Scenario: Living and working in Korea can be tricky when it comes to keeping in touch with parents. At my current school I have minimal contact with parents, and for my kindergarten students I am just one of several teachers that they have, so they typically talk with Korean staff. If there is a issue a Korean teacher will pass that information on to me. At my last school I had 28 students that I worked very closely with as their English homeroom teacher second grade. I sent out report cards four times per year which included feedback both positive and areas for improvement. Parents were able to read the feedback and then decide if they wanted to come in for a parent teacher conference to discuss their child’s progress. During this time the parent could opt to speak with me one-on-one or with a translator present. I could also opt to send a translated letter home to parents if I felt the situation required it.
This first scenario is a general ESL experience in a non_English speaking country.
The ESL classroom present innate challenges related to being in a non-English speaking country and wanting to promote parent involvement in the students learning the process while ensuring the student is support to excel academically at home. The following is a plan of action to ensure parent involvement.
Plan: Utilize a translator
The ELL classroom often will have access to an assistant teacher or a translator on specific occasions. Familiarize yourself with your school's translation capabilities and have reports, messages, and pamphlets translated as needed. Additionally, consider setting up a meeting with a parent with the assistance of having a translator present.
Kim, here's your report card. Please ask your parents to review and sign. I'd also be happy to speak with them if they are interested in meeting regarding your grades.
Kim, we're going to have to speak with your teacher about your grades! Your performance is poor.
We care about you and just want you to improve.
Thank you for meeting with me today, Mr and Mrs Park. To provide the best experience, I've invited our school translator, John.
In Hangul: "Thanks for taking the time to meet with us today. We are eager to talk about Kim's performance at school and would like to get some advise as to how we can help support her academic growth."