As a fourth and fifth grade teacher, I don’t always get beginning-level English learners. Although I do have several English learners, they often come to me with some basic conversational English skills. I can use pictures, sentence stems, word walls and other strategies to help scaffold my instruction. The real struggle comes when I am trying to meet the needs of those English learners who are new to our school and language. Especially when thinking about the content, it’s important that we provide resources that students can use at their native language reading level as a means of making sure we provide the content, while still helping their conversational and academic language grow.
Thanks to Google Translate Extension, I finally found a tool that not only does that, but
can also allow those students to use the IDENTICAL online resource that the native English speakers are using. After installing this extension in Chrome, you can quickly translate passages, words, and entire websites with a simple click of a button. This has come in handy for so many reasons. With so many of our textbooks now coming online, students can now just highlight a word, sentence, or passage and right click for a simple translation.
What I’ve found even more exciting is the ability to translate entire websites into another language. This has obviously been a great tool when trying to provide content resources for our English learners, but has also been a great way to provide the EXACT content. My students can still participate in conversations and discussions during class on those materials. It’s also been a time saver, as I no longer have to search for equivalent content. And finally, it has provided my students and me an opportunity to talk about the language– even Google can make mistakes. Although the translations are amazingly accurate, the occasional error will occur. Having the ability to contribute a better translation has helped students to not only clarify their reading, but contribute to the translations for further understanding.