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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Mexican folk dance comes to North Coast

The teenage dancers twisted and twirled across sheets of plywood in the basement of the First Baptist Church of Astoria on Wednesday, waving their skirts and stamping their nailhead-packed Spanish dancing shoes in a Mexican polka. On May 3 at the Liberty Theatre, the Mi Cultura Folkloric Dance Group will perform several traditional Mexican dances as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Response: Focusing on the Assets of Native American Students

The new question-of-the-week is: "What are the biggest challenges facing Native American students and how can they be addressed?" Today's responses are written by Timothy San Pedro, Alayna Eagle Shield, and Amanda Holmes.

"Language Is Wealth": Children Learn Better in Their Own Language, Linguistics Professor Says

Immigrants bring a wealth of languages to the United States, and when teachers value those languages, children learn better – and everybody benefits, an MIT linguistics professor said at the College of Education's spring symposium. "Now there's clear recognition that students are better off when they can maintain or learn a second language," said Prof. Michel DeGraff. "Language is wealth. We need to find ways to nurture that."

Baltimore schools' proposed budget reflects growth in immigrant population

As more immigrant families move into Baltimore, the public school system plans to pump additional money into programs that help children learn English. "Baltimore is experiencing growth in its immigrant population, and the number of City Schools students who speak a language other than English at home is also increasing," budget documents read. The annual growth of the ELL population has ranged recently from 8% to 15%.

Father of Sidwell Friends student killed in Sri Lanka attack mourns what might have been

Alex Arrow keeps expecting to see his son, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, walk around the corner. He imagines his boy trailing behind him at the supermarket the way he would as a young child or playing the board games he loved or the two of them making home movies as they did earlier this month in San Diego when Kieran visited on spring break. That he will never do those things again is like waking from a bad dream every single minute and praying it isn’t real, Arrow said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kieran, an 11-year-old who was on leave from Washington’s Sidwell Friends School and was finishing 18 months of school in Sri Lanka, was killed in one of the bombings on Easter Sunday that left 319 dead and more than 500 injured in Sri Lanka. He was supposed to return to Sidwell in the fall for sixth grade.

Diverse Novels in Verse for National Poetry Month

Organized by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month, in April, has been celebrated annually since 1996. While reading, writing, even performing poetry should be a year-round activity, National Poetry Month is a welcome catalyst to get verse newbies and doubters interested and involved. In addition, research has repeatedly shown direct correlations between poetry and early literacy as well as poetry and reading fluency. Novels-in-verse provide an ideal fusion of poetry and narrative. Here are some affecting diverse titles by #OwnVoices authors to explore and savor this month and throughout the year.