ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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Erin Entrada Kelly Talks Newbery Award and Filipino Storytelling Tradition

It starts with a character for Erin Entrada Kelly. One character begets another and a novel is born. The 2018 Newbery Medal winner doesn’t find her creative process particularly inspired. In fact, that initial protagonist tends to come to life in her car. "It's almost always when I'm driving," Kelly says. "I wish I could say I had a dream and it was some kind of magic, but it's not."

Pre-to-3: Research-to-Practice Network Focuses on NYC Pre-K

Whether they work in elementary schools or community-based centers, those who guide and lead preschool teachers often don't have much training in how to be leaders. And that includes developing a cultural understanding of the families who attend their programs and the neighborhoods in which they live. That's just one of the preliminary findings of a research project focusing on New York City's universal prekindergarten (UPK) program that will be presented next week at the American Educational Research Association conference in Manhattan.

How Debate Structures Allow English Learners' Brilliance to Shine

Students are often attuned to current events and world affairs. Debating topics relevant to the news can be a high-interest way to engage English language learners in academic discourse that matters to them while building language skills. Structured debate also gives students opportunities to disagree politely without attacking individuals for their opinions -- a useful life skill.

Bill to Drastically Alter Arizona's English-Language Learning Model Appears Dead

A bill that would allow students learning English to spend two hours of their school day focusing solely on learning the language, rather than four hours, appears to be dead at the State Capitol. The bill has support from a diverse coalition of business and education groups, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona Charter School Association and the Arizona School Board Association, which say the change would help improve the dismal outcome for Arizona's English-language learners. However, Arizona Senate President Steve Yarbrough has single-handedly stalled the bill. The Arizona Capitol Times reported Monday that Yarbrough said he will likely not allow HB 2435 to have a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee, which he chairs.

Perez Crowned Spanish Spelling Bee Winner for Second Year

For the second year in a row, Ranferi Perez took home first place in W.M. Irvin Elementary School’s Spanish Spelling Bee. The school held its first Spanish Spelling Bee last year when English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Emily Francis (recently featured on The Ellen Show) came across information online about the National Spanish Spelling Bee. She was inspired by the event and decided to give her students the opportunity to participate in their own bee.

Study: DACA Increased Educational Attainment

A new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research argues that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program had a "significant impact" on the educational and life decisions of undocumented immigrant youth, resulting in a 45 percent decrease in teen birth rates, a 15 percent increase in high school graduation rates and a 20 percent increase in college enrollment rates. The researchers found differential effects by gender, with most of the gains in college enrollment concentrated among women. For men alone, the effect of DACA on college enrollment was not statistically significant.

Model United Nations Offers Structured Practice for English Language Learners

One of the challenges of working with newcomer English language learners who have only basic English skills is keeping content on grade level. At the ENLACE Academy for newcomers at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts, teachers have found that the structures of Model United Nations offer a good way to get students discussing a grade-level topic with materials that support language acquisition.

Fighting Cuts: How to Keep Librarians in Schools

As teachers across the country are walking out recently in a fight for higher pay and better school funding, librarians are fighting to keep their jobs. From Oakland to Dallas to Scranton, PA, and in large and small towns across the United States, school librarian positions are being eliminated at an alarming rate. When the jobs are cut, it is difficult to know what to do. Emotions are running high and fighting seems futile. Besides, says Elissa Malespina, it’s against the nature of most librarians to cause trouble. But that stereotype must be shed when necessary and Malespina did just that.

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