Language Barriers



Discriminationof persons on the basis of their nation of origin is a common inmulticultural societies. Language barriers deny people with limitedEnglish proficiency the opportunity to access the public services astheir counterparts do. This paper will address different aspects ofthe national language discrimination as described in the film“Breaking down the Language Barrier: Translating Limited EnglishProficiency into Practice”

Q1:Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

TheTitle VI is one of the key sections of the Civil Rights Act of thelaws of the United States that was enacted in the year 1964.Basically, the spirit or the objective of the Title VI was to protectthe people of the United States from any form of discrimination onthe bases of their social characteristics. The title prohibits thediscrimination of anyone in the United States on the basis of color,race, or the national origin. Title VI protects all people from beingprevented from participating in or benefiting from any of theprograms or activities that are financed by the federal government.

Q2:National origin

Nationalorigin is defined as the ancestry.

Q3:Natural origin discrimination

Naturalorigin discrimination refers to the discrimination of people on thebasis of their ancestry. The most common factor associated with thenatural origin discrimination is language. This type ofdiscrimination occurs when people discriminated against because oftheir inability to write, read, speak or understand English. Thiscategory of discrimination affects people who have a limited Englishproficiency, which is abbreviated as LEP.

Q4:Recipients of national origins

Recipientsof the national origins refer to all local government, stategovernments, and all other entities that receive financial assistancefrom the federal government. Recipient entities include policedepartments, hospitals, housing authorities, unemployment centers,and other state agencies that include the food stamp offices,welfare, and social service agencies. Recipients are mandated to givepersons with limited English proficient a meaningful access toinformation, encounters, services, and benefits similar to people whospeak English proficiently.

Q5:To be compliant under Title IV

Tobe considered as fully compliant, recipients are required toenlighten people with a limited English proficiency with on how theycan have a meaningful access to services. This enlightenment isachieved by providing LEP people with guidance on how to comply withTitle VI and have a meaningful access. In addition, the presidentialdirective required recipients to provide a meaningful access topeople with by themselves.

6.The four factors of meaningful access

Thefirst fact that is considered when describing the meaningful accessis the proportion or the number of people. This means that the numberof people who speak a given language and the number of servicesdesigned to serve people speaking that language should beproportional or positively correlated.

Thesecond factor is the frequency with which the recipient has or isexpected to have with people with a limited English proficiency. Forexample, a high number of contacts that recipients have or areexpected to have with LEP people means that the demand forinterpreters, translators, or other language assistant members ofstaff will be higher.

Thethird factor is the importance and the nature of the benefits,communication, services, encounters, or the information that ispassed to LEP persons. The higher the importance of these elementsthe more the quality and timely language assistance services isrequired. Recipients may also consider the consequences that occurwhen effective communication is not facilitated for the LPE people.

Thefourth factor that is considered is the amount of the resources thatare available to a given program as well as the cost of providinglanguage assistance to LEP people. In general, smaller programs thatoperate with limited budges are not expected to provide the samelevel of services to larger programs that have larger budgets. Theability to balance the four factors determines the possibility ofproviding meaningful access to LEP people. 7. A list of themethods that can be used by hospitals to comply with Title VI.

  • Hiring interpreters for the LEP

  • Contracting interpreters for the LEP

  • Guiding the LEP people on how to file complaints

8.The legal requirement regarding emergency food for LEP

Thefood stamp offices should hire interpreters for the LEP people. Inaddition, the LEP people who need urgent assistance should get foodwithin the seven days of application and be allowed to submit theirforms in the same day that they made the application. 9. Thefour factors that must be considered regarding emergency food stampsfor LEP

First,the food stamp offices should consider the number of applicants fromLEP in order to plan for language assistance services. Secondly,offices should consider the frequency of services that a significantnumber of LEP low income households. Third, the food stamp officesshould consider meeting the nutritional needs of the low income LEPpeople. Lastly, these offices should provide nutritional services toLEP applicants that outweigh financial costs.

10.Why it is not appropriate for law enforcement to use a child as aninterpreter for Adult LEP

Childrenshould not be used as interpreters because they are considered asinformal. In addition, it is not possible to determine if childrenare fluent in the two languages involved. Moreover, children are nottrained to serve as interpreters. Additionally, the LEP people mayfear loosing confidentiality if children are used as interpreters.

Inconclusion, the issue of the discrimination of people depending onthe language they speak can reduce their chances of accessing basicservices, such as health care and food. These challenges can bereduced by hiring interpreters or employing bilingual members ofstaff.


U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (2015). Breaking down thelanguage barriers: Translating limited English proficiency intopractice. YouTube.Retrieved August 3, 2015, from