« Rising Number of ESL Students Poses Challenges for U.S. Schools | Main | Government Shutdown Is Over, But DACA and 'Dreamers' Are Still in Limbo »

Watch: A Parent's Campaign to Break Down Language Barriers for ELL Families

When Teresa Garcia moved to suburban Seattle, she struggled to communicate with her children's teachers, to help her children with homework assignments, and to understand the notes that came home in their backpacks.

Garcia, who was still learning English, felt like she was failing her daughter, who needed specialized services. She set out on a campaign to ensure that other English-as-second-language families in the Federal Way, Wash., schools did not feel as hopeless as she once did.

In the video above, which is part of Education Week's new Parent Changemakers series, Garcia talks about her push for better language services. The district now provides translations of documents and web pages in 10 languages, paving the way for more families to access information about what is going on in schools.

"Make ... education be the first and main thing for your students, for your children right now," Garcia said. "... take the time right now to go to the school and speak with teachers, request an interpreter, request documents that you need or ask for help."

The video is available in two versions. The version at the start of this post has Spanish captions. The version below has English captions:

Related Stories and Videos

Giving Parents a Prominent Voice in Schools

Home-School Connections Help ELLs and Their Parents

Discrimination at School Harms Development of Young ELLs

Suburban Schools Unprepared for Influx of Immigrant Students

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more