What does parent involvement look like for our non-English speaking parents in the 21st century? With technology increasingly incorporated into the educational system, how do we make sure we don’t leave parents behind? Our school site found a way.

Here’s our story…

In 2015, my school site started opening up our computer lab for parents 2 days a week to use technology. We gave guided support to create email accounts, access Google translate, Cyber Safety, review student grades, and lessons on parent controls on electronic devices and popular student apps and platforms. Parents were super excited to learn how to use technology. We celebrated our success.

As our program expanded, we found our parents really wanted English classes. We did not have the staff to offer a program. This is when we started telling parents about Duolingo.

Duolingo is a free language-learning website and app along with a crowd-sourced text translation platform and a language proficiency assessment. Duolingo is ad-free and offers all its language courses for free. We decided to share this free option with all of our families who wanted to learn English, or several languages, for that matter.

Parents would come to our open lab and log on to their personalized English course. They could even use their phones and access the site at home. Combining technology classes regarding technologies used to support their students at school with a web based English language learning option, has been key to engaging parents at our school site.

Check out Duolingo and let us know what you think…