Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!

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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ELL News

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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.

From an 'Undocumented' Boyhood to a Doctorate

The New York Times

July 24, 2015

As Dan-el Padilla Peralta toggled fluidly between worlds for much of his life — ancient and modern, poor and privileged, Dominican and American — there were times when he managed to forget he was a child without a country. He found refuge in New York's libraries, the Greek and Latin texts speaking to him even before he could speak their language. He would copy entire orations, memorizing for inspiration. But always, the fear would return: He could be deported. Now he hopes that by telling his life story in his memoir, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey From a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, he will be able to further the discussion on immigration policy, which has become a contentious issue on the presidential campaign trail.

My family fled the Vietnam War. Could I preserve their culture and my college GPA?

The Hechinger Report

July 24, 2015

In this editorial, recent college graduate Trong Chang writes, "I was constantly fighting between my roles of being a student and of being a good Hmong daughter; I hated having to fight to decide which role I felt was more important. But I knew that the constant struggle between my two different roles had affected me long before I began college; my being in college just made the struggle that much more visible."

New Mexico Student Wins Second Straight National Spanish Spelling Title

Education Week

July 24, 2015

After 19 rounds and four and a half hours of competition, Andres Arreola correctly spelled añagaza and omnisciencia to win the fifth annual National Spanish Spelling Bee. (In English, añagaza means lure, or decoy. Omnisciencia is a cognate that means omniscience.)

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.

Closed Captioning Gives Literacy a Boost

Education Week

July 23, 2015

It turns out that reading same-language subtitles while listening to the same words on screen is a complicated transaction. A study by the University of Nottingham, in England, looked closely at just this process — what our eyes are doing when we are listening and reading simultaneously — and its implications for K-12 education seemed significant…(R)ather than being simply annoying, listening to English and reading English subtitles helps in decoding words and reading better.

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.

Why Minority Kids Are Being Left Behind by the Economic Recovery

PBS NewsHour

July 23, 2015

Child poverty is worse now than it was before the Great Recession, despite strides toward economic recovery. That's according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which found that rates were most severe for African-American and Native American children. Gwen Ifill talks to Annie E. Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy and Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center.

Woman Helping with New Push to Teach Kids How to Swim

WSBTV

July 23, 2015

Just days after a 9-year-old drowned in an apartment pool, there's a renewed push to teach more kids how to swim. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 70 percent of black children and 60 percent of Latino children can’t swim. Now, metro groups in Atlanta are working to change that.

When Should ELL Test Results Matter Under the ESEA?

Education Week

July 22, 2015

When should English-language learners test results matter for accountability purposes? It's an issue to watch as Congress rewrites the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — and as states are approved for waiver renewals under the current law.

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.

Tampa Area Schools More Mindful of Diversity As Hispanic Enrollment Continues to Rise

Tampa Bay Times

July 22, 2015

Hispanic kindergarten enrollment this past year exceeded white kindergarten enrollment in Hillsborough County, a milestone superintendent Jeff Eakins found significant, as kindergarten numbers are often a bellwether for future growth. The trend defies generalization, as many nationalities and numerous economic groups fall under the self-reported category of Hispanic.

More Children Are in Poverty Today Than Before the Great Recession

PBS NewsHour

July 22, 2015

One out of five American children live in poverty, and we have the Great Recession to blame. That’s according to a new report out today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that tracks the overall well-being of children in the United States. Today, 22 percent of children live in poverty, up from 18 percent in 2008. Minnesota led the United States in children's overall well-being, with one of the lowest rates of uninsured children in the country. The state also maintains ongoing early childhood education programs that focus on school readiness and provides childcare assistance, says Stephanie Hogenson, research and policy director at the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota.

N.Y.C. High School Strives for 'Authentic' Assessment

Education Week

July 21, 2015

Tiffany Mungin spent many nervous weeks researching and writing her paper about the Vietnam War. Her high school graduation was on the line. Unlike most New York state seniors, who vied for their diplomas by taking the state's standardized tests, Ms. Mungin had to write a history research paper and an analytic essay in English/language arts. She also had to conduct an original science experiment and undertake an applied-mathematics project in order to graduate. The 18-year-old's work would have to be evaluated by at least two teachers, and she would have to defend it in formal presentations to panels of educators. Her high school is one of 48 schools in the New York Performance Standards Consortium, which have permission to use projects for graduation instead of the state-mandated standardized tests known as the Regents.

