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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Nashville Schools Build $38M Program to Teach Immigrants English

Nashville has laid out a vision on how to deal with its high number of English language learners, estimated at more than 12,300 students. Those familiar with the new ELL plan applaud it for how comprehensive it is in addressing English learners' needs. It is ambitious, extending past students and out to communities and families, and details a list of items to better the experience of those learning English in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Thanksgiving Feast Held at Ellis Island for Immigrants Becoming U.S. Citizens

New U.S. citizens were recently honored at a Thanksgiving meal held at Ellis Island, the portal where 12 million people once entered the United States. "To be able to be on these hallowed grounds to celebrate such an amazing holiday with these new citizens, I get to celebrate Thanksgiving through their eyes," said Kate Monte, executive director of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, which hosted the early Thanksgiving feast for the first time.

Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx

A heartbreaking memoir about how the iconic Latina educator and TV personality found her way to Sesame Street from her modest upbringing in the South Bronx. Opening with fragments from her early childhood and ending with her life-changing audition for the educational program, the book includes vignettes that offer glimpses of a singular coming-of-age filled with poverty and violence but also with love and music. A stark and powerful work.

Telling Stories Helps Refugee Children Learn a New Language

How do young children who have come to the United States as immigrants or refugees learn English? At one early education school and laboratory in Houston, the new language comes to life when kids use storytelling and dramatic play to get talking. The NewsHour's April Brown reports.

Getting Latino Students Focused Early on STEM Is Focus of DC Conference

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs are among the fastest-growing in the U.S. economy and among the highest-paying, but many of those jobs go unfilled because of the lack of qualified applicants. That's something organizers of the sixth-annual Nuestro Futuro Latino Education Conference want to change. By bringing in students as young as the eighth grade to speak with professionals in the field, the conference looked to spark an early interest among Latino students in the rapidly expanding academic majors and professions of the future.

Schools Come Together to Share Thanksgiving Dinner and Clothing Drive with Refugee & Immigrant Families

On Saturday about 300 refugees and immigrants experienced Thanksgiving for the first time a little less than a week before the official holiday.  The idea of a Thanksgiving dinner for Greeley's refugee and immigrant students started as a collaboration between teachers at Greeley West, Greeley Central and Northridge high schools. The event now includes a winter clothing drive for families, many of whom have never experienced Colorado winters.

With Asylum Out of Reach, Some Minors Seek Out Special Visas

Some unaccompanied minors who don't qualify for asylum can apply instead for a visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS.  The federal government has approved more than 6,000 SIJS visas so this year. Partly because of these visas, undocumented minors like Henry Gomez, who came to the U.S. after gang members stormed his house in El Salvador, have more opportunities to legalize their status than their adult counterparts.

Long-Awaited Mirrors: Latino Lit for Teens

In recent years, we have seen an explosion of Latino authors writing for young adults. Prominent writers have also published memoirs about their lives as adolescents. All of this activity is great news for Latino YA readers, who are now able to see themselves—their problems, concerns, and issues with cultural identity in a bicultural world—represented in engaging and thoughtful fiction and memoir. And this is also wonderful for non-Hispanic teens. These works offer much-needed windows for all readers.

For Young Newcomers, School Offers a Stepping Stone to Life in America

Around the nation, cities that take in refugees face the challenge of how to educate young people who speak little or no English. The NewsHour's April Brown visits Houston, now the most diverse city in the U.S., where Las Americas Newcomer School teaches both the ABCs and the basics of life in a new country.