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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Across the Border and Into School

Thousands of Central American children made a harrowing journey to the United States. Now they are navigating the arduous process of getting an education.

International ELL Teaching Association Seeks New Leader

TESOL International Association, the organization for teachers who specialize in working with English-learners, has begun a search for its next executive director. Rosa Aronson will step down in spring 2017, leaving the job after seven years at the helm.

Graphic Novels Portray Bicultural America

Superman, arguably the most iconic figure in the history of comics, is a champion of “truth, justice, and the American way,” he’s also an immigrant. A refugee, in fact, sent off by his parents to escape their dying planet Krypton. He has two names, Clark Kent and Kal-El. He has two outfits, an American one he wears to work, and a colorful foreign one he wears for special occasions. The superhero has special resonance for Gene Luen Yang, who wrote four issues of the Superman comic last year. “He lives under two sets of expectations,” Yang says. “I was the same when I was a kid. I had a Chinese name at home, an American name at school. I spoke two languages and lived under two sets of expectations.” Yang is also writing a different superhero story for DC, Super-Man, featuring a Chinese superman and set in China.

Why Being Bilingual Works Wonders for Your Brain

Multilingualism has been shown to have many social, psychological and lifestyle advantages. Moreover, researchers are finding a swath of health benefits from speaking more than one language, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia.

Tucson Unified School District dual language program revamped, expanded to east side

More students in the Tucson Unified School District will get the chance to learn a second language this school year. For the first time, the district’s dual language program is expanding to the east side. The program at TUSD was audited earlier this year, and one of the things that was found was that the district could do a better job at implementing the program. The district has since created a master plan. Their new pilot program will start at Bloom Elementary. With this new model, 90 percent of instruction will be in Spanish, and students will only get about 30 minutes of English each day. As students go through elementary to middle school, instruction in English and Spanish will even out.

GW Hosts High-Achieving Latino Students for Caminos al Futuro

Last Thursday, Luis Sanchez Aguilar stood before the inaugural Caminos al Futuro cohort of Latino high school students and their families in the Lehman Auditorium of GW’s Science and Engineering Hall and prepared to deliver his final presentation. Mr. Aguilar was among 15 high-achieving students selected for the three-week residential, pre-college leadership program funded by the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute. The institute encompasses Caminos al Futuro for rising high school seniors, as well as scholarship and mentoring support for selected Cisneros Scholars, GW students who demonstrate a commitment to leadership and community service, particularly within the Hispanic community.

Fresno migrant students learn while competing

About two dozen migrant education students from the Fresno metro area competed in robotics at an event sponsored by the Fresno County Office of Education’s Migrant Education Program. FCOE said the competition is the culmination of a migrant summer program where students have been introduced to the NXT graphic programming language. STEM concepts and teamwork were combined in the summer program to teach students real-life skills while having fun.

Language Unleashed: The Powerful Poetry of Multilingual Students

For one educator, poetry was a transformative outlet for immigrant kids who are struggling with issues of language, identity and trauma. In an article for The Guardian, Kate Clanchy chronicles her experience teaching poetry to students who have recently immigrated to England from all over the world. Some of her students’ families fled poverty, others war zones, and many still struggled with English. But through poetry her students were able to express themselves in English on deeply personal themes like the scents of home and the struggles of arriving in a new place.

Former English-Language Learner to Lead Texas' Largest School District

The Houston school board on Wednesday announced San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza as their pick to lead the 215,000-student district. Carranza has led the 53,000-student San Francisco Unified since 2012. He was among Education Week's 2015 class of Leaders to Learn From for his work with English-language learners. Houston has the sixth-largest enrollment of ELLs in the nation, according to a 2015 Migration Policy Institute report. According to the report, Texas has the second highest ELL K-12 enrollment in the nation, trailing only California.