How to Effectively Communicate with Parents at School: A Teacher’s Guide

Communicating with Parents

While working as a grade two class teacher, I met a parent who did not understand English. I wanted to inform her that her child’s progress was declining and almost failing the English proficiency unit. I faced considerable communication barriers, as we could not understand each other’s language. To overcome this, I contacted an interpreter who understood both languages. If a similar situation happened today, I would use the same strategy but have some knowledge about my parents’ cultural backgrounds. My student’s success depends on my understanding of their cultures to communicate effectively with their parents and discuss their progress. If a colleague encountered such a challenge, I would advise him or her to listen carefully to understand the parent and to communicate effectively, explaining language concepts clearly to avoid ambiguity.

Student Learning at Home

Teachers should work with the new Korean parents to support their children’s learning. They should communicate using diverse strategies to discuss students’ progress, such as telephone calls, conferences, home visits, open houses, and curriculum nights. Besides, educators should provide various learning activities for students to perform at home, such as watching television programs that teach English, keeping a diary in English, playing video games that involve English language development, hosting friends for discussions, learning virtually through online classes, and reading English texts. Furthermore, the teacher could advise Korean parents to hire a tutor who can assist their children while at home. Since all students will take the same English exam, their parents should support them with learning at home by hiring a tutor who would assist them in learning at the same pace as other students.

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