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Teachers who work with English as a Second Language learners will find ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL reading/writing skill-building children's books, stories, activities, ideas, strategies to help PreK-3, 4-8, and 9-12 students learn to read.

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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!

ELL News Updates

Note: These links may expire after a week or so, and some websites require you to register first before seeing an article. Colorín Colorado does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside web sites.

Mexican Exchange Students Continue Sister City Tradition

St. Peter Herald (MN)

January 30, 2015

Snowshoes adorning her feet, 17-year-old Mexican exchange student Violeta Adame Galacia was both excited and nervous. Gentle, flowing water made for a winding path on the Blue Earth River. It was safe, she was reminded. And as adviser Chaz Brown assured, the water was just a couple feet deep. Galacia smiled broadly as she told the story of her time in Minnesota, her first time ever snowshoeing. She and three other students from Petatlan, Mexico, arrived Jan. 20 and will stay in the St. Peter area through Feb. 3. They are part of the joint Sister City’s program with St. Peter.

Jacqueline Woodson on Weaving Memory, Crafting Poetry, and Writing for Young Adults

School Library Journal

January 30, 2015

Two months after winning the National Book Award, Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming is number four on the New York Times children's best-sellers list and President Obama was recently spotted purchasing a copy at Washington, DC's Politics and Prose bookstore. In this interview with School Library Journal, Woodson talks about the book, the We Need Diverse Books campaign, and where she sees her work headed.

Say What? Half the World's Languages Will Vanish By the End of the Century

PBS NewsHour

January 30, 2015

There are more than 6,000 languages spoken around the world today. But by the end of this century, fewer than half of them will remain. That's the driving concern of the new documentary Language Matters, from poet Bob Holman and filmmaker David Grubin. The two traveled the globe looking at endangered languages and efforts to preserve them — visiting an aboriginal community in northern Australia, the country of Wales and the Hawaiian Islands.

Differentiated Instruction: A Primer

Education Week

January 29, 2015

"Differentiated instruction" — the process of identifying students' individual learning strengths, needs, and interests and adapting lessons to match them — has become a popular approach to helping diverse students learn together. But the field of education is filled with varied and often conflicting definitions of what the practice looks like, and critics argue it requires too much training and additional work for teachers to be implemented consistently and effectively.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

States Move to Make Citizenship Exams a Classroom Aid

The New York Times

January 29, 2015

This month, Arizona became the first state to pass a law requiring its high school students to pass the U.S. citizenship exam, stipulating that they must answer at least 60 of 100 questions correctly to receive a diploma. (Immigrants are given 10 of the 100 questions and must correctly answer six to pass.) Other states may follow suit: North Dakota's House of Representatives has passed a comparable bill, and its Senate approved it Tuesday; legislators in Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and seven other states have recently introduced similar initiatives.

Commentary: When My Student Told Her Opinion of Malala, It Made Me Rethink How I Teach

PBS NewsHour

January 29, 2015

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai has garnered support all over the world and earned a Nobel Peace Prize last year for her work advocating for girls' education. Below, middle school civics teacher Alison Walter explains how a Pakistani student's unexpected opinion of Malala gave her a new approach to global lessons.

When the Teenager Is the Breadwinner

In These Times

January 28, 2015

Like many immigrant families, that of Iris Sebastian (a pseudonym) has long played a precarious financial balancing game. It's not uncommon for young people to work, but what distinguishes Iris is the reason she entered the workforce — economic need. The children of poor families already start off further behind for a slew of reasons, including food insecurity, growing up in a neighborhood without adequate resources, and simply the stress of being poor. Acting as a breadwinner while still a teenager may push these youth further behind at a critical time in their education.

A Child's English Skills Are a Lifeline for Some Immigrant Families

Minnesota Public Radio

January 28, 2015

Children of immigrants are sometimes the first members of their families to learn English. Because of that, they may have to serve as interpreters for their parents. Marisol Castillo, a 19-year-old sophomore at the College of St. Benedict, took on adult responsibilities even as a child and shares her experience in this story from Minnesota Public Radio.

A Day in the Life of an ELL Teacher

Frederick News Post (MD)

January 28, 2015

No games. This is your education. So Yvonne Lopez tells a group of middle-school boys on computers in the back of her English Language Learners classroom. She is passing back homework, her pointed reminders that the students should turn in their worksheets doubling as a life lesson in work ethic.

