I have used shown my students how to use google translate. That worked well, but for many 11 year old and 12 year old students, they don't always advocate for themselves. If I don't open google translate for them, they don't consistently go there to ensure they understand the lesson.
To better help the ESL students in my class, I found a bit of code from the google translate tools page. It allows me to embed google translate into my lessons. This, plus the written detail, and screencasts or other visuals help a kid to understand what the lesson is all about. Even if I screencast in english (sorry, my Icelandic is a bit rusty) the visual example of a screencast about a lesson is very helpful.
And it is not just the students that benefit. In an informal poll of my students, grade 8 students ask their parents for help with their school work 2-5 times a week. What about ESL students? Often their parents do not know english as well as the student does. Parents are smart, and love their children, and want to help. By putting a translate button on the page, criteria, due dates, and screencasts or other visuals about the lesson, parents can look at the lesson and then support their kids learning at home.
To that end, if you would like to read this post in another language, I have put the google translate button on the right hand side of my page.
A votre sante !