How Technology Can Break Down Language Gaps in Education
Updated: Apr 18
Importance of basic native language proficiency.
Basic literacy skills are the key component to providing quality education to each individual student. Education has helped lift millions of people can get out of poverty. But what about those students who speak a minority language, as opposed to the primary language of the educational institution? While English is the majority language in the United States many students do not speak the countries primary language at home or in school. This situation creates an issue of having to either educate the child to learn a new language or to provide an interpreter in the classroom.
Drop rates and their correlation with language barriers.
According to Statista Research Department, about 22.5 percent of children do not speak any English at home, which is an increase from the previous year (22.4%). UNESCO in 2018 recorded that more than 50 percent of students dropped out due to language limitations. This data above shows how crucial it is for children to master the native language of the country they live in.
How long does it take to learn a new language?
Language skills are essential in the current era of globalization. While the international language is now English, it was once French and is ever evolving. Languages like Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are on the rise. However, learning a new language and being able to speak, read and write it efficiently is not an easy task. Language is not just simply vocabulary that we can reference in a dictionary but also about using it in our daily lives. Experts estimate that it takes approximately 12 years for children to master their native language fully. Add having to learn another language like English along with their native language can create twice the amount of school and homework.
Language learning opportunities.
There are numerous language education centers and even language learning applications designed to help students master language skills. Unfortunately, not all students can access these courses because they will add to their education costs. Laniakea’s products offer both a free version with advertisements and a paid version without, making their software more accessible to everyone worldwide.
Language barriers for students parents.
Having a lack of English efficiency can create low levels of self-confidence for non-English speakers when interacting within their community. This is especially true for parents of students who want to discuss their child’s progress with teachers at school. This can limit their participation in their child’s education by creating barriers to attend parent teacher conferences, help with homework, or communicate with teachers through phone calls and emails.
Companies like Laniakea Tek have developed multilingual software that bridges language barriers. This software can be extremely useful for people in educational institutions, including students, parents, and teachers.
With the Lingfinity universal translator application, parents can interact with teachers and school administrators in natural bilingual conversations in their native language. Not only can they use the handheld translator mode for bilingual communication, they can also use Bluetooth mode which will allow them to interact handsfree in bidirectional translated conversation.
The LIT Lost in Translation Multilingual social networking applications can also be the choice of students and teachers to interact on instant messengers and group chat with members who have different language backgrounds ranging from Arabic to Zulu. More than 70 are available for natural bidirectional conversations in two different languages simultaneously. Language learning more provides students with the opportunity to learn a new language at the same time as the software empowers them to communicate with users like their teachers or administrators in almost any language.