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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The Clock Is Ticking Louder for the Children's Health Insurance Program

When the Sept. 30th deadline approached for reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, no one seriously thought that Congress would let the bipartisan-supported health plan expire.  But now, more than two months later, the program still has not been funded by Congress, and no funding plan is on the immediate horizon. Supporters hoped that long-term funding for the program might be appended to a short-term bill passed on Dec. 7 to keep the government running, but that didn't happen. Instead, congressional leaders are signaling that they will allow some unused federal money to be shifted to states whose CHIP funding is running out the soonest. That buys a little more time, but it doesn't help states, which are now wondering whether they should start notifying families that their child's health care program may be going away, or hold off on such notifications in hopes that Congress will come up with the money soon. 

A Native American 'Sesame Street' Could Help Save Dying Languages

Charmaine Jackson, who grew up on a Navajo reservation but did not learn to speak Navajo, studied the language in college. Today she and friend Shawna L. Begay, who also grew up on a reservation without learning to speak the language, are creating the first-ever Navajo puppets TV show, geared to preschool students and using puppets designed by Navajo artist Jason Barnes.

‘A Land of Permanent Goodbyes’ by Atia Abawi | SLJ Review

"Told from the point of view of Destiny, this novel focuses on one Syrian family tragically affected by a senseless and brutal war…Overall, Abawi skillfully places humanity enmeshed in war into two sides: the 'hunters' who feed on the suffering and the ‘helpers’ who lend a hand."

The Amazing Case of El Biblioburro

Language study can open a student's eyes to social issues around the world. In rural Colombia, teacher and child advocate Luis Soriano brings books to students who have little access to them. Traveling to schools throughout La Magdalena with his donkey library, or El Biblioburro, Soriano exposes young students to literacy and a love of reading. Learning about this grassroots project, students of Spanish can explore geography, socioeconomic inequities, and history while participating in class projects to improve the lives of others.

This Emotional Letter About 'Coco' Shows The Importance of Inclusion in Hollywood

Coco isn’t only an award-winning, critically acclaimed box office hit. It’s also a heartwarming reminder of why representation in Hollywood is so important.  The Pixar film has resonated with Latino audiences across the country ― particularly those with Mexican or Mexican-American roots ― for its loving portrayal of Mexican culture and family through its young protagonist, Miguel, and his adventure in the Land of the Dead.

The Incredible Story of the Navajo Code Talkers That Got Lost in All the Politics

When Peter MacDonald, Fleming Begaye and Thomas Begay joined the elite fraternity of Navajo Code Talkers during World War II, they had no idea what they were getting into. That was by design. The top-secret program they joined wouldn't even be declassified until more than two decades later — long after the secret Navajo code language had played a vital role in the American war effort.

Celebrating Women in STEM: Dr. Ellen Ochoa

Dr. Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space. Born in 1958 and raised in La Mesa, CA, Ochoa learned the value of education from her mother.

Multilingual Students Help Kids Ride the Road to Reading

Thanks to multilingual Cornell students, 500 Ithaca-area children learning English as a second language each have a new book personalized just for them, with the English text translated into their native language. Students translated "The Bus for Us" by Suzanne Bloom into 17 languages, from Arabic to Korean, Russian, Thai and Spanish. Labels with the translated text were laminated onto each page, so the children and their families can read the book in both English and their native language.

What's Behind Rising Graduation Rates for English-Learners and Native-American Students?

While graduation rates for English-language learners and Native American students are on the rise, educators and researchers are still questioning whether the needs of those students are being better served in the nation's K-12 schools. The nation's four-year graduation rate for English-language learners has improved 10 percentage points over the past five years, rising to 65.5 percent.