I’ve shared many resources on supporting Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFEs), students with low literacy in their home languages, and students who come from cultures who are pre-literate (see The Best Online Resources For Teachers of SLIFEs and The Best Resources For Supporting Spanish-Speakers Not Literate In Their Home Language).
I’ve also shared a number of resources to help content teachers who have some ELLs in classes that mainly have English-proficient students (see The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes ; The Best Videos For Content Teachers With ELLs In Their Classes – Please Suggest More and The Best Advice To Content Teachers About Supporting English Language Learners).
And I’ve also share resources on how to use technology to support both situations, along with other edtech resources at THE BEST SITES FOR LEARNING ABOUT GOOGLE TRANSLATE & OTHER FORMS OF MACHINE TRANSLATION.
Today, though, I thought it would be useful for me, and possibly for other teachers, to share more specifically about tech tools for providing simultaneous translation – both via text and via audio.
These kinds of tools can benefit English Language Learners, especially in content classes, who are Newcomers or who are in a predominantly English-proficient class.
As technology improves, I’ll be updating this list (I list some tools at the bottom that would be specifically helpful for communicating with families):
Microsoft PowerPoint: PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 can transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you speak, or as subtitles translated to another language.
Google Meet: Google Meet offers a translation feature for business and educational users.
Microsoft Translator for Education can be a very helpful tool.
Waverly Labs launches a translation app called Forum with support for 20 languages is from TechCrunch, and it’s about a new app that supposedly provides real-time audio translation.
Here are tweets in response to a question I asked a couple of months ago:
— Elise White Diaz (@elisewhitediaz) February 7, 2023
Also, students can speak/type back to you on their device
— Elise White Diaz (@elisewhitediaz) February 7, 2023
It is awesome. We’ve been talking about using the feature, Present Live, to help parents/students who aren’t fluent in English during meetings with admin, or to understand an activity. @mtholfsen has made some great videos: https://t.co/xuXMr0jkiR
— Jim Pedrech (@jpedrech) May 7, 2023
Yes, our district implemented a system called https://t.co/NihPdWJ9Dh and it works pretty well. Students can listen to the text or read it. They have feature where you auto or you check it. Checking it will make sure it is more accurate but teachers don’t always have time.
— Elizabeth Lopez (@lizhagenlopez) May 7, 2023
Say Hi Translate- you can type or speak the input and hear or read the translation.
— Katy Schain (@KatySchain) May 9, 2023
For longer texts, you can try @DeepLcom. Both written and audio outputs.
— кєνιη ησυνєℓ (@KNouvel) May 8, 2023
Immersive Reader-automatically built into Word & MS365, can be an add-on to other platforms. We have it in our learning resources for @NewAmericanHist
Read aloud, translations=147+ languages & a picture dictionary (plus a few more tools-parts of speech, line spacing, etc)
— Annie Evans (@MapM8ker) May 7, 2023
ChatGPT+ chrome ChatGPT text to speech plugin, using elevenlabs voice option. It’s like having a speaker of that language with one or two clicks.
— Sam Gravell (@GravellSam) May 7, 2023
This has been a game – changer:https://t.co/NsdZ5buCFA
— Nicole lives in the prequel to Fahrenheit 451 (@nicole_lemme) May 7, 2023
Here are some other comments I received in response to a question I asked at Facebook. I received permission to reprint them here:
Jaimie McGrath Dini:
Snap and read is an extension that can translate and read any text. Co-writer is so that students can do speech to text. Microsoft immersive reader will read text aloud and translate. Microsoft app also has a classroom setting where kids can join and get live translation through their device in written and spoken form. Google app has a conversation feature.
Microsoft Translate app will do live translations written and spoken. You download the app and the teacher sets up a classroom. The kids join and turn on audio. As the teacher is instructing the kids have on headphones with their devices and hear her lesson translated in real time. Its good but of course there are errors. It only works on the app though.
[Microsoft Translate] will work in a physical classroom, but the students will need to have their own devices (a Chromebook, phone, etc.) in order to see/hear what you are saying in their language. You’ll also need to have a device (tablet or phone — the presenter has to initiate “Converse” mode from the app) and keep it near you as you speak, so it can transcribe and translate everything you’re saying. I’m going to try wearing a little clip-on microphone this year so that I don’t need to carry my iPad around with me everywhere.
These really work. A colleague ordered them and we tested them with a Spanish speaking student and a French speaking student.
Waverley Labs has something similar, called the Ambassador. I haven’t tried it with students just because I haven’t had them long, but they seemed to work well when I tested them out listening to a video in Spanish (that’s the only language I know well enough to get an idea of its accuracy).
Many of the tools I’ve mentioned can help facilitate communication with families, as well. Here are a few other of those kinds of tech tools:
Check out Possip. A bit of a different purpose than Remind and Talking Points – but a way to get feedback from families in multiple languages. https://t.co/ryqDTsRumR.
— Shani Dowell (@srejax) July 25, 2023
If it’s last minute & in-person (or no written language) the “translate now” app can be helpful.
Ideally working with a liaison, but can come through in a pinch.
— christienold.bsky.social (@ChristieNold) July 25, 2023
There is an invention called Reach My Teach created here in Maine that has been game-changing for me! It’s synced with your SIS. You just type in the name, and it pulls the parent contact and auto-translates to their chosen language. They write back in home pen and voila!
— Corinne Altham (@MrsAltham) July 25, 2023
— Monica Hernandez Ochart de Puerto Rico (@MHernandez_BEES) July 25, 2023
Yous lets you do a web-based video call with someone who speaks a different language. Then, when you speak, the audio automatically is transformed into a chat in that person’s language. If you keep your calls to five minutes, it’s free to use (you have to pay for longer periods).
CONNECT NEWCOMERS’ LAPTOPS TO TRANSLATION FROM YOUR PHONE is from Letters to a New ESL Teacher.
AnyTalk is a simultaneous translation tool.