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!

Get these headlines sent to you weekly!

To receive our free weekly newsletter of the week's stories, sign up on our Newsletters page. You can also embed our ELL News Widget.

Note: These links may expire after a week or so, and some websites require you to register first before seeing an article. Colorín Colorado does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside web sites.

Responding to COVID Bullying, Bias, and Violence Against Asian Americans

Learn how schools can respond to the increase in bullying of Asian American and Pacific Islander students during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Colorín Colorado section includes articles about the issue, classroom resources, and more, as well as resources in response to the shooting deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, in Atlanta, Georgia.

COVID Stories to Remember: The Irish are repaying a favor from 173 years ago in Native Americans’ fight against coronavirus

More than 170 years ago, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma didn’t have much. The tribe suffered devastation starting in 1831, when it became the first of many Native American tribes to be forcibly removed from its homeland in the SoutheasternU.S. Disease, starvation and severe winter weather took the lives of at least 4,000 Choctaws and thousands of other Native Americans in what some historians have called the “Indian Holocaust.” Sixteen years after they arrived in what is now Oklahoma, the Choctaws tried to rebuild their lives. At a tribal meeting, they heard of families struggling to survive Ireland’s infamous Potato Famine. They took up a collection, pooled together $170 and sent it to a group collecting money in New York. Fast-forward to the worst pandemic in modern times: The Irish are repaying the generosity they received two centuries earlier from Native Americans. About 24,000 donors from Ireland have given roughly $820,000 in an online fundraiser operated by Native American volunteers to buy food and supplies for families on the Hopi and Navajo reservations in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

COVID Stories to Remember: Teacher Takes In Her Student’s Newborn Brother After His Entire Family Falls Ill With COVID-19

A Stamford, Connecticut, teacher is being heralded a hero after she generously took in the newborn brother of one of her students whose mother sick with the coronavirus. Thirty-two-year-old Luciana Lira teaches at Hart Magnet Elementary School and knew she had to do something when her 7-year-old student Junior's entire family came down with the coronavirus at the same time his mother, Zully, whose last name has not been revealed, was going into labor. So the teacher did what she had to for a family in need.

COVID Stories to Remember: ESL teacher raises $21,000 for immigrant students hit hard by coronavirus

Mariel Vallano says it’s the honor of her life to teach her seventh and eighth-grade students, young scholars who are now acclimating to their first year in America. But the cruel challenges of coronavirus were never within the realm of possibility for the families Vallano now knows so well, families who were struggling to begin with. She set out on a mission to distribute $100 grocery gift cards to all of her students’ families in Ward 4, with numerous parents’ service jobs slashed and food insecurity a growing threat. Vallano’s GoFundMe page in the weeks since has been supercharged. A fundraising effort that once aspired to approach $2,000 has now surpassed $21,000.

COVID Stories to Remember: For English Language Learners, School Ties Are Key To Overcoming Pandemic Challenges

On Tuesday, the Manchester, New Hampshire School District announced tentative plans to expand in-person classes from two days a week to four, starting in May. And at Manchester West High School in Manchester, that experiment is well underway. For over a month, staff there have been encouraging students who are learning English as a second language and others needing extra help to come in four days a week. And getting students re-engaged a year into the pandemic is a massive effort.

COVID Stories to Remember: For Kids Who Don’t Have Books at Home, Communities Are Working to Reach Them

When school and public libraries closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and teens lost access to books. With few books at home, some students don't have adequate reading material to support their school assignments or their independent reading. As we work to increase students' access through school and library initiatives to loan books, we must also increase how many books young people own at home. Several community groups have set up free book baskets outside their schools or local laundromats. Coordinating with local independent bookstores and community organizations, some school districts have set up accounts for families to order a few books for their children and receive them by mail. Communicating with students and families via email or phone, many educators are driving around school neighborhoods, picking up and delivering books to their students through no-contact book exchanges. In communities with Little Free Libraries, educators and families report increased use.

COVID Stories to Remember: Latino college graduates get a virtual, national celebration

Latino graduates from across the country were honored on Friday in a virtual celebration put on by Excelencia in Education, a national organization that works with institutions of higher education to improve Latino college enrollment and completion. “Forty percent of Latinos that go to college are the first in their families to go,” Excelencia co-founder and CEO Deborah Santiago said. “This is an important milestone. We thought as a national organization, what can we do? Even in these turbulent times, we cannot forget we’re feeding hope as well.” The hour-long celebration, which was live on Facebook, featured appearances by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation President Allan Goldston and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas. Journalist Maria Hinojosa, host of NPR's "Latino USA," delivered a keynote speech to the graduates.