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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Syrian Refugees Respond to Hurricane Irma by Cooking Feasts for Evacuees

Abeer and Nora al-Sheikh Bakri are sisters from Douma, Syria. They fled their homeland in 2012 after their country's civil war engulfed the city. They spent four years in Egypt before being resettled in Clarkson, Georgia, in 2016 with other members of their families. Suffice to say they know what it’s like to watch homes crumble before their eyes. So when Hurricane Irma bore its weight down on the southeastern U.S., displacing more than half a million people by Sunday, they sprung into action.

Cellphones, Apps Power Learning for Syrian Refugees

Last spring, in a weathered trailer in Bar Elias, Lebanon within walking distance from the nearby refugee camps, Syrian teenagers were hard at work at Arabic, math, science, and English lessons. For many of the students in the makeshift schoolhouse, refugees who have fled war and violence in their home country, it was the first time they had sat in a classroom in years.

The Serious and Long-Lasting Impact of Disaster on Schoolchildren

Children caught in natural or man-made disasters can suffer from trauma and bereavement far longer than adults realize, and this can affect not only how well they perform at school but also the trajectory of their lives, researchers say. Floodwaters eventually recede, power is restored, buildings are repaired and daily routines begin again, but many children struggle, finding it difficult to concentrate, do schoolwork and sleep. Some are scared to leave home for school, fearful something will happen to them or their families. And at school, some will act out, leading to suspension and expulsion, while others can’t concentrate, said David Schonfeld, head of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California.

23 YA and Middle Grade Books to Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

This Friday, September 15, kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month, a four-week celebration of the cultures, histories, and peoples of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central and South American descent. The following fiction, nonfiction, and professional reading titles explore the myriad ways in which Latinx young people navigate family, friendships, school, and public life in North America — and all are unforgettable reads.

Power 'Is the Number One Problem' for Florida Schools Trying to Re-Open

Broken windows. Leaking roofs. Flooded classrooms. Downed trees. No electricity. That's some of what Florida school districts officials were seeing as many finally made their way onto school grounds Tuesday for their first close look at the damage from Hurricane Irma. But the most significant and pressing problem for many school districts — as for many of Irma's victims in Florida — is the lack of electricity. Even if school buildings did not sustain extensive damage, some K-12 officials said they could not say with certainty when school will reopen open because large segments of their communities were still in the dark.

Spokane Area High Schooler Killed as He Tried to Save Others from School Gunman

The second-floor hallway of Freeman High School near Spokane, Wash., was at once a scene of chilling violence and pure bravery Wednesday morning. There, at around 10 a.m., one student brandished the guns he had stashed in a duffel bag, determined to begin his rampage. Another student, identified by local media as Sam Strahan, tried to stop him. "That type of courage," Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said, cost Strahan his life.

Bilingual Education Advocates Celebrate First New Policy for English Language Learners in 20 Years

After years of reform and advocacy efforts, bilingual education activists across California celebrated the adoption of California's first new language policy in more than two decades — the English Learner Roadmap. The roadmap, unanimously adopted by the State Board of Education in July, is an online resource for school districts that will help guide curriculum, instruction and standards for the 1.4 million English learners in the state's public schools. The roadmap does not replace the English language development standards or state standards; it is intended to supplement them and inform policy about English learners.

A Quick-Start Guide for Teaching English-Language Learners

In this guide for teachers new to working with ELLs, veteran teacher Wendi Pillars writes, "You have language learners in your classes? Congratulations! Imagine all the new angles and perspectives you can include in your teaching this year, the different ways you can tap into students' critical thinking abilities, and how you can design impactful learning experiences for all the children in your classroom. For teachers who have ELLs in their classrooms for the first time, or for the first time in a while, I've created a quick guide to help jump-start your instruction."