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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This 12-Year-Old Girl Built a Robot That Can Find Microplastics in the Ocean

Anna Du was walking along Castle Island's beach in South Boston when she noticed plastic scattered on the shoreline. She reached down to pick it up, and quickly realized there was many more tiny pieces than she could handle. "When I realized how many pieces there were, it seemed impossible," says Du, who was in sixth grade at the time. But Du approached the problem like any good scientist — first, by doing a little research. That's how she learned that 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year — and that's in addition to the whopping 150 million metric tons that are already there. Then she got to work building something that could help solve the issue: a remote-operated vehicle, or ROV, that can move through water and spot plastics on the ocean floor.

English-Learners and Ed Tech: A 'Tool Kit' From the Education Department

The U.S. Department of Education has released a how-to guide for educators who use educational technology to work with English-language learners. The toolkit, titled "Using Educational Technology--21st Century Supports for English-Learners," offers basic advice on what educators should know and ask when using and searching for tech tools to support students who are learning the language.

From Entry-Level To Executive, Today’s Jobs Demand Digital Literacy

It's no secret that American workplaces are becoming more reliant on technology. But what may surprise the country's K-12 educators and policymakers is how work at nearly every rung of the employment ladder is becoming more digitized. Often, the skills needed to succeed have less to do with computer programming than what experts call "digital literacy"—the ability to interpret, create, and strategically use digital information.

English Learners and Reading Challenges

English learners who are struggling readers too often lack the instruction and supports they need, even as they are tasked with absorbing skills and content in English while they’re learning the language. They might be misdiagnosed with a disability, or a disability might go undiagnosed entirely. Both sets of experiences reveal a gap in our understanding of how best to identify and serve English learners with reading disabilities — a gap that researchers from the Harvard Brain. Experience. Education. Lab (B.E.E.) are trying to fill.

Response: 'You Can't Get to Bloom Without Going Through Maslow'

Larry Ferlazzo's new question-of-the-week is: What are the best ways to build relationships with students?" Larry has collected responses from dozens of contributors. Education consultant Tara Brown writes, For some kids, the classroom may be the only 'family' they ever really experience. It certainly will be the best chunk of many students' entire days. Investing in time to build positive relationships through team-building exercises to quickly learn names and facts about each other, partner work, sharing student profiles, embracing different nationalities, and more, will all shape the tone and feel of daily peer and teacher interactions. Many teachers still feel as though 'they don't time to build relationships with kids'. Research is very clear that we don't have time not to build relationships because you can't get to Bloom without going through Maslow."

18 Ways to Support Your English Learners

Here are 18 ways that you can help support them in their journey. Not every English Learner will need all of these scaffolds. Some will need more than others. And once they no longer need the scaffold, remember to release it and let them soar!

What We Know About the Latest Migrant Caravan Traveling Through Mexico

Thousands of Central American migrants are walking, taking buses and wading through rivers in a cross-continent effort to reach the United States. As of Monday, the United Nations said the caravan has grown to about 7,200 migrants. The trek has entered the political debate ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. Here is what we know and what's next.

Four Rivers Lauded for Language Immersion

Four Rivers Community School has been identified as having a high-achieving dual language immersion program, and will be further studied for the next few years to determine the whys and hows of that success. The Center for Applied Linguistics is performing the study project, titled "Features of Dual Language Immersion in High Achieving Programs." The nonprofit organization is based in Washington D.C., and it focuses on the fields of bilingual and dual language education, and English as a second language, among a host of other fields.

What This Native American School Network Can Teach Us All

Kara Bobroff is the founding principal of Native American Community Academy, a pioneering school in Albuquerque that grew from an entire community speaking up about what kind of school it wanted. Now in its 13th year, NACA is expanding within New Mexico and nationally as the "NACA Inspired" Schools Network. Ashoka’s Simon Stumpf caught up with Bobroff to learn more about what makes this model unique and effective for Indigenous students and what it can teach us all.  

Meet Annette Ramos, the Latina Storyteller Who Will Make You Smile

She doesn't recall all the details of the story or even the name of the first play she saw, performed entirely in Spanish in the basement of a Bronx church, but Annette Ramos vividly recounts this very intimate introduction to the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre. She was 7 or 8 years old. "I remember the essence of feeling like I had found my home, I found the art which spoke to my heart and my spirit ... and felt that I could do that too, and that theater was a feasible place for a Latina, brown-skinned girl to be in."