I teach 2nd grade in a classroom where many of my students are ELL (English Language Learners). Most of them are pulled for ELL services. I also do my best to really teach even the simplest vocabulary using images and gestures. And I take extra time to explain directions to clarify confusion. These kids typically are fast learners and show amazing progress throughout the year.
My concern is with connecting with their families, most of whom speak little to no English. Being that they are adults, it's not as easy for them to pick up the language and I often get the sense that they are uncomfortable around me because they don't know how to effectively communicate with me. I do have interpreters present for their conferences, however, I am looking for a better way to communicate with families aside from this brief meeting.
Do you have any ideas for communicating with multicultural families? I want them to feel more comfortable and be able to take a bigger part in their child's education.