Even bi- and trilingual teachers often are confronted with a young student who speaks only Kurdish or Urdu. Produced by the EMAS UK cooperative, Talking Tutor can help with instant translations between English and everything from Afghani to Zulu. It works with more than 150 languages, old and new, and has a command of eight different Chinese dialects. Just type what you want to say to the student in English and the text will show up below and the animated avatar will speak it with a reasonable accent.
On top of helping to directly interact with an ESL student, Talking Translator can effectively replace an expensive classroom translator. It can help teachers create worksheets or tests in a variety of languages and write progress reports or letters home for parents to read. It’s currently available in England, but it would cost about $1,000 for a high school with 200 students to use the software. The group is looking for partner schools, districts and organizations to try the software out.