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.

Loyola Helps Develop Archdiocese of Baltimore's First Dual-Language Program

Loyola University News

July 21, 2015

Loyola University Maryland and Archbishop Borders School have partnered to help develop and improve the Archdiocese of Baltimore's first dual-language program. In 2010, Archbishop Borders School, in Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood, saw a need for a dual-language program in their school and community.

Book Review: Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

School Library Journal

July 21, 2015

A young girl and her father face challenges together as they move from place to place. They travel by foot and by train and are happy to catch a ride with passersby when they can. This simple, yet poignant picture book beautifully illustrates the life of one migrating family. Set in Central America or Mexico, it shows the arduous journey north to the United States in search of a better life.

States in Holding Pattern on ELL Waiver Requests

Education Week

July 20, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education may have given Florida unprecedented flexibility when it comes to English-language learners and accountability, but so far, other states haven't been able to get similar leeway, even though they have tried.

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.

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War

School Library Journal

July 20, 2015

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a child soldier at age five, Michel Chikwanine tells his painful yet ultimately uplifting story with help from coauthor Jessica Dee Humphreys and artist Claudia Dávila. Several pages of back matter provide more information on Chickwanine's life, child soldiers in general, and resources for those who want to get involved combating this problem.

Having Fun with Nutrition During the Summer

The Times Leader

July 20, 2015

First, you spread strawberry cream cheese onto a whole-grain bagel. Then you add two blueberries for eyes and two strawberry slices for ears. "It looks like a cat," 8-year-old Gina Gad said, looking at her almost-finished creation, made during a free summer camp focused on nutrition and exercise offered in Hazleton, PA.

Summer Academy Prepares Young Refugees for NYC Schools

WRAL

July 17, 2015

Thousands of students like Pasang Sherpa enter the city's schools every year from countries where education systems differ widely from a U.S. schoolroom. Many know little English and some have had no formal schooling at all. The transition for Sherpa was smoothed by the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, a 16-year-old project of the International Rescue Committee, a nongovernmental organization that resettles refugees.

Olathe, KS Library Gets Grant to Focus on Latino Programs

The Kansas City Star (MO)

July 17, 2015

The Olathe Public Library has 10,000 new reasons to say "gracias." It was recently awarded a competitive "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The library will receive $10,000 to hold public programming — such as public screenings, discussion groups, oral history initiatives, local history exhibitions and multimedia projects — about Latino history and culture.

Review: It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

School Library Journal

July 17, 2015

Teachers and parents today know the importance of teaching young children resilience. This book explores common childhood frustrations, acknowledges the feelings, and helps point the way toward coping. The difficulties are everyday occurrences such as ice cream melting or legs getting scraped, not large-scale tragedies, so the tone remains optimistic throughout.

Court Hands Major Victory to PARCC, Pearson in Challenge by Vendor

Education Week

July 16, 2015

A New Mexico judge has rejected a closely-watched challenge made against one of the nation's two main common-core testing consortia, in a major victory for supporters of the ambitious assessment effort led by a coalition of states. District court Judge Sarah M. Singleton, in a decision filed this week, found that the American Institutes for Research lacked proper legal standing to appeal a decision by the states belonging to the consortium, PARCC, to award an enormously lucrative contract to Pearson.

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.

Crash Course in ESL Teaching Sees High Attendance

Daily Lobo (NM)

July 16, 2015

The University of New Mexico/Albuquerque summer program for teaching English as a Second Language had a record 70 students attend its six-week program this year. Holbrook Mahn, associate professor in Literacy, Language, and Sociocultural Studies at UNM, said the 17-year-old institute condenses three of the five ESL courses into a six-week program for current and future teachers who want to receive English as a Secondary Language endorsement.