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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Think you could learn Mandarin? This Kansas kindergarten classroom is Chinese-only

On a recent morning in Overland Park, Kan., at a school next to a horse pasture in the middle of the country, a kindergartener raised his hand and asked to go to the bathroom — in Mandarin Chinese. This language-immersion class of kindergarteners is part of a new Blue Valley School District initiative to graduate high school seniors fluent in a second language, an asset school officials believe will give students a leg up as they pursue academics and careers and prepare students to participate in a global workforce.

Some Immigrant Fire Victims Forgo Aid, Fearing Language on FEMA Forms

Members of the immigrant community displaced by the Wine Country fires are facing a new dilemma, fearing that information they provide on forms seeking federal disaster relief could be shared with immigration agents. And some say they will avoid applying altogether as a result.

'They Can't Just Be Average'

If you've been following this audio series, you know about Ron Brown College Prep, the remarkable new D.C. school designed specifically to meet the needs of young men of color. In the second episode, Ron Brown's unique CARE team and the teaching faculty continue their focus on nurturing students' social and emotional growth. But their time becomes increasingly dominated by a few kings who are getting into trouble.

Malinda Lo and Stephanie Perkins On Genre Hopping, Slasher Films, and More

Stephanie Perkins is known for her nuanced romances (Anna and the French Kiss) and anthologies (My True Love Gave to Me). Malinda Lo has made significant contributions to the sci-fi  and fantasy categories (Adaptation; Ash). Both of these YA authors made a leap this year by writing thrillers just right for Halloween (and any time of the year readers need a good fright). Perkins and Lo share what inspired them to write venture to the scary side, how their writing process changed, and their feelings on "unlikable" characters.

"American Born Chinese" Opens Windows and Shines Mirrors | SLJ Summit 2017

At Jesuit High School (JHS) in Portland, OR, Gene Luen Yang's Printz Award–winning graphic novel American Born Chinese has opened the door to discussions about race and identity. During the "Using Graphic Novels To Develop Racial Literacy in Teens" panel at SLJ's October 7 Leadership Summit in Nashville, educators and high school seniors at JHS expounded on how the book facilitated conversations and led to often painful realizations. Though National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Yang was also on hand, it was the teens' insightful comments that had the greatest impact on the day's conversations.

Wyoming Latinas Encouraged to Pursue STEM

Celebrating its 17th year, the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference hosted young Wyoming women of Hispanic descent for two days of programming in Laramie on October 13 and 14. The theme this year was, "embracing leadership, science, and creativity."

How Minnesota's Somali Community Is Mobilizing to Help Mogadishu Bombing Victims

Minneapolis resident Ahmed Hirsi was only a few miles away from the powerful blast that killed hundreds of people in Mogadishu last Saturday. Now, Hirsi — who is married to Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar — is part of a growing effort led by various Somali-American individuals and organizations in the Twin Cities aimed at assisting victims and families they left behind in Somalia. "I plan to meet with young people in the community to talk about what we could do for the country," Hirsi said. "Fire trucks, ambulances, supplies for hospitals and other things." (See this collection of multilingual tips on talking about violence with kids, including a version in Somali, for more guidance.)

Norton Museum Partners with Schools in Hopes of Reaching Hispanic Audience

While expanding its campus, the Norton Museum is also adding programs to include the ever-growing Latino population in the Palm Beach County. Apart from adding an audio guide in Spanish, bilingual family programs and tours, the Norton Museum has partnered with the International Spanish Academy (ISA), a dual language program provided in schools throughout the county where students receive lesson plans in English and Spanish.