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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.

Latinitas and DIY Girls: Paving the Way for Latina Makers

School Library Journal

May 29, 2015

The rise of maker culture and new media focused initiatives has not gone unnoticed in the Latino community. Two nonprofit organizations, Latinitas and DIY Girls, are working with Latina teens and tweens to promote tech- and media-related skills.

Hands-on Projects and Titles that Celebrate Maker and Latino Cultures

School Library Journal

May 29, 2015

Imagine that you are entering a library with a brand-spanking-new maker space. This same library has a largely Spanish-speaking clientele. It features a glass-enclosed area formerly used as a computer lab. The space is flexible, with furniture designed to be easily movable and to accommodate multiple stations. To celebrate the new configuration, the library has decided to host a community Maker Faire. Families are invited to partake in an all-day immersion of maker culture with a Latino twist.

School Librarians Push for More 'Maker Spaces'

Education Week

May 29, 2015

Angela Rosheim, a library media specialist, faced a problem: Her elementary school students were requesting materials during genius hour — a time in which teachers provide resources for students to study topics of personal interest — that the school didn't have. In response to her students' needs, she applied for and received an $8,000 grant from the Liberty school district to create a "maker space" in the school's library.

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.

Educators Share Stories of Struggles With New English-Learner Standards

Education Week

May 28, 2015

A pair of educators with ties to the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association traveled to Washington this week to share stories of their struggles and successes with the Common Core State Standards for English-language learners. "We (teachers) are struggling with this," said Janet Davis, a Los Angeles Unified school improvement coach and a member of the AFT's nationwide ELL Advisory Task Force. Davis and RosaMaria Cordova, a teacher mentor and consultant with the Paradise Valley, Ariz., school system, fielded questions at the U.S. Department of Education about obstacles and best practices they've encountered while trying to implement the college- and career-ready standards.

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.

Dual Language Learners Reader Post #3: Identifying DLLs

EdCentral

May 28, 2015

When a student enters public school for the first time in the U.S., be it in kindergarten or during high school, their need for English language services is evaluated. In most states, students' proficiency in non-English languages is never screened or evaluated (Minnesota is a notable exception). The following post outlines standard — and at times problematic — practices in identifying, monitoring, and exiting dual language learners (DLLs) from English as a Second Language (ESL) services.

Camping Class Gently Introduces Immigrants to Ontario Wilderness

Toronto Star

May 28, 2015

"Who's been camping before?" Kaitlyn Fulton asks a roomful of adults and children at the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services in Scarborough. She is met with blank stares. Nobody raises their hands. "Great. So you are all at the right place," says the beaming outreach worker with Parks Ontario's Learn to Camp program. There are more than 330 provincial parks in Ontario, but for many immigrant families, camping, hiking and fishing are such novelties they can't even imagine themselves taking part.

Selective High Schools Struggle to Diversify Enrollments

Education Week

May 27, 2015

To make the competitive Pre-Collegiate STEM Academy at Middleton High School reflect the economic and racial diversity of her urban district in Tampa, Fla., Principal Kim D. Moore says it takes a concerted effort. That means going to elementary schools with robotics clubs and inviting middle school students in to practice with the high school mathematics team. By exposing children to extra activities they could not otherwise afford, Ms. Moore hopes they will develop a love of math and science and picture themselves in her academy.

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.

Code.Org Partners with College Board to Get Computer Science into More High Schools

Geek Wire

May 26, 2015

Code.org wants more high schools to offer computer science courses, and now it's getting help from the College Board, a non-profit organization that administers standardized tests as part of the college application process, to do so. As part of a new partnership, College Board and Code.org will help 35 of the nation's largest school districts — many of which are located in urban areas — implement new computer science education classes.

Energy Companies Step In To Fund STEM Education

NPR

May 26, 2015

Many public high schools lack funding for STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — programs. Energy companies worried about finding future employees are donating to schools.

Deming High School Grads Carry Bilingual Seal

Deming News (NM)

May 26, 2015

Five high school seniors in Deming, NM graduated this year with a distinct honor on their diplomas. "This is our first year to offer the Seal of Bi-literacy at DHS and we are proud to recognize these five outstanding recipients," said Kristy Hays, DHS Bilingual teacher.

