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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A Des Moines ELL teacher is Iowa’s 2024 Teacher of the Year

Iowa's Teacher of the Year for 2024 comes from Hoover High School in Des Moines. Ann Mincks is a 16-year teacher of English language learners at one of the state's most diverse high schools, where around 25% of students are English learners. During the award ceremony Monday, Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Ian Roberts congratulated Mincks and unrolled a "Teacher of the Year" banner to hang in the halls at Hoover.

Tips for Improving Vocabulary Instruction in Middle School

Middle school students have a wide range of vocabulary knowledge. Many have developed a depth of knowledge from reading, verbal communication, and previous educational experiences, but some students lack the vocabulary skills needed to understand grade-level content.

Scholastic reintegrates diverse titles for spring book fairs

Spring 2024 Scholastic Book Fairs will integrate books that were controversially separated out this fall in a now-discontinued elementary school collection of titles related to diversity and LGBTQ+ issues, the company has announced. The company has also enhanced its online title previews, saying they’ve become necessary to help educators navigate around state and local curriculum restrictions.

How incorporating Indigenous knowledge can deepen outdoor education

As part of a new program, every third grader in Albuquerque Public Schools spends a day at the Los Padillas Wildlife Sanctuary just outside the city. There, a wide variety of local landscapes are packed into five acres: a meadow, piñon, juniper and cottonwood trees, an arroyo and even a pond — a rarity in the desert. The sanctuary borders the black mesas to the west and to the east and the Rio Grande bosque — a term for a forest near a river bank. To the south is the Pueblo of Isleta, one of New Mexico’s many Native American communities: There are 19 different sovereign Pueblos, plus Apache and Navajo communities, across the state.

Not every Chicago school offers algebra in middle school. CPS is working to change that.

Mastering algebra in middle school can give kids an advantage for the rest of their educational trajectory. But in Chicago, access to the course before high school has long been inequitable. Schools without algebra in the middle grades have been largely located in predominantly Black and lower income neighborhoods on the south and west sides. For students who do take algebra in eighth grade, state data shows white and Asian American students in Chicago Public Schools are more than twice as likely to pass than Black and Latino students. But the district says it is trying to address the inequity and has found some success.

Meet a Columbia Student Working at the Intersection of Bilingual Literacy and Community with 'Para KIDS!'

When Daniela Palacios (CC’26) was in the third grade in Newark, New Jersey, she distinctly remembers her experience in an English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom. "Being in that class and having a teacher that understood Spanish and would speak to us in Spanish as well, because we needed reinforcement or clarification, that's the first time I understood the importance of bilingualism," Palacios said. The daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants and a Columbia College sophomore majoring in Political Science, you can find Palacios paying forward the benefits of bilingualism alongside the local community at least once a month with readings and activities at Saturday Science on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus and at the yearly Manhattanville Community Day gatherings.  At age 17 as a junior in high school, Palacios founded Para KIDS! (itself a bilingual name meaning "for kids!"), a media company dedicated to motivating all children to become or remain bilingual.

Latino USA Founder and Pioneering Radio Journalist María Martin Passes Away in Texas

María Emilia Martin, the pioneering radio journalist and founder of Latino USA, media educator and tireless advocate for Latinos, Latinas, and Indigenous voices in journalism, passed away due to health complications in Texas over the weekend. Born in Mexico City and raised in California, Martin dedicated half a century to her work on public radio. Her 2020 book, "Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist's Heart in Latin America," chronicles her journey overcoming racism and sexism in U.S. media. She paved the way for new generations of Latino journalists, particularly women.

Obituary: Dr. Jean Pierre-Louis, 87, pioneering educator in NYC’s Haitian community

This obituary remembers Dr. Jean Pierre-Louis, a pioneer in the field of Bilingual Education. His family writes that he believed "in equal opportunities for immigrant students and in making learning accessible to all students, regardless of their language proficiency. In this regard, Jean was one of the first Haitian resource specialists hired by the New York City Board of Education, Office of Bilingual Education. Moreover, he worked with other advocates to establish and support Haitian Creole Bilingual programs in New York City schools." 

Detroit community groups have a long record of attendance work

Community groups have been working with Detroit school communities on absenteeism for more than a decade. Despite their limited staff and budgets, they help fill gaps in the strategies schools and the district use to improve student attendance, focusing on specific barriers, such as inconsistent transportation, food insecurity, and lack of clean clothes.