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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As 'Sesame Street' turns 50 and accepts the Kennedy Center Honors, its lessons in niceness are still as easy as 1-2-3

"Sesame Street" can feel deeply personal to just about anyone under the age of 55. It taught us to read and count, but it also taught us about kindness and acceptance. It was jazzy and groovy; it had a loose and wild feeling, even with all that PhD scrutiny on every frame. Today the show is brighter, faster and somehow zippier, set on a cleaner, spiffier Sesame Street (shot on a set in Astoria, Queens) with a community garden and a recycling bin next to Oscar the Grouch's trash can. Hooper's Store serves birdseed smoothies and has bistro seating. Yet the sense of belonging remains. "Sesame Street" was inclusive before anyone really knew what that meant, the first safe space. It is a friend to everyone, which has a lot to do with why it’s the first TV show to receive Kennedy Center Honors.

Commentary: Does 'the Achievement Gap' Evoke a Negative Stereotype? What the Research Says

David M. Quinn is an assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, where Tara-Marie Desruisseaux and Akua Nkansah-Amankra are doctoral students. In this commentary, they write, "In the 21st century, calls to 'close the achievement gap' have been ubiquitous in education circles. Yet, as policymakers and educators devote more attention to the problem, a growing number of commentators have begun to worry that the dominance of this 'gap' framing of conversations about race and education may be counterproductive."

How Head Start Parents Are Building Careers As Early Childhood Educators

Dorothy Fredrick first heard of Head Start in the 1990s from a teacher whose children she was babysitting. At the time, Fredrick lived in Ellicott, Colo., a rural community about an hour outside Colorado Springs. Until then, she had never heard of the federal program. Twenty-three years later, she is now the curriculum, instruction and training coordinator for the Community Partnership for Childhood Development, the agency administering Head Start programs in the Colorado Springs region. She oversees curriculum development, professional development and new staff training for 69 classrooms.  Fredrick’s journey isn't all that unusual. It's in keeping with Head Start’s larger mission to serve two generations, empowering parents to pursue education and careers, often within Head Start facilities.

Some trauma really is unspeakable. So these women are sewing their stories, instead.

A 16-year-old girl was abducted, raped, beaten and held captive for months in Congo. She became pregnant and gave birth. In an effort to avoid the stigma and shame that this would bring upon her family and because she would not be eligible for any other marriage, her parents joined the perpetrators' family in trying to force her to marry her abductor. Although she was expected to obey, she refused. The perpetrator's family took her baby. Remarkably, she managed to escape and make her way to a center where she could access services for girls like her. There she created a story cloth.

OPINION: Six ways to nurture high-aptitude math students in under-resourced schools

Jacob Castaneda is executive director of programs in Los Angeles for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), a nonprofit dedicated to creating pathways for underserved students to become scientists, mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists. In this editorial, he writes, "Far too often, talented math students at schools in low-income communities barely have access to grade-level work, let alone advanced curricula… Rather than letting these high-aptitude students founder, we must find ways to nurture their talent. Students from higher-income high schools graduate from college with majors in science, technology, engineering and math at twice the rate (16 percent) of those from low-income high schools (8 percent)."

Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food Stamps

The Trump administration, brushing aside tens of thousands of protest letters, gave final approval on Wednesday to a rule that will remove nearly 700,000 people from the federal food-stamp program by strictly enforcing federal work requirements. The rule, which was proposed by the Agriculture Department in February, would press states to carry out work requirements for able-bodied adults without children that governors have routinely been allowed to waive, especially for areas in economic distress.

Dual Language Learners' Literacy and Language Development Through Pre-K

Young children need consistent exposure to high-quality, play-based early learning experiences at home and at school for literacy and language to flourish. This is especially true for pre-K children who are dual language learners (DLLs), cultivating these fundamental skills while acquiring a second language. With particular interest in how young DLLs' language and literacy skills develop over time, a new study compares children's development in both English and their home language over the course of one pre-K year.

How to Recognize Dyslexia in Children, Including English Language Learners

Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley, co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute in San Diego, California, says dyslexics learning English can sometimes be overlooked for two reasons: first, there's not a lot of research on the topic and often educators don't know what to look for, and second, reading difficulties can often be attributed to learning a new language.

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