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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SYLLABLE Act Promotes Access to Dual Language Immersion Programs

On February 5th, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced the Supporting Young Language Learners’ Access to Bilingual Education (SYLLABLE) Act in the House of Representatives. The bill helps establish high-quality dual-language immersion programs in communities with high numbers of low-income families and supports those programs from pre-K to 5th grade. “Today, bilingualism is an asset in our multicultural society and provides our students with more job opportunities in the economy of the future,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The SYLLABLE Act recognizes that importance, supports dual language programs in low-income communities, and ensures that every child has access to new educational opportunities that prepare them for a successful future.” Studies show both native English speakers and English Learners in dual-language immersion programs benefit from bilingual education and experience substantial gains in language, literacy, and math. While these programs remain in high-demand across the country, they tend to cluster in affluent communities that provide limited access to low-income students.

Identifying Gifted and Talented English-Learners: Six Steps for District Leaders

English-language learners are severely underrepresented in gifted and talented education programs in the nation's K-12 schools — and the problem may be rooted in the procedures and policies that schools use to identify gifted students. A new guide from Education Northwest offers a series of recommendations, focused on rooting out educator and assessment bias, that could allow more English-learners access to gifted and talented education.

The Invisible Burden Some Bilingual Teachers Face

Finding bilingual educators has been a long-standing problem for school districts across the country. Now, a study out of Georgia State University explores why finding those teachers may be only half the problem. The "invisible work" of translating and creating curriculum materials in languages other than English that falls on the shoulder of dual-language bilingual educators "too often goes unrecognized and is never remunerated." That responsibility could lead to teachers leaving the profession, concludes Cathy Amanti, a clinical assistant professor at Georgia State.

Lead, asbestos contamination shuts down three Scranton schools

Students at three Pennsylvania schools were recently told to stay home amid concerns over lead and asbestos contamination, as Pennsylvania State Police investigate what former district officials did to address problems with tainted water. An environmental engineer said he first notified district officials in 2016 that he had found elevated lead levels in drinking water. Joseph Guzek said that when he returned in December 2018 and again in December 2019, he also found lead in the water.