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Google Translate

Screen shot, google translate main page close up, 1 april 2011

Google Translate is a web based tool which allows its users to instantly translate between 57 different languages. The page can translate words, sentences, web pages, even full documents, and helps make information in any language universally accessible.

This tool can be particularly helpful for teaching English Language Learners as it allows teachers to translate any text into the first language of their students. Students can then read historical documents without the added burden of deciphering a new language. For example, use this tool to translate a civil war letter, by either copying and pasting the text, or simply inserting the page link, directly into the text box. Use the buttons above the text box to indicate the original language of the document and the language for translation. If you prefer to copy the text into a word document there is the option to translate a full document by selecting the button directly bellow the text box.

Google translate can be used in multiple ways. For example, English Learners could write a paragraph in their native language, then translate that document to English so you can evaluate their historical knowledge and thinking independent of their English language proficiency. While you will want to use this tool judiciously and work towards helping students access and produce texts in English, this tool can help scaffold that process.

Add a comment below and share your teaching idea for this tool!