Guidance on Interpreters, Translators, and Cultural Liaisons
State law requires local education agencies (LEAs) to provide all important information to parents who are not proficient in English in a language or mode of communication that they understand. See 22 Pa. Code §4.26 and Educating English Learners (ELs) Basic Education Circular.
To provide parents with effective communication, interpreters and translators must understand and be able to express in both languages any specialized terms or concepts used in the communication. It is also important that translators and interpreters understand the ethics of interpreting and translating and the need for confidentiality. The guidance document linked below reviews the roles played by translators, interpreters and liaisons, ethical standards that should be observed, options for professional development, interpreting styles for different situations, and strategies for working with interpreters.
It is important to note that the students of many families who require information in languages other than English may not be ELs themselves. In other words, an LEA may enroll students who are proficient in English but whose parents/guardians require translation or interpretation of information. Therefore, the responsibility for ensuring effective communication with families in languages other than English should not fall exclusively on the EL program area in any LEA.
Guidance on Interpreters, Translators, and Liaisons (PDF)