ELL Parent Communication: Translator Cards

ELL Parent Communication: Translator Cards

Communicating with ELL parents is so important but can also be difficult.  There are always many papers that go home in English that can not be easily understood by parents.  It is important that we make these forms accessible for parents.  One great way to make these forms accessible is by attaching a translated card to the form to let parents know what type of form is being sent home.  In 8 languages each card has a picture to help parents quickly see what type of form is being sent home.  These can also be attached in student agendas or printed on labels and stuck to the various documents that are sent home.  I have used form letters before that are translated but these are often difficult to store as they take up a lot of room.  I have also used strips but these are often too small and not very convenient to use as you need to print out the whole document for one language.

This resource will be uploaded on my TPT store tomorrow!  
The site to upload it seems to be down today.
The file is now uploaded!!! Click the picture to link to the resource to purchase this resource. 

How to use….

  1. Print and cut out the cards of your students first language.
  2. Staple the card to the document being sent home
  3. Send home to student.

Each label has the translated saying, a picture and the English translation on each card.  There are 10 different messages to parents including.


  • This is important, please find someone to help you translate it.
  • Please join us for a special event at the school.
  • Good News
  • I would like to meet with you….please contact me at….
  • Please complete this document
  • Assessment Report
  • Report Card
  • Please contact me if you have any questions
  • Please return this to the school
  • Please sign

English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Bengali, Urdu, Chinese Simplified, Vietnamese

Any suggestions or comment on how this resource can be improved?
Please leave a comment!
Make a Personal Dictionary

Make a Personal Dictionary

ELL students need dictionaries. Learn how to make a personal dictionary with your students here! literacy | language | LA

One important tool that most ELLs need is a dual language picture dictionary.  Sometimes we have these in our schools but most of the time we may not.  Or if we do have great dictionaries they do not always have subject specific vocabulary.  Here is a great freebie that I have used with my new students.  When they encounter a new word they can add it along with a picture to their personal dictionary.  There is also space to put the word and the definition in their first language.  This will help the student make the links between their first language and their second language.

In this freebie is the ELL dictionary as well as a dictionary that can be use with the whole class.

Make a personal dictionary in the regular classroom.

I think it is important to include the resources embedded into regular programming.  This way you are not planning two separate lessons and preparing a second set of resources.   It is important for all student to learn subject specific vocabulary.  You can have all of your student keep track of the new vocabulary they are learning in their units through the use of this freebie.  Students may find it interesting to look up the word in another language that is important to them (family origin, second language).  Doing this will build respect for other languages as well as build links about how other language structures are similar to English. You can also use the last two pages of the freebie to have students look up synonyms instead of words in another language.


Help! I’ve got a new ELL student.

Help! I’ve got a new ELL student.

This can be a stressful time for a classroom teacher.  The office calls and tells you that you are getting a new student.  Add to this that the new student is new to the country and doesn’t speak the language.  What do you do first? How do you help?

What to Do for a New ELL Student

The first step is easy… welcome them to your class with a smile. A smile is almost universal and helps to ease the anxiety that the newcomer may feel.  Second step they need to be able to survive.  Here are some cards that you can print and cut out for your new student.  Once they are all cut out you can make a flip book or put them on a binder ring.  The student can use this to communicate their needs to you in the first few weeks while they learn the words themselves.

What do you do for a new ELL student? Click through for a free flip book you can prepare and use for any new ELL student you welcome to your class.
Click the image to link to more and to print them off.
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