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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Hispanic Graduation Rates Improving in Yakima Schools

The percentage of Hispanic students in the Yakima County graduating high school and going on to college or trade schools continues to grow, but experts say more can be done to boost those numbers.

In Puerto Rico, the Hurricane Tore Their Lives Apart. In Florida, the Storm Brought Them Together

In the first day in her Orlando classroom, Karen Espino found a group of children to whom she could relate. Before arriving in Florida about a month ago, she had spent weeks in her ground-level apartment in San Juan without power or running water, and with a crippling uncertainty about the future. In her new classroom at Lake Nona Middle School, where she teaches English as a Second Language, she has met about a dozen students who were displaced by the storm. Just like her, they had left their homes behind, found their way to an unfamiliar school in Orlando, and begun new lives.

Sioux Falls Schools See Increase in English Language Learners

About 1 in 10 Sioux Falls public school students is not a native English speaker. The number of English language learners (ELLs) in the city’s public schools has significantly increased in the last few years, with more than 627 joining the district last year and a similar number expected in the 2017-18 school year, school board members learned Monday.

Young Immigrants Who Own Homes Prepare to Unload Investment If DACA Ends

"Should we sell the house, or walk away from the mortgage?" Those are questions that thousands of young immigrants are now asking themselves after they received permission to stay in the U.S. under an Obama-era program. For people like Cristian Mendoza, answers are not easy to come by. "Honestly, I don't know," says Mendoza, 30, in the living room of a home he bought for his parents in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. "Our last resort is try to sell it." Cristian, a dietitian, bought the three-bedroom home two years ago with his younger sister, Laura. They paid just under $400,000 and made a $20,000 down payment. Cristian had been saving up to buy a home since high school.

15 Spanish Language Nonfiction Series for Elementary Schoolers

In the United States today, one child out of every four under the age of 18 is of Latinx descent. While a large proportion of these children are proficient English speakers, there remain many who are not. Yet a lack of English proficiency is not a reason for children to be left behind academically. It is gratifying to see publishers stepping up to the plate and meeting the needs of these children. All the series reviewed below are for lower elementary grades and cover a variety of topics that complement or supplement classroom learning.

Creating Linguistically Inclusive Classrooms for University Students

Florianne Jimenez is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the Multilingual Specialist at the UMass Amherst Writing Center. She writes, While it’s certainly easy to assume that multilingual students will just 'pick up' college-level English as they go, the truth is, a university classroom is a linguistically complex and challenging place. A student's language background can influence how well they’re doing in your class, as well as how included a student feels in your classroom community. As teachers, we can do a lot to make our classrooms more open to linguistic diversity. Instead of penalizing how students' language backgrounds differ from Standard English, we need to ensure that multilingual students don't fall behind."

As DACA Winds Down, DREAMers Turn Toward Different Futures

As politicians in Washington try and figure out what to do with the DACA program — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — across the country, DACA recipients are working on their own plans ... trying to stay in the country if Congress doesn't act in time.

How to Build a Better Language Immersion Program

Across the country, demand for immersion programs is growing and states and districts are trying to keep up. Plutus Yang, Assistant Director at Hudson Way Immersion School, shares some best practices to keep in mind. He writes, "The popularity of language immersion programs is growing rapidly, but many schools are still struggling to establish strong, rigorous, and effective immersion programs. As both a Chinese immersion teacher and an administrator of a Chinese and Spanish immersion school, I have seen firsthand what holds many immersion programs back, and what allows others to flourish and take full advantage of this unique approach to language education."

A Half-Million U.S. Kids Attend School in Mexico. Educators Are Working Together Across the Border to Help Them Learn

In recent years, an increasing number of U.S.-born students have enrolled in Mexican schools. About half a million now attend classes south of the border, and educators on both sides are pushing for greater collaboration to help meet those students’ unique needs — among them, gaining language skills, adjusting to different education levels, and adapting to new school cultures and structures.

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