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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Creating Linguistically Inclusive Classrooms for University Students

Florianne Jimenez is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the Multilingual Specialist at the UMass Amherst Writing Center. She writes, While it’s certainly easy to assume that multilingual students will just 'pick up' college-level English as they go, the truth is, a university classroom is a linguistically complex and challenging place. A student's language background can influence how well they’re doing in your class, as well as how included a student feels in your classroom community. As teachers, we can do a lot to make our classrooms more open to linguistic diversity. Instead of penalizing how students' language backgrounds differ from Standard English, we need to ensure that multilingual students don't fall behind."

As DACA Winds Down, DREAMers Turn Toward Different Futures

As politicians in Washington try and figure out what to do with the DACA program — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — across the country, DACA recipients are working on their own plans ... trying to stay in the country if Congress doesn't act in time.

How to Build a Better Language Immersion Program

Across the country, demand for immersion programs is growing and states and districts are trying to keep up. Plutus Yang, Assistant Director at Hudson Way Immersion School, shares some best practices to keep in mind. He writes, "The popularity of language immersion programs is growing rapidly, but many schools are still struggling to establish strong, rigorous, and effective immersion programs. As both a Chinese immersion teacher and an administrator of a Chinese and Spanish immersion school, I have seen firsthand what holds many immersion programs back, and what allows others to flourish and take full advantage of this unique approach to language education."

A Half-Million U.S. Kids Attend School in Mexico. Educators Are Working Together Across the Border to Help Them Learn

In recent years, an increasing number of U.S.-born students have enrolled in Mexican schools. About half a million now attend classes south of the border, and educators on both sides are pushing for greater collaboration to help meet those students’ unique needs — among them, gaining language skills, adjusting to different education levels, and adapting to new school cultures and structures.

Dual Language Programs Are So Popular That LAUSD Plans to Double the Number of Schools Offering Them By Next Year

Demand for LA Unified's dual language programs is so high that the district plans to expand from 16 schools offering the programs to as many as 35 schools next year. Meanwhile, the nation's second-largest school district — where students speak 94 languages — is closing in on meeting its goals for improving test scores for English learners and getting more of them to graduation.

Tenement Museum Shows Life of Puerto Rican Family Moving to New York in the '50s

The day-to-day experiences of a Puerto Rican family who moved from the island to New York City in the 1950s-1970s is part of a fascinating new exhibit in a museum that examines our country's evolving waves of migration. The New York City Tenement Museum’s exhibit, titled "Under One Roof," sheds light on the lives of three different families who all lived in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a neighborhood that has been for centuries a destination for immigrant families.

Does English-Language-Learner Classification Help or Hinder Students?

Designating early elementary students who are close to being proficient in English as English-language learners can have "significant and positive effects on the academic achievement" of the students, new research concludes. The study concludes that additional support that students receive as English-learners helps foster higher achievement in language arts and mathematics than students who were on the cusp but were identified as initial English-proficient students—and, as a result, did not receive the extra services.

Schools: Funding Needed for Influx of Students from Puerto Rico

Representatives from Osceola and Orange County school districts met with state Sen. Jack Latvala with a plea for help. Thousands of students have traveled to Central Florida from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and school officials said they don't have the proper resources to cope with the influx.

Helena Mayor-Elect Wilmot Collins, a Refugee from Liberia, Makes History

Wilmot Collins won a narrow race to become Helena’s next mayor, defeating four-term incumbent Jim Smith by just over 300 votes. Since then, he said he’s done more than a dozen interviews, with outlets ranging from local news to the BBC and the Voice of America. Collins gained attention for his unique life story. Born in Liberia, he came to the United States as a refugee 23 years ago while his home country was in the midst of a civil war  and becomes the first African American elected to a mayoral post in Montana. According to Ellen Baumler, an interpretive historian with the Montana Historical Society, Collins will be the first black mayor to serve officially in Helena, and in the state of Montana. She said Helena residents unofficially chose another black mayor 143 years ago before the city was incorporated.

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