Hispanics Would Benefit From Obama's Community College Plan

Pew Research Center

January 27, 2015

A proposal by President Obama to offer free tuition for students attending community college could have a significant impact on Hispanics. More Hispanics are already enrolled in college than ever before and, among those who are, nearly half (46%) attend a public two-year school, the highest share of any race or ethnicity, according to U.S. Department of Education data.

Northwest Arkansas Community College Seeing More Hispanic Students

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

January 27, 2015

Northwest Arkansas Community College saw a 17 percent increase in its enrollment of Hispanic students last semester, despite the fact overall enrollment rose by only 1 percent. "The student population continues to diversify," said Todd Kitchen, college vice president for learner support services, during a board retreat meeting Friday.

UC Davis Students, Administration Work Toward Gaining HSI Status

The California Aggie

January 27, 2015

By the fall of 2019, UC Davis administration hopes to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), making the university eligible to receive a federal grant to support a number of academic and student success programs. Though the title does not necessarily guarantee the funding, if given, UC Davis will apply for the grant in the following winter, in hopes of being awarded by the grant the next spring.

Latino Students Make Strides, Still Face Challenges, Report Shows

Education Week

January 26, 2015

A new report from Excelencia in Education, an organization that advocates for higher educational achievement for Latinos, provides a snapshot of enrollment and educational achievement for the fastest-growing population in K-12 public schools. The report, "The Condition of Latinos in Education: 2015 Factbook" pulls data from a number of sources to give a state-level look at Latino K-12 enrollment and shed light on national advances and challenges.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

Bill Would Make Breakfast More Accessible for Children From Low-Income Immigrant Families

International Examiner

January 26, 2015

"If you ask any teacher, principle or school nutritionist," says Rep. Zack Hudgins, "they all say hungry kids don't learn." That is why Hudgins, a Democrat from Tukwila, is advocating for a bill to integrate breakfast into the school day in high-need schools. Studies across the nation have shown this approach to breakfast makes sure more students start the day on a full stomach, and better ready to learn.

Black and Latino Students in Dallas Lead Nation in Passing AP Exams

KERA News (TX)

January 26, 2015

Black and Latino Students in Dallas high schools pass the Advanced Placement exams at the highest rate in the country. The story of how Dallas became the national leader in getting underrepresented minorities to pass these classes is a bright spot in an otherwise struggling urban school district.

Watsonville Workshop Lures Young Latinos Into Science

Contra Costa Times

January 23, 2015

When a science workshop opened next to Martin Moreira's elementary school in this largely Latino, agricultural community, the popularity of do-it-yourself "maker spaces" was a decade away — and Silicon Valley seemed even more distant.

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

The New York Times

January 23, 2015

A new study by Scholastic reports that reading aloud through elementary school seemed to be connected to a love of reading generally. According to the report, 41 percent of frequent readers ages 6 to 10 were read aloud to at home, while only 13 percent of infrequent readers were being read to.

We Need Diverse Books Launches Short Story Contest

School Library Journal

January 23, 2015

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is searching for an unpublished author of middle grade fiction. The nonprofit WNDB has partnered with Random House and will publish an anthology of middle grade short stories, to be released in January 2017, with the working title Stories For All Of Us.

In Effort to Fix Tribal Schools, Feds Face Doubts

Education Week

January 22, 2015

An Obama administration proposal to turn more control of Bureau of Indian Education schools over to tribes is facing resistance in some corners of Indian Country, even among those who could benefit from the plans. Even as the White House has released reports that offer a stark appraisal of past failures in federal education policy for Native Americans, some tribal leaders are rebuffing offers of aid and pledges of new supports for Indian education from the federal government.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

D.C. Schools to Invest $20 Million in Efforts to Help Black and Latino Male Students

The Washington Post

January 22, 2015

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a plan Wednesday to invest $20 million in new support programs for black and Latino male students in the District, including opening an all-boys college preparatory high school east of the Anacostia River. Henderson said her decision to invest heavily in the specific needs of boys of color has everything to do with "mathematics." Black and Latino boys make up 43 percent of the students enrolled in D.C. public schools. By almost any measure — reading and math scores, attendance and graduation rates — their performance is lagging.