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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At a Northern Virginia school, parents of different backgrounds speak the same language

The women walked into the cafeteria to heap the table with food: brownies brushing pupusas, glazed doughnuts grazing platanos fritos. Putting down the spoon, Landeros, a parent liaison at the elementary school in Northern Virginia, smiled as she surveyed the merry, multicultural scene. The late-December gathering marked the second Christmas celebration hosted by From Neighbors to Friends, a parent group — among the first of its kind in Alexandria City Public Schools — that provides language lessons and fosters friendships between English- and Spanish-speaking mothers.

New Leadership Announced at School Library Journal, Library Journal

Today, MSI Information Services announced the appointment of new leadership for the company’s flagship media brands. Rebecca T. Miller has been named Group Publisher of Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book. Kathy Ishizuka has been named Editor-in-Chief of School Library Journal.

Three Kings Day is big in these Latino households, despite Santa's pull

Can The Three Kings compete with Santa Claus? They definitely do in Ishel Vidal's household in Houston, Texas. The 36-year-old photographer and her husband have opted to give their children, ages 14 and 7, most of their holiday presents on Three Kings Day, celebrated on Jan. 6. instead of on Christmas Day. While it's been a rich holiday tradition in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean, Chia Santiago, 91, can attest to how the celebration has taken a back seat to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — unlike her childhood days.

A Sandy Hook Parent's Letter to Teachers

Nelba Marquez-Greene's 6-year-old daughter Ana was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings. In this letter to teachers, written a year after the attack, she writes, "As another school year begins and old routines settle back into place, I wanted to share my story in honor of the teachers everywhere who care for our children."

ELLs’ Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Teaching" has been opening minds and shaping futures for over 30 years. ELL Teacher Julie Rowell was named a 2019-20 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. Rowell's ELL classes engage students who typically have only two to three years of English, propelling them via group learning projects and individualized strategies that have them swiftly engaged in conversations. Her students regularly advance more than a year per grade, and Rowell helps put them on a pathway to higher education by deploying the student-centric AVID system (Advancement Via Individual Determination).

School Librarian Cicely Lewis Wins 2019 National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers

Cicely Lewis, a Georgia high school librarian who challenges students to "Read Woke," has been awarded the 2019 National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers. Lewis created the Read Woke challenge in 2017 in response to growing concern among students about the shootings of unarmed Black boys, the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the lack of diversity in young adult literature.

District staff reach out to Hispanic families through Spanish-language parent nights

For nearly five years, teachers and staff at Lake Elmo Elementary have been working with the Hispanic families that attend the elementary school to create lasting partnerships. Brandon Auge, a English Language teacher at Lake Elmo Elementary, said opportunities for staff to meet with parents are very important. "It provides an opportunity for us to learn how we can be more responsive to the families that we're serving," Auge said. "If we learn more about the lived experience of our families, the better we can all be. It’s about is getting to know and understand the successes and the challenges that all of our families are having, and providing a really intentional opportunity to learn about that, so we can respond to it."

Partnering to Support English Learners

More than 12 percent of students in Clover Park School District are English Language Learners (ELL). Traditionally, ELL students in Clover Park were pulled out of their regular class for up to 45 minutes at a time to work directly with ELL teachers. It was a balancing act that meant less time with peers in favor of more time learning language skills. However, in recent years, the district focused on keeping students in the classroom as much as possible.

Despite Warnings, Trump Moves to Expand Migrant Family Detention

Amid a wide-ranging campaign to discourage migration to the United States, President Donald Trump has vowed repeatedly to end the practice he calls "catch and release," under which migrants are allowed to live freely in the United States while their lengthy immigration cases are in process. The administration wants to expand the system of secure facilities where migrant families can be incarcerated for months or longer. In late November, Justice Department lawyers appealed a federal judge's decision that blocked the government’s attempt to eliminate a 20-day time limit on most family detentions.