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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As Feds Turn Focus on ELLs, Teachers Struggle to Find Quality Materials

Research has shown that a majority of the educators who teach English-language learners (ELLs) are creating their own instructional materials — often with little oversight — that don’t necessarily match the student’s grade level or the rigor required by state academic standards. It’s not that teachers want to double as curriculum developers, said Gabriela Uro, director of ELL policy and research for the Council, who presented these findings at an education conference in Mexico City last month. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents (88 percent) said they have a difficult time finding teaching materials for their students. Many reported that they did not have enough time or money to access quality materials, while others stated these materials simply don’t exist.

How One Syrian Family Found a Home in Texas

After four years of navigating foreign languages and vetting systems, Bassam Al Abbas and his family settled in Austin, TX in May. He tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about the difficulties of forming a new life in a new land and the optimism he now holds for his children, and responds to the fears of Americans who say the refugee program poses a threat to the country's safety.

CASA Volunteer Helps Overcome Language and Cultural Barriers in Foster System

For more than four years, Anna Flores has been a community member that not only has a huge heart for children, but is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer for children in Bexar County. She is a trained volunteer who speaks up for abused and neglected children in the family court system. She dedicates herself to ensure these children are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.

Young Latino with Perfect AP Computer Science Score Wants to Inspire Others

A Latino high school senior from Texas has achieved what very few people have done, and he's really proud to be an example to his community.  Miguel Padilla is one of 10 people in the world who earned a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam. Padilla's parents immigrated from Mexico; his dad works for the city and his mom owns a cleaning service. "It shows others within the community that people are capable of something more and should aspire to do more," said Padilla, who attends the Harmony School of Innovation in Fort Worth, Texas, a public charter school.

Refugee Students Languish in Red Tape as They Seek to Resume Their Educations

Deep beneath the surface of a massive refugee crisis that’s the worst since World War II is the less well understood reality that tens of thousands of university students leaving Syria and other countries have had their educations interrupted — educations needed for those nations to rebuild if and when the conflicts in them end.

Born in the U.S., Raised In China: 'Satellite Babies' Have a Hard Time Coming Home

Chun Zheng has lived through a house fire, a flood and an earthquake. None of that, she says, compares to sending her infant daughter and son abroad to live with her extended family. Both of her children — 7-year-old Joyce and 5-year-old Jay — were born in Boston. But for the first years of their lives, they stayed with relatives in Fujian, a southeastern province of China. Joyce spent more than four years with her aunt, whom she still calls "ma." (She calls Chun Zheng "mommy.")

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin

"The Japanese American internment during World War II is the subject of National Book Award finalist Marrin's latest historical nonfiction for adolescents. He ties together chronological events with thematic elements (how racism operated during World War II) to tell the story of this dark time in U.S. history."

How We Teach English Learners: 3 Basic Approaches

There are 5 million students like Rosario — English Language Learners or ELLs — living in the U.S., and we're going to spend much of the next year reporting on them. They raise one of the biggest questions facing educators: What's the best way to teach English without losing time on the content students need to learn?