrasebook option (for commonly used/translated words & phrases) and an audio pronunciation guide to make learning so much easier for your second language learners!
- Need to send home a school-issued document like a notice, form or a class newsletter? The camera function on the Google Translate app will translate the printed documents, posters, & even street signs! If you're online, you can upload the entire document in the Google Translator Toolkit and it will instantly translate it for you, then it's ready to print in the target language!
- The Google Translate app can even translate a handwritten note! (For example: a parent sends in a note to you in another language) #Amazing
- Do you often need to send home a personal note to parents who speak another language? Google Translate will instantly translate your text into the target language. (Over 90 languages are available!)
Whenever you have students in your class whose first language is not English (or differs from the primary language spoken in your class) it's essential to make sure that their parents feel connected to what's going on in your classroom. Here's an even better way to save 'teacher-time' with Google Translate: Teach a student (choose one who's always an early finisher), how to use Google Translate, then you can have them translate all the school documents/classwork that will go home to parents!
You can also broaden your students' view of the world by establishing a global pen-pal program! Google Translate will make it EASY for your class to communicate with other children from around the world! Your students will love taking ownership of sending and receiving (& translating!) their global pen-pal emails! Think of the tangential learning that could come from this--geography lessons, government/history/culture lessons, are lessons, climate lessons, animals & their habitats--the possibilities for learning are endless!
Here's a brief 'how-to' on Google Translate to get you started:
There are two ways to get to Google Translate, go to www.translate.Google.com , or you can go to the Goole Sign-in page (no sign-in needed) and...
- Look for a small blue sign-in box in the top right corner. Next to it, you'll see a "waffle" looking icon with nine tiny boxes.
- Click on the waffle and a separate window will open.
- Look at the bottom of the set of icons and you'll see the button that says Translate, this opens up Google Translate.
- From there, a new window will open and you'll see two smaller text windows.
- The window on the left side is where you type in the text to be translated -- (or click 'upload' for a document) and you'll notice that it pops up automatically in the window on the right side.
- In the window on the right-hand side, simply click the box above it for the target language you need.
- Another awesome feature: There's a little speaker icon at the bottom of the text window, simply click on that speaker and the words in the target language will be spoken aloud to demonstrate the correct pronunciation!
Here is a link if you want to give it a try!
Do you know of other ways that Google Translate can be helpful in a classroom setting? If so, I'd love it if you took a moment to share your ideas in the comment section below!