Tools and Guides

This is a collection of resources that might prove useful to your own Language Assistance Program or its preparation.

 

 

Language Proficiency Levels

 

Here's some help in understanding an interpreter's level of language proficiency.

There are two national scales. ACTFL, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages produces a poster describing its proficiency levels. The other national scale is from the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR).

English-Spanish Legal Glossary

 

This document is a working compilation of terminological choices made by the translation team of the Office of Trial Court Services, Trenton, NJ. It is updated periodically.

 

Link to guide

Language Access in State Courts

 

The U.S. Department of Justice through its Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, the Civil Rights Division has prioritized protecting the rights of all people, whatever level of English proficiency they hold, to participate meaningfully, fully, and fairly in state court proceedings. Providing language services is essential to upholding the integrity of our justice system. Barriers to language access can interfere with the capacity of state courts to accurately evaluate the facts and fairly administer justice. And they can also place unfair and unconstitutional burdens on individuals – from litigants, to criminal defendants, to victims and witnesses – who participate in court proceedings or seek assistance from court programs and services.


This booklet aims to provide a brief overview of the importance of legal requirements for, and accomplishments in, providing language access services in state courts across the country.

 

Link to Booklet

HUD's Office of General Counsel Guidance on

Fair Housing Act Protections for

Persons with Limited English Proficiency

 

This September 15, 2016 guidancd discusses how the Fair Housing Act applies to a housing provider's consideration of a person's limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.  Specifically, this guidance addresses how the disparate treatment and discriminatory effects methods of proof apply in Fair Housing Act cases in with a housing provider bases an adverse housing action--such as a refusal to rent or renew a lease--on an individual's limited English proficiency.

 

Link to Guidance

USDA Limited English Proficiency Implementation Strategy for Federally-Assisted Activities

 

This Implementation Strategy provides technical assistance to help recipients and subrecipients implement USDA's 2014 "Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding the Titile VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Persons with Limited English Proficiency".

 

The Implementation Strategy outlines general parameters for providing translation of written materials and describes how to meet interpretation obligations.

 

Link to Implementation Strategy