Empowering Bilingual Parents: Innovative Project Breaks Language Barriers at West Ottawa Public Schools

  • Thursday, 29/08/2024
  • Admin



Kim Huls and Karina Nazario, who are currently pursuing their master’s degrees in TESOL (Teaching English to Students who Speak Other Languages) at the Western Michigan University (United States), created an innovative project that has shifted the lives of many bilingual parents at West Ottawa Public Schools district.

The idea was born when Miss Nazario and Mrs Huls encountered a language barrier that prevented many parents from being able to help their children with homework and fully engaging within the school community.

Nazario explained that parents wanted to “be engaged and involved with their students, teachers and their homework” but found it difficult to do so due to their lack of confidence when speaking in another language.

Driven by empathy and a commitment to inclusivity, these visionary educators devised an interactive program dubbed "Language Exchange", where native Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents could attend and learn from each other whilst sharing experiences of their children and cultivate positive relationships.

Each class consisted of 45 minutes where parents could only speak Spanish and 45 minutes where the reverse action was taken, communicating in English only. Participants were prompted to share their culture and traditions, fostering an understanding of each other’s backgrounds, whilst acquiring practical phrases in their second language, amplifying their confidence and proficiency in every lesson.

The classes resulted in success, and parents fasten their connections and became part of a receptive community that allowed them to explore languages and cultures even further.

Huls’ and Nazario’s innovative "Language Exchange" project serves as a source of inspiration, illuminating the path toward greater inclusiveness and understanding within educational environments.


Vandu Languages

Language and culture exchange are important subjects to Vandu Languages. We provide general translation services as well as translation for businesses, digital marketing, healthcare, education, finances, insurance, government, travel, and legal documentation.

We also offer face-to-face interpretation and on-call interpretation. And bilingual advocacy for vulnerable individuals in over 100 different languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

If you would like to know more about us and the services we provide click here.

Stay updated with our most recent articles by visiting our News page.