Bringing Down Language Access Barriers: First Steps

GLOBE Mission Mosquito Translation Pilot by Kathy Velandia Ricardo


Remote working and remote learning presented challenges to us all. As a Master Trainer in Colombia, Juan Felipe Restrepo Mesa faced and overcame his share of challenges when working with a new group of educators from rural areas.  Most of the training material and the tests that need to be answered were in English. This, of course, means that citizen scientists who do not speak English were prevented from making their contributions living in those areas where GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper's contributions are essential.

Juan Felipe had to set up a MEET session with them and had to translate the material and questions as they went through it. 

Needs and solutions

Juan Felipe Restrepo is a member of The GLOBE Program’s  DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and  TCA subcommittee. This certainly set up the scene for providing a solution to the needs in terms of access to meet the needs of the Spanish-speaking community.  Dr. Rusty Low and Cassie Soeffing from the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign met with Juan Felipe and Kathy Velandia from Colegio Montessori Cartagena (Colombia) and came together with an idea.

High school students volunteer translation

Junior and Senior students who speak English as a second language volunteered to translate the Mission Mosquito material. The work will be tackled by students translating sections of the resources and then having it checked by one of their peers who can make suggestions regarding their classmate’s version. A final revision will take place before submitting it to the Mission Mosquito campaign.

There are lots of lessons to be learned from this project, and all of the people involved in it are absolutely thrilled to share what they learn every step of the way.

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