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.

Parents of ELLs With Disabilities Sue Philadelphia Schools

Education Week

September 02, 2015

Two Pennsylvania legal advocacy groups and a Philadelphia-based law firm have filed a class action lawsuit against the Philadelphia schools, alleging that thousands of children are denied adequate special education services because their parents don't speak or read English.

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.

Books Are GEMS bookstore shines a light on literacy

El Paso, Inc. (TX)

September 02, 2015

A gem lies in El Paso’s lower valley, where children and young adults can pick up a few of their favorite books to read, at no cost. For the last 12 years, Books Are GEMS has aimed to bring literacy to the children of low-income communities and the organization’s impact grows with each new year. The bookstore also carries books for young adults, adult-level reading such as biographies, college textbooks and even offers reading materials for homeschooling parents and teachers through the Educator Support Program.

Native Math

The Atlantic

September 01, 2015

A unique approach to math helps boost achievement for American Indian children — and it shares striking parallels with the Common Core. This teaching approach, called “Strength in Numbers,” was developed a decade before work even started on Common Core. Getting the right answers on test questions isn’t enough, Strength in Numbers teachers require students to explain their work. And although the sample size is small, the program’s results have been striking.

The Subtle Evolution of Native American Education

The Atlantic

September 01, 2015

Compared to their peers, “American Indian” and “Alaska Native” students aren’t seeing the same growth in enrollment or attainment. Indigenous children in America sometimes attend separate schools whose pedagogy and curricula are tailored to indigenous worldviews and learning needs. These institutions can be charter schools, language-immersion schools, Indian-reservation schools, or even private schools. Yet these programs don’t always achieve their mission.

Vietnamese Dual-Language-Immersion School Opens in California

Education Week

September 01, 2015

The Westminster school system in California's Orange County has opened the state's first English-Vietnamese dual-language-immersion program. Kindergarten students at DeMille Elementary School will be taught in English and Vietnamese, with staff planning to expand it to 1st grade for the 2016-17 school year. The program could include other grades in coming years if it proves popular.

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.

6 Storytelling Apps That Get English Language Learners Talking

KQED Mindshift

August 31, 2015

For English language learners (ELLs) in the classroom, speaking English in front of others — particularly native speakers — can cause tremendous anxiety. In fact, the dread of speaking can actually interfere with students’ ability to learn.So how can we design speaking activities that don’t make our students’ hearts race and palms sweat? Digital storytelling can be an effective way for ELLs to practice speaking English without the stress of being “on stage.”

Inside the classroom: What does bilingual education look like?

Belleville News-Democrat (IL)

August 31, 2015

At Kreitner Elementary School in Collinsville, one of the three kindergarten classes is bilingual. Teacher Kimberly Cook starts the year speaking mostly in Spanish and moves toward English later in the year. English Learners Language Director Carla Cruise says the things children are learning, such as phonemic awareness of breaking words apart, are similar in either language.

School program restructured for English language learners

Bismarck Tribune (ND)

August 31, 2015

The Hughes Educational Center, which contains classroom space next to Bismarck Public Schools' administration offices, now houses a new English language learner program for the district's youngest students. The students will attend the ELL Welcome Center at Hughes for no more than a year. When a child has reached a sufficient proficiency level, the student will transfer to his or her designated school.

Special Project: Can New Orleans deliver a high-quality education for all its children?

Education Week

August 27, 2015

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina — and all the upheaval and change that it wrought on every facet of life — parts of New Orleans are flourishing again. No American city in recent years has had to climb back from near ruin. And no American city has had to rebuild its entire public school system.

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.

Small Study Shows High School Music Classes Improve Language Skills

The Hechinger Report

August 27, 2015

A tiny study of 40 high school students in Chicago perked up some ears recently. It found that a small amount of musical instrument instruction — only two to three hours of band class a week — improved how the teenage brain processed sound.

Video: Daniel José Older Talks to Sonia Manzano, Sesame Street’s ‘Maria,’ About Her Memoir

School Library Journal

August 27, 2015

School Library Journal had the unique opportunity of pairing two Latino authors — Daniel José Older, author of Shadowshaper (2015), and Sonia Manzano, the Pura Belpré Honor award-winning author for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (2012) and acclaimed actress who originated the iconic role of "Maria" on Sesame Street — in a videotaped conversation about Manzano's first memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx (2015, all Scholastic). Check out the video and the transcript of the entire conversation.

Chicago to Conduct Citywide Audit of Services for English-Language Learners

Education Week

August 27, 2015

The Chicago school district will audit all the city's schools, including charters, to ensure they are providing federally mandated services to English-language learners and properly spending funds intended to help them, online and print newsmagazine Catalyst Chicago reports.

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.

Opening the Doors to More Low-Income Students Reshapes a University

PBS NewsHour

August 27, 2015

Under its current president, Arizona State University has increased its student population to 84,000, making it the largest university in America. In particular, the focus has been on boosting the number of low-income students. Hari Sreenivasan reports on how ASU transformed itself, and why some are questioning the outcomes of its rapid expansion.

Retiring Mexican-American Studies Director Helped Cultivate Cultural Conversations

The Daily Cougar

August 27, 2015

Empty bookshelves frame the small office while boxes, filled with old videocassette tapes, lie on the floor next to a desk, covered with scattered newspapers on top. This is it, the last moments Tatcho Mindiola sits in his office as the Director of Mexican-American Studies at the University of Houston. As the director of the CMAS for 43 years, his determination overcame obstacles in order to make the center successful for future students.

Will Hiring More Native American Teachers Improve Tribal Schools?

Education Week

August 26, 2015

Some districts in Montana that serve Native American students are attempting to increase the percentage of Native teachers in the hopes that those teachers will have a positive impact on achievement, according to a story by Slate.

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.

Are English Language Learners Punished For Their Frustration With School?

New American Media

August 26, 2015

Do you understand? A question, I pondered after reading through a report released by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report, Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts, presents a snapshot of data gathered in 2011-2012. The report releases disparate statistics regarding academic and behavioral outcomes of English Language Learners (ELL) students.

Refugee Family Welcomes Its Youngest Member, Ayush

Concord Monitor

August 26, 2015

Meet Ayush Rai. He's 10 days old on Sunday, the newest member of the family whose lives we've chronicled since they landed in Manchester last February. Ayush's mother and father, Devi and Bom, as well as his 12-year-old brother, Manoj, and 6-year-old sister, Isniya, have been busy making Concord their home after arriving from a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal. Ayush, though, is different from those four: he's a United States citizen, born at Concord Hospital.

Entering College? Latino Professors Share Some Great Advice

NBC News

August 25, 2015

First-generation college students — whose parents have not had a college experience — are particularly disadvantaged by the lack of information systems that other students have built into their lives since childhood. In this feature from NBC News, Latino professors from universities across the country share tips for first-generation students.

Schools in Baltimore Suburbs Address Growth in Minority Enrollment

The Baltimore Sun

August 25, 2015

With Maryland poised to welcome a record number of students as the new school year begins, many districts will be educating more minorities than they have in decades — if not ever. Across Baltimore's suburbs, school districts are hiring more translators, updating policies and taking other steps to address the demographic shift that includes an influx of Hispanic and Asian students.

Critics Protest Opening of Houston Arabic Immersion Elementary School

Education Week

August 25, 2015

Protesters showed up to voice their displeasure with Houston's new Arabic-language immersion elementary school on Monday, the first day of classes.

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.