Breaking the Language Barrier: Event Recap

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Organizations that use Possip to gather feedback have the ability to collect responses in almost any language, breaking a typical barrier to family engagement. In 2022-23, one-third of the responses Possip received were in 67 languages other than English. 

Our team saw that statistic and wondered: Are there any similarities or differences between responses in English and languages other than English? If so, what are they and how can school leaders leverage that to their advantage when thinking about effective family engagement strategies? 

It turns out, yes – there are both similarities and differences. After digging into our data, we found 5 key findings and shared them with 10 recommendations for action at our virtual event, Breaking the Language Barrier: How Hearing From All Voices Can Improve Schools!

Event Recap

First, former teacher and Possip teammate, Jordan Jones, explained what Possip is, how it works, and how we collect and analyze feedback from over 1,500 schools and districts across the nation. 

Listen as Jordan expresses the importance of removing barriers to give every family the opportunity to use their voice:

Then Possip’s Vice President of Delivery, Jennifer Kehl, provided background knowledge on different response patterns typically seen in surveys: cultural response bias (typically seen in three different response patterns) and social desirability responses. 

With that context, Jen explained the 5 key findings we see when we analyze our data through the lens of language choice: 


    1. The correlation between language choice and response rates

    1. The preference between text messaging or email

    1. The differences in sentiment or happiness rates families have with their schools

    1. The correlation between anonymity and language choice

    1. The differences and universal top five concerns families share

In a poll of the audience, 75% of attendees guessed that language choice would affect response rates.

Listen as Jennifer explains what our data shows regarding response rates when language is no barrier: Finally, Shani Dowell, Possip Co-Founder and CEO, illustrated 10 recommendations for school leaders to put the data findings to use: 

    1. Keep It Simple

    1. Strong Welcome!

    1. Strong Systems!

    1. Know the Language Assets of Your Community

    1. Capture Language Data at Intake – and Ongoing

    1. Use Graphics and Images

    1. 7 (Or More!) Times

    1. Avoid Making Assumptions

    1. Technology – with Limits! 

    1. Build a Net and Network

    1. BONUS – Celebrate Your Efforts and Impact!

Listen as Shani describes the power of recommendation #2 – Creating a Strong Welcome: 

Key takeaway from the event: Regardless of the languages of your community, embracing strategies to help your most vulnerable or marginalized families improves the school experience for ALL families!

Want more?


    • To watch the entire recording, click here

    • To dive into the data, download our white paper – Breaking the Language Barrier: Understanding what Possip data says and how you can use it to increase family engagement. (Coming soon!)

    • To learn how your community’s feedback compares to the trends our data shows, contact us today!