Hola! I teach Newcomers grades 6th-8th. Our school is a high poverty school with about 80% or so free and reduced lunch. It is a technology magnet school. Science, Social Studies, Math, Language Arts are the subjects I teach. My students are new to the country and speak VERY limited English or No English at all.
Chao mung !bien venidos! WELCOME! Teacher, I don't understand. No entiendo. Imagine having to teach 4 subjects in English to students who don't understand a word of English. I use a lot of pictures, slow speech, and actions. The phrase you would hear most in my classroom is "Do you understand?"
Our dictionaries are ripping at the seams! We are a technology magnet, my students would be thrilled to have a pocket translator at their disposal to look up the word they don't understand. They see other teachers who don't speak their language, and often times are lost in translation. They have no means of communicating. How cool would it be for them to be a able to carry a pocket translator with them to p.e., music, Leadership, or art? Today 3 of my students got in trouble for walking in the grass during recess when they should have been on the sidewalk. With a pocket translator, the teacher could have typed in sidewalk, and used motions to show where they should have been walking. We NEED your help!!!!!
By providing my students with pocket translators, you are saving them from the embarrassment of being yelled at, humiliated, or lost all the time. One small word translation can mean the difference of passing the Science test, or not having lunch detention. Monkey see, monkey do. If you don't know you are not supposed to be doing something, but you see others doing it, it can get you in trouble.
Most importantly, it would save my kids a trip to the old dusty bookshelf in search of a ripped, old, outdated, tattered and torn dictionary. They could whip out their handy dandy pocket dictionary, thesaurus, translator and have knowledge at the touch of a finger.
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