Bilingual dictionaries and online translation tools are valuable for emergent bilinguals as they develop vocabulary and gain independence in learning. They provide students with resourceful ways to find meaning on their own, and engage in translanguaging even when others in the class might not share their home language. Bilingual dictionaries or access to online translation (Google Translate, Reverso.com, etc. or translation apps for tablets) should be on hand at all times for students to use, and teachers should remind and encourage students to use them. It can be useful for teachers to explicitly guide students in how to use a bilingual dictionary, and to model finding a word and negotiating whether the entry found is the “right” meaning for the given context. It is important to note that online translation is not always accurate, but this can be used a learning tool for students to “revise” the translations they find and engage in home language literacy practice.
Two explicit ways to use bilingual dictionaries in classrooms include:
Bilingual dictionaries, glossaries, and online translation tools can be used daily with emergent bilinguals to develop language and independence in learning. Engaging with both hands-on texts and electronic media, translation tools and dictionaries are exceptionally important, both as translanguaging opportunities when others in the class might not share a student’s home language, and as a strategy for students to use in independent learning. These resources should be on hand at all times for students to use, and teachers should remind and encourage students to use them throughout a variety of tasks.
Here are some ideas for utilizing these resources successfully:
In order to use the Internet effectively with EBLs, we need to approach it with multilingual goals in mind. Students can use the Internet to:
From The Center for Fiction, Literary Translations Clinics series: "Allison Markin Powell, Cedilla member and the 2020 recipient of the PEN America Translation Prize for The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami, joined Thierry Kehou, Writing Programs Manager at The Center for Fiction. They discussed how the translation clinics came together, the intersections between fiction, creative writing, and literary translation, and how to get started as a literary translator."