Before Google Translate, helping with homework was one of the most challenging tasks experienced by parents of language learners. I still remember attending middle school, having to do homework on my own. Figuring out what I had to do using a paper-based bilingual dictionary. My first days in middle school were very intense.
Homework completion took me hours because I had to use my bilingual dictionary to look up too many words. Nevertheless, today, parents have access to cell phones and computers that help us expedite the homework experience.
Parents are now using Google Translate to support their children from home. One of the most used tools parents of bilinguals use is the Google Translate website and application. Over the years, Google Translate has substantially improved and seems much more reliable. As a translator, I have tried many sites online to do translations, and Google continuously returns good results in English and Spanish translations.
When to Use Google Translate
Google Translate is great to translate school assignments and patent-teacher communication. Parents may use Google Translate to write notes to teachers and communicate information about their child. This may include school absence notes, homework related questions, field trip inquiries, and health-related communication with the school nurse.
To translate incoming text, parents can use the Google Translate app to translate text from English to another language. Google Translate app has a camera feature that allows users to scan a document, which is shown in the other language.
Translation tools are helpful to teachers and schools in various ways. Schools can use Google Translate to translate outgoing communication to parents. This may include homework directions, field trip information, upcoming event and activities, and school nurse health-related information.
Teachers may use the camera feature to translate home to school notes about their students. When schools encourage parents to send notes in their native language it facilitates communication among parents and teachers. If a parent sends a note written in their native language – teachers can use the camera feature to translate the note to English. Once translated, a teacher may use an over the phone interpreting service to reply to the note or type up a reply using Google Translate.
Homework extends the school learning experience allowing students to practice at home what they learn in class. As a result, families must do assignments at home in a language that they sometimes not spoken by the parents. This happens for native English-speaking households who may have a child participating in a dual language immersion program and also happens for non-English speaking family households with students learning English. Subsequently, parents may use Google Translate to translate homework assignments.
Using Google Translate to support your child at home allows you to translate using various features to assist in your child’s school experience.
Text translation option on the website:
Most homework is given to students as a document. In most cases, the first few sentences include the directions of what the student is expected to do to complete the homework.
1. Go to the Google Translate box and type the text you want to translate on the left text box.
2. Select the language you are typing in and on the next box, select the language to translate to.
The above step may be done by accessing the homework electronically. The text to be translated can be typed in or pasted in either English or Spanish once the text is in you’ll have to select the target language you understand.
If you’re a parent that speaks a language other than English or Spanish, Google Translate is also able to translate to many more languages such as Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Tagalog, and many other languages.
Using the Google Translate App:
One of the best features of the free Google Translate application is its mind-blowing ability to translate text using your cell phone camera. The Google Translate app is available for iPhone and Samsung cellphones.
- Download the Google Translate app and open the camera feature in the app.
2. While scanning the text in camera mode, Google Translate switches the text into the language you choose.
For this step, make sure to hold your camera steady to get the most accurate translation. The above can also be done for completing field trip forms and understand notes sent from school.
- On your computer, go to Google Translate.
- In the text box, enter a URL.
- To choose the language you want to translate to, at the top right, click the Down arrow.
- On the right, click the URL that appears. The URL will open a new tab and the website will be translated.
Google Translate is a great tool to support your child at home with homework. Schools are finding ways to use translation tools such as Google Translate and Class Dojo to engage families in a child’s education.