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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‘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.

Farina: City Schools Will Protect Immigrant Families, Children, Regardless of Status

Seeking to reassure parents concerned about President Donald Trump's immigration policies, City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina sent home a letter Monday advising that the city and the Department of Education would protect the rights of every child enrolled in the public school system, regardless of  ethnic or religious background or family immigration status. The strongly-worded letter, also signed off by Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, was translated into ten languages.

Universities Grapple With Trump's Executive Order On Immigration

At universities across the country, students and administrators are protesting President Trump's recent executive order restricting entry to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim nations. Some foreign-born students and professors are stuck abroad, and in the U.S., many more are worried that the order will have wide-ranging impacts on academia. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it's senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal's not who he thought he was, who is he?  Librarian Amy Caldera writes, "The themes of love, social responsibility, death, and redemption are expertly intertwined with well-developed characters and a compelling story line. This complex, sensitive, and profoundly moving book is beautifully written and will stay with readers."

Educators, Advocates React to Trump Administration's Refugee and Travel Ban

Teachers, at least two former education secretaries, and others with links to education are speaking out about President Donald Trump's executive order issued Friday that suspends refugee admissions into the U.S. for 120 days, bars all immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria.

Path to a New Life Takes These Minority High School Graduates Back to Preschool

Sekani Malcolm was serving coffee and pastries at Dunkin' Donuts last month, a 20-year-old high school graduate with no plans to go to college and few aspirations for a solid career. He had struggled in school, where he sometimes found trouble, and he was working the part-time job to help support his 3-month-old daughter. Like many D.C. Public Schools alumni who don't consider college an option, he didn't have clear ideas for his future. Then, in January, he went back to preschool. Malcolm and nine other recent minority graduates have returned to classrooms this school year as literary coaches, teaching preschoolers to read and learn alliteration and rhyming, part of a program that aims to give recent black and Latino male graduates teaching experience.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin | SLJ Audio Review

"In this companion novel to When the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, the Black Tortoise of Winter’s chilly grip hasn’t stopped villagers from trekking up the mountain to hear tales from Amah the Storyteller...In Lin's skilled hands, enchanted readers find themselves 'standing among the villagers as if pulled by a thread' in this companion novel woven tightly with elements from previous tales, creating a rich tapestry of fiction and Chinese folklore. Includes a PDF of Lin's colorful illustrations. VERDICT This charming audiobook is a must-have for middle grade listeners and fans of Lin’s first two novels in the series."