ELL News Headlines

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National Book Festival in Washington Breaks Attendance and Sales Records

The National Book Festival on Saturday was the largest in the event's 18-year history, according to estimates from several Library of Congress officials. The festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress since 2001, drew at least 200,000 readers to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. They listened to talks and interviews with more than 100 authors, including a number of authors for children and teens. Politics and Prose, the official bookseller of the festival, sold more than 17,000 books, a record, according to P&P co-owner Bradley Graham.

A Syrian Orphan Alone in Brussels in 'Nowhere Boy'

Author Katherine Marsh wrote the young adult novel Nowhere Boy — about a teenage Syrian refugee whose father dies on the journey to Europe — in part to help her kids make sense of big, complex topics like immigrant integration, terrorism and the refugee crisis.

Texas Won't Pay for Educating Children in Migrant Shelters

Texas won't use state funding to educate immigrant children housed in federal detention, which one shelter operator says is jeopardizing partnerships with school districts along the U.S.-Mexico border and will come at the expense of the kids in custody.

Valuing Our English Language Learners by Learning to Listen

In this commentary, Teacher Wendi Pillars writes, "As a teacher of English Language Learners (ELLs), my experience living abroad resonates with the ELL experience here in North Carolina. They serve as global ambassadors, and the increasing diversity in our schools is an opportunity to listen first, to understand what is being said, and to open ourselves to new values."

In One Generation, a Farmworker Family Grows College Ambitions

For as long as he can remember, Angel Benavides has missed the beginning of the school year in Texas because his family stays in North Dakota through the harvest. It's weather-dependent, so there's no hard end; all Angel knows is they'll head home to Texas sometime in October or November. That flexibility is a big deal for employers who rely on seasonal workers to quickly harvest and process crops before they spoil. But it puts workers' kids — more than 300,000 of them nationwide, according to the Department of Education — in a tough situation: keeping their grades up in a system designed for students who start and finish the year at the same school.

Picture Books Tell Children the Harsh Stories of Migrants and Refugees

Whether they are nostalgic reveries of those who came long ago to this nation of immigrants, or the brutal nightmares of worldwide millions fleeing war, violence and persecution today, memories of migration matter. Telling these stories seems more important than ever — even, and some might say especially, to children. A wave of picture books has arrived to help with this difficult task.

How I Made It: Bambadjan Bamba on Being Both Black and Undocumented

Often, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, is framed as an exclusively Latino issue—that’s far from the truth. Bambadjan Bamba was born in Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, but he grew up in New York City. He's undocumented and a DACA recipient. He's also a working actor with credits on dozens of movies and TV shows, including a small role in the blockbuster film, "Black Panther." In this segment of "How I Made It," Bamba shares his immigration story.

A Study Finds Promise in Project-Based Learning for Young Low-Income Children

A group of researchers from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University followed students using a project-based social studies curriculum in 20 high-poverty schools in Michigan. After a year, the researchers found that the kids whose teachers were randomly assigned to instruct through projects posted higher scores on a social studies test created by the researchers than schoolmates who were instructed as usual. (The researchers controlled for academic differences among the kids at the start of the school year.) The project-based kids also had slightly higher reading scores but their writing scores were no different. "Project-based learning can be great and it can be pretty awful," said Nell Duke, one of the lead authors of the study and a professor of education at the University of Michigan. "This study shows that a well-designed project-based curriculum might be more effective than traditional instruction."

Your Guide To D.C.'s 2018 National Book Festival

Your favorite time of year is almost here again, book lovers. Around 150 of the country's most celebrated authors, poets and illustrators will attend the 18th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Book Festival fills Washington's vast convention center with a jam-packed schedule, so it’s time to get planning. That's why we created a suggested itinerary to help you navigate the beautiful chaos and catch a wide swath of the offerings.