VLOG: How to Create Quick EAL Glossaries that Instantly Translate to any language

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

This vlog runs through how to use Google Sheets and Google Translate to quickly and easily create vocab lists or glossaries for EAL students in any language.

The vlog demonstrates:

- how to use a simple formula to translate from one language to another.

- how to change the translations from one language to another in a matter of seconds.

- how you can add additional columns to help students with their language acquisition.

- how to use and edit the template that I use.

LINK TO THE GOOGLE SHEET(version 2) (remember to make a copy in order to edit)


Link to the website that gives you the two-letter codes needed to change the language.



Upon receiving some feedback from the twitter community, I feel it is important to outline some of the potential problems of using this sheet.

This document from Kamusi.Org shows the huge variety of accuracy depending on the languages being translated. Some of the translations are likely to be wrong or hard to decipher. Less spoken languages are likely to have a translation success rate of under 10%. Whereas English to German is closer 60% for a good translation and 85% for a translation that is of poor quality but could be understood.

Overall, I do think the sheets have some merit. However, it is clear that they are far from perfect.


- On the whole, my students are positive about the sheets. They generally say that 60-70% of the translations show a good enough level of accuracy. Some are 'surprisingly accurate'. Certainly enough to get a feel for the word.

- EAL is a broad spectrum. Many students have a good enough grasp of English to be able to use both language definitions to build a better overall understanding of the key terminology.

- Google Translate is getting better over time. The algorithms and AI are constantly improving and this should continue into the future. Although, this is a very slow process.

- Finally, you could always use this as a stand-alone glossary and remove the translated columns (See the link to the stand-alone glossary above).


Version 1 included the dictionary definitions with technical language. For version 2, I have simplified the definition and stripped them down as much as possible. Hopefully, this will aid students getting a feel for the meaning of any unfamiliar vocabulary.

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