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August 23, 2021

Pocketalk a “critical tool” as teachers head back to the classroom

In the coming weeks, as summer nears its end, students will once again return to the classroom. In addition to the stress and planning that naturally accompanies the back-to-school time of year this season, for some teachers this also means an assessment of how best they are set to communicate with their students for whom English is their non-native language.

Thankfully for such educators, Pocketalk, the global leader in connecting conversations and removing language barriers, has entered the equation. With real-time translations in 82 languages, teachers now have a trusted resource and valuable tool that can not only greatly assist in their teaching efforts but also help foster a bond between them and any and all non-English speaking students.

In a recent survey, 33% of teachers said they use their Pocketalk daily. When polled, teachers said the biggest benefit of Pocketalk was being able to be less dependent on other ESL teachers or students to translate, followed by increased student engagement.

This is a major milestone for the ESL educational experience; teachers now have a separate dedicated device for translation.

“My Pocketalk was a lifesaver this last school year as I found out that I was teaching two newly arrived English Language Learner immigrant siblings, one of which only spoke Arabic,” says Ryan Miller, classroom teacher & 9-12 social studies content area coordinator at New York’s Sauquoit Valley High School. Adds Shana Faulkner, 7th grade ELA teacher at Colorado’s Thunder Ridge Middle School, “Using Pocketalk has enabled me to communicate directly with my ELLs and their families. I feel empowered to communicate with them and do it in a meaningful way. This device has strengthened my relationships with students because they are able to see that I’m taking the steps to learn along with them!

Perhaps even more telling, 93.3% of educators surveyed said they are satisfied with Pocketalk — which is being used primarily in classrooms and parent-teachers conferences, though not exclusively — and would recommend it to others.

To that end, Timothy Rau, special education teacher at New York’s Shaw Avenue School noted, “Pocketalk has been a critical tool in our classroom, especially during this unprecedented pandemic school year. It has allowed our co-teaching team to better communicate with parents and alleviate the stresses associated with a hybrid learning model. I can only hope that our ENL classroom teachers can use Pocketalk on a daily basis to support our diverse learning community!”

While 89% of teachers use their Pocketalk to communicate with Spanish-speaking students, its 82 language translation options make Pocketalk a trusted resource for nearly any classroom situation.

And now, as teachers look ahead to what appears at least on paper to be a more normal school year in 2021-22, they are excited to put their Pocketalk into action once again.

“I plan on utilizing my Pocketalk more this year as I will be teaching 2 ESL intervention classes,” says Sarah Stanforth, an ESL teacher at Ohio’s Middletown High School. “I will teach my EL students to use the Pocketalk with their core content teachers so they can be more engaged in classes. I know my students have a hunger and desire to learn. Pocketalk enables my students to demonstrate their knowledge.”