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 Dual Immersion Program That’s Unique—and Seeing Academic Returns

If you find yourself in Jenny Yang’s third-grade classroom at Vang Pao Elementary in southeast Fresno, you’ll hear students recite the Pledge of Allegiance in the mornings in the Hmong language. Her classroom is one that’s home to Fresno Unified School District’s Hmong Dual Language Immersion program. After launching in 2018 in response to demands from Fresno’s Hmong community — the second-largest in the country, behind the Hmong population in Minnesota’s Twin Cities — the program is already showing social-emotional and academic benefits.

Afghan student in U.S. starts remote learning program for women and girls back home

Zahra was sitting in class at her New Jersey boarding school when she heard a loud noise and immediately sought cover from what she believed to be an explosion. While her classmates and teacher at the Hun School of Princeton, New Jersey, an all-gender private day and boarding school, continued as if nothing had happened, Zahra was reeling from the trauma of her past. She cried, remembering the bombings and the war, the Taliban taking over her country and forcing girls out of school and women out of work. She began to think about how she could help students, specifically girls, back in Afghanistan. So she partnered with two friends, and together, they created a four-week online English language class for girls in Afghanistan that started in June 2022. They put out an online survey and were surprised by the response: more than 200 girls and women showed interest. 

English Learners Could Gain Support and Clout Under Ed. Secretary’s Plan, Expert Says

From 2002 to 2008, federal formula grants to support English learners’ language development and academic achievement were run by the Office of English Language Acquisition, or OELA, within the U.S. Department of Education. In 2008, those Title III grant funds moved over to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which also oversees Title I funds—the much larger pot of federal money that flows to schools with high concentrations of students from low-income households. Now, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, wants to move the Title III program back to OELA to strengthen the program of under $1 billion. Kathleen Leos is a former assistant deputy secretary and director of OELA, having served in OELA from 2002 through 2007. She recently shared with Education Week her reflections on how the Title III program used to work, how it’s going now, and how it would benefit English learners if it were shifted back to OELA.

Why cultivating emotional intelligence among toddlers has become more urgent

Research and educator surveys show that young children have been severely impacted by pandemic-related stress and trauma, such as the death of loved ones and food and housing security, as well as limited opportunities for social interaction outside of the home. Parents and educators report more young children are hyperactive, fearful, aggressive, and have trouble interacting with peers. Their teachers, too, can benefit tremendously from increased support in coping with sometimes difficult classrooms and behavior. 

How One Teacher Is Strengthening Students’ Emotional Intelligence in 1 Minute a Day

Mari Monroe is a high school teacher in San Diego, and also a yoga instructor. When she started to incorporate elements around mindfulness from her yoga practice into the classroom, she realized her students were eager for that type of instruction. Here, she explains how she teaches and incorporates mindfulness through daily lessons she’s dubbed the ‘Mindful Minute,’ and offers advice for teachers looking to do the same, regardless of their familiarity with the topic.

OPINION: Higher ed can do much more to include immigrants, starting with English instruction

Both four-year universities and community colleges could have a significant role to play in the critical work of providing better access to quality English instruction. But to do so, they must reimagine what English language learning looks like inside and outside their classrooms. It’s imperative that they create personalized, career-focused educational opportunities designed around the needs of all English learners — newcomers as well as those who’ve been living and working in the U.S. for years — and the labor market.