This morning on NPRs Morning Edition I heard a fascinating story about schools in Tucson that are trying to address both the high rates of Latino student dropout from school, and the lack of bilingual interpreters in the city. The school is beginning to harness these children’s language skills by training them to be simultaneous interpreters in the hopes that this will provide the children with enough incentive to stay in school, allow them to have a good job upon graduation and supply enough interpreters to meet the city’s demand.
Some of the children interviewed for the show commented that they have been working as interpreters from a very young age, since many have family members who need help communicating.
How refreshing to see programs encouraging children to be multilingual and multicultural. This type of program is the perfect example of how all of us can greatly benefit by encouraging the assets that each cultural group brings with it. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new trend that helps these students achieve in any field, not just as interpreters.
You can listen to the program here.