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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Virginia's Test Scores Hold Steady Overall But English Learners Make Strides

Eighty percent of Virginia students passed state reading tests this year, equal to the previous year’s results, as data released Tuesday showed minimal changes in performance on several academic subjects. But English learners made significant strides in narrowing achievement gaps. Statewide, 64 percent of those students passed in reading, up three points from 2016. Some school officials attributed the gain to better approaches for teaching students English, including transitioning more of them to general education classes even before they are totally proficient.

How Do Teachers Talk About Hate Speech?

One Charlottesville, Va., elementary school teacher grapples with how to have this conversation with her students the week after the violence erupted in her city just as a new school year is about to begin.

Back-to-School Reading for English-Language-Learner Teachers

Whether you're a teacher who's already back in school or one who's heading back soon, we hope this blog can serve as resource to you. Here are links to some stories that have caught our eye this month along with a look ahead at some upcoming notable events.

Creating a Welcoming Environment for ELLs and Immigrant Students: Strategies and Resources

What can educators do to make English language learners (ELLs) and immigrant students feel welcome within the school community?  Here are some of our most popular resources on the topic, along with related resources.  We also include a list of organizations that have related lesson plans on race, civil rights, and immigration, as well as booklists for kids and teens and the latest lesson plans focused on recent events in Charlottesville, VA.

The first thing teachers should do when school starts is talk about hatred in America. Here's help.

Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post writes, "The 2017-2018 school year is getting started, and teachers nationwide should expect students to want to discuss what happened in Charlottesville as well as other expressions of racial and religious hatred in the country. While such discussions are often seen as politically charged and teachers like to steer clear of politics, these conversations are about fundamental American values, and age-appropriate ways of discussing hatred and tolerance in a diverse and vibrant democracy are as important as anything young people can learn in school. Civics education has taken a back seat to reading and math in recent years in 'the era of accountability,' but it is past time for it to take center stage again in America’s schools."

Teaching Materials for English-Learners Are in Short Supply. That Could Soon Change

A common complaint among English-language-learner educators is that high-quality learning materials are hard to come by. The Council of the Great City Schools wants to do something about it. The council—which represents 70 of the nation's largest urban public school systems—has formed a purchasing consortium to encourage the production of better instructional materials for English-learners.

Opinion: What Is America to Me?

In this column, Margaret Renkl talks about her experiences volunteering in an ELL class at a public high school. She writes, "In the E.L. classroom, there's more to learn than language. During a unit on the Harlem Renaissance, I arrived to find a newly decorated bulletin board fashioned from an assignment modeled on Countee Cullen's 'Heritage.' The poem begins, 'What is Africa to me?' The students' own poems were titled 'What Is Myanmar to Me?' ('Spicy foods, we’ll take seconds, please'), and 'What Is Zambia to Me?' ('I can feel the hot weather in my body/A beautiful sun outside on my face'), and 'What is Mexico to Me?' (I'm like a flame,/Waiting to go back again') — on and on and on. I stood before that bulletin board with my back turned to hide my tears, and I read every poem."