Tips for Remote Working with Limited English Proficient Clients

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Remote Working with Limited English Proficient Clients can be frustrating if you aren’t used to it. During the COVID-19 quarantine, a lot of us are learning new ways to do things. We want to help as much as possible. So we’re creating some informational posts to share resources that are available.

You may find yourself working with clients remotely who may not speak English fluently. Doing this remotely might be tricky, but if done well, you can provide equitable access regardless of where you are.

Here are five important things to keep in mind for remote working with limited English proficient clients.

  • Rely on written communication when possible.

    If you have ever spoken another language, the phone is one of the most challenging in ensuring understanding. A simple email or text might be a better way to get a message across.

    Have a longer message? You can get it translated easily by our team of professional translators. Make sure your communication is equitable ensuring everyone has the opportunity to understand.

  • Use already translated resources

    There are many resources available already that have been translated. Please make these available to your clients.

  • Beware of mistranslations and google translate.

    Inclusive and meaningful access requires quality translation. Many times using google translation is worse than not doing any translation at all.

  • Use telephonic interpreters.

    You could struggle to communicate with a mix of broken languages. OR, you could conference in an interpreter to help you. Use zoom meetings or three-way calling to patch someone in.

    If you need an interpreter, we support most languages. Sign up for “LinguistLink” and get immediate access.

  • Practice Patience.

    We’re all learning this right now. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

    “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    ― J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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