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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U.S. Army Hopes to Keep Native Arabic Speakers

The Army may begin paying a retention bonus of as much as $150,000 to Arabic speaking soldiers in reflection of how critical it has become for the US military to retain native language and cultural know-how in its ranks. Now, as the military makes a fundamental shift toward rewarding the linguistic expertise it needs the most, it is expanding a program to train and retain native Arabic and other speakers from the same regions in which it is fighting.

An Education in Pure Silliness

Ellie Herman, a television writer and new intern teacher at a charter school in South Los Angeles, writes about her recent decision to become a teacher: "I braced myself to keep going even if there were times of struggle, of heartbreak, of feeling inadequate and humiliated, even if there were times when I wanted to weep from frustration. And indeed, I have experienced all that. But what's crazy is that I haven't even set foot in a classroom yet."

Young Team Celebrates Swimming Success

One of San Francisco's most troubled neighborhoods is celebrating the success of a children's swim team. The team hasn't set any speed records yet, but they are breaking racial barriers.

Latino Surge: Census a Snapshot of Utah's Future?

Latinos have led Utah's robust population growth since 2000, surging faster than other residents in 28 of 29 counties, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates. In some counties the shift is explosive, and in other cases, the diversification is more steady. The demographics report shows a blending of cultures and colors statewide — a trend experts and advocates say is starting a political shift that will crescendo in a generation

In the Under-5 Set, Minority Becoming the Majority

A surge in Hispanic immigration over the past decade has dramatically altered the racial and ethnic composition of the Washington D.C. region's youngest residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released today. The implications for governments, schools, and communities are wide-ranging, demographers said.

Review of Seattle Schools Recommends Overhaul for ELL Instruction

Seattle Public Schools' program for students learning English is among the weakest in the nation — "highly fragmented, weakly defined, poorly monitored, and producing very unsatisfactory academic results," according to an outside review released Wednesday.

Immigrant Children Less Likely to Exercise

Immigrant children in the United States are less active and less likely to participate in sports than U.S.-born children, say federal government researchers. They also found that immigrant children were more likely to be inactive and less likely to participate in sports than U.S.-born children. However, immigrant children were less likely to watch three or more hours of television per day.

Hiring More English Educators

In the few weeks before school begins, Maryland teacher Elliot Gonzalez will be doing his homework — learning about the history and political situation in Myanmar. The topic may not seem related to teaching English — Gonzalez's primary responsibility in Frederick County Public Schools, but Gonzalez will be teaching students from Myanmar, India, Korea, Mexico and El Salvador next year. So, having knowledge about his students' background is as important as knowing the rules of English grammar, he says.

Oakland High School Is Just for Immigrants

The students at Oakland International High School form a real-life melting pot. The school opened its doors a year ago in a neighborhood serving a diverse group of high school students with some things in common: They are all relatively new to the country, they are trying to become fluent in English, and nearly all qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of low socioeconomic status. It's a somewhat radical approach, but school officials say that the students already feel a sense of ownership in their school.

New Mexico First State to Adopt Navajo Textbook

This week in Santa Fe, state officials in New Mexico formally adopted a book about the Navajo language and culture written by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, a Navajo professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. While other books on Navajo language exist, state officials say New Mexico is the first to adopt a Navajo textbook for use in the public education system. School districts in New Mexico, as well as U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, can review Yazzie's book and decide whether to use it starting in the 2009-10 school year.

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