Student-Run Fiesta Raises Money for Young Hispanics

The News & Observer (NC)

May 26, 2015

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dory Li was already working up a sweat to the sounds of Shakira, Marc Anthony and other Latino artists. Li, 15, wasn’t dancing, but leading a group of Enloe High School students known as Jóvenes Para Ayudar as they planned a fiesta at Bond Park in Cary to benefit the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals.

Lovely Illustrations from the Story of a Black Boy Who Dreams of Going to Mars

NPR

May 26, 2015

Like lots of little kids, Jeremiah Nebula — the main character of a children's book called Large Fears — has big dreams. He wants to go to Mars. But Jeremiah is also pretty different from the characters that Myles Johnson, the author of the Kickstarter-backed book, met in the stories he read when he was growing up. Johnson spent his formative years watching far too much Twilight Zone ("I loved the really scary ones!" he says), while his friend and the book's illustrator Kendrick Daye was engrossed in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series. They loved those stories, but something was missing. "Growing up, there were rarely any characters who were black, and never queer. Not being visible in the media really does something to your psychology," Johnson says. "It's easy to feel invisible, it's easy to believe you're invisible."

N.J. Gifted School Serves Mostly Poor, Minority Students

Education Week

May 22, 2015

The 200-student magnet program at the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented, housed within Public School 28, enrolls more than 80 percent low-income students, all of them accelerated a grade level or more in math, language arts, or science. Unlike many districtwide gifted magnet programs, the academy's enrollment mirrors the district: roughly 60 percent Hispanic, 20 percent black, 5 percent white, and the rest students from Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern backgrounds.

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.

Recent Immigrants Find Ellis Island Still Relevant

NPR

May 22, 2015

It's been more than 60 years since Ellis Island closed as a station for inspecting and detaining immigrants. But you can still take a ferry from New York City and cross the Hudson River along the old routes, right to the dock outside a red brick building trimmed with limestone. It was recently renamed the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum to tell immigrant stories beyond the Ellis Island years.

Wyoming Schools Address Growing Number of English Language Learners

Casper Star Tribune (WY)

May 21, 2015

The students in Stacy Jenkins' class are among a growing group of nonnative English speakers in Wyoming's Natrona County school district. The numbers fluctuate, but in the beginning of the school year, there were 287 students needing extra English help, according to school data — more than twice the number of students than at the start of the 2011 school year. Statewide, there were 3,619 students, representing a 13 percent increase from 2009 but a small dip from the increase last year.

Dual Language Learners Reader Post #2: Who are Dual Language Learners?

EdCentral

May 21, 2015

Children between the ages of zero- and eight-years-old are the most diverse age group in the United States. Compared to other age groups, they are more likely to be racial and/or ethnic minorities, be born to immigrant parents, and speak a language other than English. Many of these young children are considered dual language learners (DLLs). Yet despite this fact, it is somewhat difficult to find a good estimation for just how many DLLs there are.

New Irving, TX School Board Member Wants to Help Immigrant Parents Learn English

KERA News

May 21, 2015

In this profile, KERA charts a different sort of journey — the one Dinesh Mali made from childhood in India to his spot as the first Indian-American elected to the Irving school board.

Seattle Schools to Expand ELL Services After Critical State Audit

Education Week

May 20, 2015

The Seattle school system will expand its English-language-learner services after a scathing state audit determined that the district shortchanged language-learner students and their families.

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.

Amtrak Crash Victim Is Remembered for Helping Students in Need

The Wall Street Journal

May 20, 2015

Medgar Evers College student Camoy Honegan was thrilled to learn Tuesday morning that one of her school's deans had arranged a $3,000 grant for her books and expenses. Ms. Honegan already felt indebted to Derrick Griffith, a dean at the CUNY college in Crown Heights, for spending a day helping her locate a place to live this winter, when she was homeless. But this time, she didn't have the chance to thank him. Mr. Griffith, 42 years old, was one of the eight fatal victims of Tuesday's train derailment in Philadelphia.

Introducing the Dual Language Learners Reader: Post #1

EdCentral

May 20, 2015

This post kicks off a 10-week series on research, policies, and practices pertaining to the education of dual language learners (DLLs) in U.S. public schools on EdCentral.com. Collectively, these posts constitute a DLL Reader that aims to provide a common, foundational base of knowledge to inform policy conversations about these students.