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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Getting to Sesame Street

In American history, schools have not just been places to learn the ABCs – they're places where socialization happens and cultural norms are developed. Arguments over how and what those norms are and how they're communicated tend to flare up during moments of cultural anxiety. Sesame Street was part of a larger movement in the late 1960s to reach lower income, less privileged and more "urban" audiences. It was part of LBJ's Great Society agenda. But Sesame Street is a TV show – not a classroom. And it was funded in part by taxpayer dollars. This story is about how a television show made to represent New York City neighborhoods – like Harlem and the Bronx – has sustained its mark in educating children in a divided country.

Anne Frank's diary speaks to teen girls in a secret Kabul book club

In the year since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, they have used their muscle to restrict the education and curiosity of girls. They've been banned from high school, told to cover up and stay home. But in one secret book club in Kabul, about a dozen teenagers are defying the Taliban to continue learning – and along the way have connected to a girl from a different time and place who was also forced to live her life in secret.

Colorado has big gaps in who finishes college. Can a post-pandemic push turn the tide?

As the first in his family to go to a four-year university, he faced a struggle to pay tuition, buy textbooks and supplies, and balance a job while still helping to support his parents, who questioned the value of a college education. Haro-Flores enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado in 2016, among a growing number of Latino Coloradans in the past decade heading to college. But like many in this wave, Haro-Flores never finished, contributing to the persistent gap in college completion. 

Owensboro, KY see significant increase in English Language learner population

Since June, Owensboro Public Schools has added nearly 100 English Language (EL) learners to their population, meaning approximately 8% of the district’s students are multilingual learners. The district has put in measures such as adding EL teachers and using new communication technology to make sure they are meeting the needs of all students.

“I want my teacher to know I’m smart in Swahili,” one student wrote, changing the future of this teacher’s practice.

"What do you want your teacher to know about you?" Esther considered the question, sitting in a small room with Ms. Odette, the interpreter who was working with her to complete her learning profile—a tool that helped us learn about new students and tailor instruction to meet their needs. Ms. Odette guided Esther as she wrote her answers in English. "I want my teacher to know I’m Smart in Swahili."  I was Esther’s teacher. She wanted me to know that although she could not yet speak English, she felt confident as a learner in her first language.

New program connects English language classes with Minnesota’s green spaces

Within minutes of casting her line into the bright green algae-covered waters of Powderhorn Lake, Arati watched her bobber lurch below the surface. Like everyone at the lake that day, Arati is new to the U.S. and Minnesota. She came to this fishing day through Nature for New Minnesotans, a pilot project developed by the University of Minnesota’s Extension services and a language class at Our Saviour’s Community Services English Learning Center.