Heejae Lim of Talking Points, parent-teacher communication tool

Parent-Teacher Communication Tool TalkingPoints Helps Immigrant Parents Connect with Schools

From an early age, Heejae Lim recognized her parents’ ability to speak English allowed them to engage with her school life in a way that non-English-speaking parents could not.

The parent-teacher communication divide she observed growing up in the U.K. and Korea is increasingly problematic in the U.S. as well. As the demographics of U.S. students shift, more and more students speak languages other than English at home. Not all parents can easily join the English conversation at school, and teachers, too, struggle to communicate with families who speak other languages.

To ensure that all families can effectively communicate with their children’s teachers, Lim founded TalkingPoints, a tool that translates teachers’ text messages into parents’ primary languages. Parents receive teacher communication on their phones and can respond using their own languages, which are translated into English for teachers. The tool is free for teachers and for parents who have a texting plan.

Hannah Nyren of EdTech Times sat down with Lim, now the executive director of TalkingPoints, to discuss why language diversity is increasing in students’ homes and how Lim’s educational experiences inspired her to bridge the language divide.

Adelia Humme

Adelia Humme

Previously an academic adviser at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, Adelia has contributed her editorial skills to The Eckleburg Project, Redivider, and Texas A&M University Press. She recently moved from Texas to Boston to pursue a master's degree in publishing & writing at Emerson College. She devotes her free time to reading fantasy novels and spoiling cats.