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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Bilingual education helped this 2nd grade classroom thrive after pandemic setbacks

On a recent morning in teacher Geri Ross's classroom at Marion Elementary School, second graders sat at clusters of desks, singing songs and reading stories in Spanish. The students have spent the past school year in a pilot class that is testing bilingual education in the Ritenour School District. Just across the river in Illinois, schools are required to provide bilingual education in some classrooms. But Missouri schools have found it difficult to start similar programs. As educators search for ways to help students who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, Ritenour leaders say its pilot class has had a hugely positive effect on students’ confidence and their test scores.

After mastering English, bilingual students ace tests, including the MCAS

Former English learners — students who were once ELs, and shed that status when they mastered English — often emerge as high achievers, matching or surpassing their peers’ performance in school and on standardized tests, including the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS.

Harini Logan of Texas wins National Spelling Bee in first-ever spell-off

Harini Logan, a 14-year-old from Texas, won the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee late Thursday night in a dramatic, unprecedented spell-off. Harini, who was competing in the bee for the fourth time, correctly spelled 21 words in a rapid-fire 90-second burst at National Harbor in Maryland, outlasting runner-up Vikram Raju, 12, of Colorado, who correctly spelled 15. The spell-off followed several heart-stopping rounds during which neither contestant was able to prevail.

Top Albany High School students are English language learners

In Albany High School’s AP calculus class sits the school’s valedictorian and salutatorian, who are both wrapping up the school year and are both English language learners. For Pyae Sone Hmine, this year’s valedictorian, the end of high school brings mixed emotions. He moved to the district in the midst of the pandemic, and only really got a taste of being inside an Albany classroom last September. Before coming to the Capital Region, Hmine and his family lived in Myanmar.Tonema Mitra, the class’s salutatorian, family moved to the United States from Bangladesh six years ago. "I'm really proud of that, honestly. I think that it's amazing to show how when you have the determination and the confidence to do something, you can actually do it," said Mitra.

Teachers of the Year Say Educators Deserve More Trust

Curiosity and creativity were on display when dozens of top teachers from around the U.S. gathered on the National Mall at the end of April. While reflecting on the state of their profession, each member of a trio of honorees expressed a variation of the following observation: Teachers are experts who deserve more trust.

Meeting needs of English language learners

Helping students succeed in the classroom is a goal of the ELL program in Quincy, Illinois' school district, serving 35 students to date this school year, up from 23 in the previous two years, speaking nine languages. “We are seeing a little bit of an increase in the number of students coming in and identified as English Language Learners,” QPS Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Kim Dinkheller said.

Arizona Department of Education grants $10M to English Learners Program

The Arizona Department of Education announced Thursday its award of $10 million for an English Language Learners program through a collaboration with nonprofit WestEd.The targeted funding will go  toward WestEd’s Quality Teaching for English Learners, which will implement rigorous, generative instruction for students to accelerate learning, according to a press release.

New study reveals hidden facts on college for California Asian American and Pacific Islander students

Although college graduation and degree attainment rates are among the highest in the state for Asian American Californians, the same can’t be said for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in California.  The vast diversity of the racial groups can hide that Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in California have lower admission rates into the University of California and Asian Americans have low transfer rates from the California Community Colleges, according to a report released today by the Campaign for College Opportunity, a nonprofit research organization. 

Dancing after social distancing: NYC students learn to waltz together again

For two years, the COVID pandemic meant that the nonprofit Dancing Classrooms, which offers lessons at schools across New York City, had to figure out how to teach students how to waltz, swing, and rumba without touching their partners or even coming within three feet of one another. But about a month after the mandate to wear masks in schools ended in March, also marking the end of social distancing requirements, the nonprofit decided it was time for students to once again take each other by the hand.