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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Sioux Falls Schools See More English Language Learners

An eastern South Dakota city has seen an increase in the number of English language learners in the last few years. More than 620 English language learners joined the Sioux Falls Schools District last year and a similar number is expected this school year, the Argus Leader reported . The district has more than 2,300 students classified as English language learners this year. About 10 percent of the district's students aren't native English speakers.

If a School Becomes a Shelter in Puerto Rico, Where Do Students Learn?

A jittery group of middle-schoolers is about to start the first day of classes since September, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and totally disrupted the island's school system. he vast majority of the island's public schools — more than 98 percent — are open for at least part of the day, according to Puerto Rico's Department of Education. But a small number of schools in Puerto Rico are still not holding classes. Before today, that included the students of Liberata Iraldo. The middle school building they usually attend is being used as a shelter for people who lost their homes in the storm.

Deported, Divided: How A Mom’s Return to El Salvador Tore Her Family in Two

More than two months had passed since he'd last seen his mother, through a glass barrier in an immigration detention center in Williamsburg, Va. The U.S. government deported Liliana Cruz Mendez to El Salvador before her son, Steve Bermudez, finished fourth grade. Now it was August, and Steve and his little sister, Danyca — both U.S. citizens born in Virginia — were taking their first airplane ride to join her, leaving a small Falls Church apartment where their framed birth announcements hang on the living room wall.

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.