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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District 214 Hires Administrator to Support English Language Learners

Officials with Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights have appointed a district principal to an administrative position that supports the district's burgeoning number of students who are English language learners. In her new role, Angela Sisi will work with the district's English language learning staff and parents to ensure the ELL program aligns with the ideal practices and results in higher levels of student achievement, while maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations, officials said.

The Home of Super Bowl 2017 Is Also a Haven for Refugees

All eyes are on Houston, and they were supposed to be on the city for a different reason: Kickoff for Super Bowl LI will take place on Sunday, as the Patriots and the Falcons face off to see who will take home the Lombardi Trophy. But now, in the shadow of the biggest sporting event of the year, the international, diverse city is scrambling to figure out how to deal with a crisis it didn’t see coming. Houston welcomes more refugees than any city in the country each year, and many of them will be working at the Super Bowl as contracted companies have been able to partner with resettlement organizations.

Outstanding International Books: Presenting the 2017 USBBY Selections

After more than a decade of seeking out engaging literature for young people from across the world, the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) continues this endeavor by highlighting impressive international titles that contain literary and artistic value as well as unique cultural perspectives. The 2017 Outstanding International books (OIB) list gathers 41 titles that will delight and enlighten readers with a variety of experiences found within narratives and informational texts from or set in countries such as Brazil, Netherlands, India, Norway, Australia, and our neighbor to the north, Canada.

How This Educator Is Guiding Liberian Girls Toward School

Liberia has had more than its fair shares of challenges, and is trying to rebuild after enduring a devastating Ebola epidemic and civil war. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro meets an American woman who has made her home in Liberia, started her own school and now provides education and scholarships for girls.

Appeals Court Backs Injunction for ELL Program Sought by Refugee Students

A federal appeals court has upheld an injunction allowing refugee students with limited English proficiency in a Pennsylvania school district to transfer from an alternative school for underachievers to a regular high school with special help for English-language learners. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, unanimously ruled for a group that includes students with limited or interrupted formal education, or SLIFE, who had fled war and violence in countries including Burma, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, and Tanzania.  The Lancaster school district assigned the students, who were generally 18 to 21 years old, to the Phoenix Academy, an alternative school run by a for-profit provider focusing on "accelerated credit recovery" but which court papers say focused on seat time, stringent security measures, and a strict dress code. English-language learners at the academy take one English-as-a-second-language class but otherwise learn all their other subjects with the general population.

‘When our students arrive Monday morning, many haven’t eaten a real meal since they left school on Friday’

Pamela Davis Smith is the principal of Highland View Elementary in Bristol, Virginia. She writes, "When our students arrive Monday morning, many haven't eaten a real meal since they left school on Friday. Across Virginia, more than 300,000 children live in food-insecure households, meaning they don’t have reliable access to nutritionally adequate and safe food. Thanks to state and federal programs, we can provide all of our students with three no-cost meals at school and a weekend snackpack."

Teach Students Resilience, Empathy, and More with Social Emotional Learning Strategies

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the ability to understand and manage one's emotions, "feel and show empathy for others," develop and keep positive relationships, and make good decisions. While the concept has been around since the 1960s, it is gaining new attention in education settings as a way to help children build resilience during the school years and beyond, manage stress, engage well with others, and gain confidence as learners. With schools now integrating SEL concepts into their strategic plans, all staff members, not just counselors or social workers, are finding ways to support them. School librarians, for instance, look for ways to use literature and other media resources to teach SEL ideas.

Response: Understanding the Benefits of a Student's Home Language

The new "question-of-the-week" is: What is the role, if any, of an ELL student's home language in the classroom? In Part One of this series, Melissa Eddington, Wendi Pillars, Tracey Flores, Sandy Ruvalcaba Carrillo, and Mary Ann Zehr offered their thoughts. You can listen to a 10-minute conversation I had with Melissa, Wendi and Tracey on my BAM! Radio Show. You can also find a list of, and links to, previous shows here. In Part 2, Rosa Isiah, Tan Huynh, Karen Nemeth, Sarah Thomas contribute their responses to the question.

Analyzing Trump’s Immigration Ban: A Lesson Plan

What will happen in the wake of President Trump's immigration band and subsequent court rulings? Will Mr. Trump's immigration ban be allowed to stand? Will it be ruled illegal by the courts? Will it make America safer? Or will it do the opposite? Does it uphold America’s cherished values, or does it subvert them? These are some of the questions we encourage students to consider in this lesson plan.