Equity for All Students—No Matter Their First Language

3 min read

| By Taylor Frey |

I’m not a teacher, but I’m lucky to know many. One of my friends has experienced the challenges faced by English learners in her district firsthand, and has seen translated pieces make a huge difference for students. Often, when English learners struggle, it’s not that they don’t know the material or can’t do the work. They’re typically capable when assignments are presented in their first language. They just need access to the right materials in the right language.

Translating within Gale In Context databases

That’s one of the reasons we’ve put an emphasis on translation tools in the Gale In Context suite. According to the U.S. Department of Education, English learners make up about 10 percent of the K‒12 student population.1 That’s more than 4.8 million students who could potentially benefit from resources that are translated into their first language, so they can focus on reading to learn rather than learning to read.

Our databases—from Gale In Context: Elementary to Gale In Context: High School—have built-in features so students can easily set the user interface language, translate articles, and even listen with text to speech. While these features are designed to be intuitive, they can’t help if students and parents don’t know they’re available.

For Spanish-speaking students, we developed a quick-start guide to explain what databases are, why students and teachers love them, and how they help kids get schoolwork done with fewer roadblocks. With one for elementary schoolers and one for middle and high schoolers, students and their families now have a simple Spanish-language guide for getting started with Gale In Context databases. Customers can access these and more marketing materials at support.gale.com.

While Spanish has historically been the most common language spoken by English learners at home, the number of languages spoken can vary greatly from one school to another.1 There’s a tremendous need to support students who speak these less-common languages as well. With the ability to translate article text into more than 40 languages, there’s a good chance that students can find the one they need within Gale In Context.

We’re proud to offer such comprehensive translation in our databases and will continue to work to help all learners thrive.

1. “Our Nation’s English Learners,” U.S. Department of Education, accessed July 17, 2020.

Meet the Author

Taylor Frey is a senior marketing manager for K‒12 at Gale. Taylor grew up using Gale resources in school and saw firsthand how engaging librarians impact a student’s education. When she’s not working on marketing projects, Taylor is usually sewing, gardening, or playing with her foster cats.

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