November 21st, 2022

Boddle Learning's In-Game Spanish Translation Feature

Being a teacher has many challenging components, as all teachers are well aware. Teachers know that their students are not one-size-fits-all, and that one student may need to be challenged with rigorous content, while another might need intense scaffolding and review of grade-level concepts. In addition, students come from diverse backgrounds with language needs that can be challenging for teachers to meet. In fact, the English Language Learner (ELL) population in U.S. schools is growing fast and according to EdWeek, there were almost 5 million students who were English Language Learners in 2020. Teachers are expeditiously in need of tools, now more than ever, to aid them in helping their ELLs succeed in the U.S. school system. 

According to a 2014-2015 study, English Language Learners in U.S. public schools speak over 400 different languages at home. A February 2020 study conducted by the Office of English Language Acquisition found that “the number of [English Learners] in the U.S. grew 28.1% between the 2000-01 school year and the 2016-17 school year” with some states seeing a more than 400% increase in the ELL population. Additionally, the Office of English Language Acquisition notes that of the 10 states with the highest number of ELLs, Spanish speaking students made up roughly 70% of the population. 

Recently, Boddle Learning embarked on a months-long endeavor to make Spanish translation easy for teachers to implement and beneficial for Spanish-speaking students to use. This feature was highly requested by Boddle’s Education Community, and the team was ecstatic to be able to use their resources to meet the growing needs of their teachers and students. With the Spanish translation feature, ELLs can be learning the same skills as their fellow students, but can practice those skills in their home language. This feature helps eliminate the barriers ELL students face on a daily basis when practicing a new concept, and empowers them to showcase their skills. Teachers of Spanish-speaking students, who may have limited or no background in the Spanish language at all, can feel confident knowing that their students are being delivered grade-level content with scaffolds that help them translate from English to Spanish. 

Further, Boddle’s Spanish translation feature enables teachers to help their Spanish-speaking students meet their language goals. Teachers can toggle on Spanish translation from inside their teacher dashboard, and students will then receive all in-game questions and answer choices in Spanish. Enabling Spanish translations for in-game questions is quick, easy, and designed with teachers’ hectic schedules in mind. From the Boddle teacher dashboard, teachers click on the Students section in the left hand toolbar. Then, they click on the student for whom they’d like to change the language from English to Spanish. Under the student’s name, they would then click on the dropdown menu and select Spanish. After clicking Save Changes, that student will have Spanish translations delivered to them through gameplay and assignments.

The need for affordable and helpful tools to address the varying needs of English Language Learners is expected to increase over the next several years. In fact, a 2019 ed post article suggests that by 2025, 25% of the U.S. student population will be identified as ELLs. Boddle Learning is thrilled to have been able to offer a tool that has already made positive impacts on the Spanish-speaking ELL population, and looks ahead to expanding to other languages in the future. 

P.S. Teachers can now download Spanish-translated instructions for parents to use at home, along with their child's login information, right from the teacher dashboard!

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