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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For Many College Students, Hunger 'Makes It Hard to Focus'

As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it. This food insecurity is most prevalent at community colleges, but it's common at public and private four-year schools as well.

Central American Kids Come to the US Fleeing Record-High Youth Murder Rates at Home

In this column, Julio Ernesto Acuña García, a professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) writes, "Gang violence and expanding criminal networks have made El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala —an area of Central America known as the “Northern Triangle”– some of the world’s most dangerous countries...Children in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are in so much danger that crossing a thousand miles of Mexico —a journey during which 60 percent of women and girls will be assaulted physically, sexually or both— apparently seems like a better bet."

A Free Sandwich Can Make the Difference for Some Migrant Worker Children in College

When Jerry Gomez-Delgado thinks back to his first year at California State University, Fresno, he remembers how close he was to dropping out and going to work on a dairy farm with his father. Some days it seemed like the only thing that kept him from quitting was a free peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. Gomez-Delgado recalls how help from the university’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) allowed him to survive. The federal program, created in 1972 to help children of agricultural workers succeed once they get to college, held workshops on how to cook and counseled Gomez-Delgado on how to pick a roommate, how to interact with his professors and how to apply for a desperately needed part-time job. But most of all, he remembers the free sandwiches.

Visiting Japanese Students Love Learning English and About Their New 'Second Home'

25 young girls visiting from Osaka Takii High School in Japan are attending English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and activities at Regent Park Public School in Orillia, Canada until the end of this month. “There are many beautiful places and I like English,” said Harumi Matsumoto, talking about Canada. “It's more natural places here than in Japan. The food is delicious. The people are very kind.” Their days consist of learning English during the morning and applying their learning in activities during the second half of the day, explained Peggy Seko, Program coordinator for Muskoka Language International (MLI), through which the exchange program is run.

New Kids' Books Put a Human Face on the Refugee Crisis

In the world of children's literature, there's a new trend towards putting stories about resilient young Muslim refugees front and center. More than a dozen books are due out this fall, from picture books for toddlers to complex novels for the teen audience. The new crop adds to a growing list of titles that present a positive image of refugees, humanizing and personalizing the ongoing conflicts, says Vicky Smith, children's editor at Kirkus Reviews. "It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful," she says.

How One Maryland High School Successfully Boosted Minority Student Enrollment in Advanced Classes

At Hammond High School in Columbia, Md., the faculty and staff wanted to buck a national trend in which students of color and those living in poverty enroll in advanced classes far less frequently compared with other students. This post explains how they did it, and why Hammond is a winner in the 2017 "Schools of Opportunity" project, which recognizes public high schools that work to close opportunity gaps by creating learning environments that reach every student.

Cleveland Students Lead Initiative to Diversify School Libraries

When three Cleveland seventh graders read Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, the Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) students didn't know about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement in the publishing world. They had never heard about mirrors and windows. Kiara Ransaw, James Kline, and Jayla Henderson knew only this: They had never read a book like this before, and they had never felt like this about a book before. That connection and realization sparked an idea for a project that grew beyond anyone’s expectations.

A Trauma Therapist on the Anguish Immigrant Families Feel When They're Separated

Jenifer Wolf Williams is a trauma therapist based in Richardson. In recent years, she's helped immigrants separated from their loved ones — from families applying for asylum to children who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Williams says families who've been separated likely won't start healing until after they're reunited.

ELL Student Numbers Increasing in Mississippi

According to a release by the Mississippi Department of Education, the number of English Language Learners is slowly on the rise across the state. "Spanish is the most prevalent language spoken by English learners in Mississippi, but more than 20 other languages are also represented. After Spanish, the most common languages spoken by English Learner students in Mississippi are Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Gujarati," the MDE release states.