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Using Technology to Address Language Barriers

Using Technology to Address Language Barriers

As our schools continue to grow their English language learner populations, it becomes increasingly important for schools to find tools and resources that can assist students in language acquisition and help them better interact with their teachers throughout the process.

As our schools continue to grow their English language learner populations, it becomes increasingly important for schools to find tools and resources that can assist students in language acquisition and help them better interact with their teachers throughout the process. Once again, we can thank technology for coming to the rescue and designing brilliant tools to help.


Presenting Google’s Pixel Buds 

Of course you can use these as you would any other earbuds or headphones. But what makes these earbuds so powerful for educational applications s that when paired with a Pixel phone, these wireless earbuds will automatically translate the language being spoken into the listener’s native language. To respond, the student simply speaks his or her reply, and the devices translate their words into English. Incredible! 

Benefits beyond the student

Let’s think about additional benefits these devices can bring. We have school districts in Oklahoma with upwards of 30 different languages identified as their students’ native tongue. No doubt, communication can become an immense challenge not only when trying to teach but also when trying to engage with the families. These devices could significantly improve the ability to communicate with parents/guardians and to help them feel more comfortable asking questions and being more involved in their students’ learning.

Currently, Pixel Buds can translate 40 different languages, and from the reviews we’ve read, they do so pretty well. While they certainly aren’t cheap ($159 per set), having the ability to improve communication might just be worth the cost. And because we educators use our ingenuity to the max in finding ways to raise funds (GoFundMe, various grants, Donors Choose, etc.), these may be the perfect project to promote.

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