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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Ohio Mobile Schools Help Migrants When Work Ends

A growing number of northwest Ohio school districts with migrant education now offer a program that allows teachers to put their classrooms on wheels to help students at nights and on weekends. They're teaching preschoolers whose parents pick vegetables, children who watch younger siblings during the day, and teens working full days picking crops in the fields. Districts hope the program will stress the importance of education among older children who too often would rather work than continue their schooling, said Jose Salinas, director of the Ohio Migrant Education Center in Fremont.

Obama's Big Plan for Little Colleges

President Obama announced a $12 billion plan this week to help the nation's struggling community colleges. It's the federal government's biggest effort to boost access to higher education since the original GI bill after World War II. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez about Obama's plan to increase enrollment at community colleges and other developments in higher education this week.

University of Colorado Receives Funds to Aid Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers

When Ludivina Calderon enrolled in the University of Colorado at Boulder BUENO Center's High School Equivalency Program, or HEP, courses, she likely had no idea how far the program would take her from working the fields between Texas and Colorado. After earning her General Educational Development (GED) certificate in less than a year, Calderon was accepted into the BUENO Center's College Assistance Migrant Program — a program that provides migrant and seasonal farm workers a one-year scholarship.

Elementary Students Learn Chinese over Summer Break

The fifth-grade students in Jie Lian's Mandarin Chinese summer camp spent a recent Tuesday morning practicing the sing-song inflection the dialect requires. The up-and-down cadence of their voices filled the Trantwood Elementary School classroom as the students tried to master their tongues and strike the proper tone. The students were just a portion of the 45 Virginia Beach fifth-graders selected to take part in the Startalk Summer Elementary Chinese Academy.

Helping English Language Learners Prepare for College

It's summer vacation, but Antoine Masereka is in school. The ninth-grader is taking classes at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, VT. When he moved to the United States from the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago, he didn't speak English. But even now that he's passed out of his English as a Second Language program, Antoine says he still needs some help. A new program sponsored by St. Michaels' College and the Burlington School District aims to help English Language Learners like Antoine succeed where ESL has left off -- teaching academic English, not just conversational English.

Local CA Schools Add Bilingual Immersion Programs

The popularity of dual-language classes in Ventura County schools continues to grow, with three schools starting programs this fall. "I think parents throughout the state recognize the value of having their kids be bilingual and bi-literate. It's a huge advantage," said Associate Superintendent Roger Rice of the Ventura County Office of Education.

SMCISD's Online Language Tool Praised

Sixty six San Marcos English as a second language (ESL) students proved that online tools can help with learning a new language. An independent study presented in the National Forum of Teacher Education Journal revealed the effectiveness of an online language program with Hispanic students in ESL classrooms at San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. The study tracked the program's effectiveness over two school years.

Illegal Alphabet

The first thing to notice: The handwriting is, not just beautiful, but careful. Each letter tells a clear, tidy story of a painstaking, determined process. "It you take rush to do something, it doesn't come out well" says Rafael Espana during a break from his custodial duties at Pine Middle School. Espana has been working on a journal of words, phrases and sentences in English and Spanish since he came to the United States 35 years ago. It's now been published in book form as <i>Rafael Espana's Journal: Everyman's Everyday Words, Phrases, Sentences from Mexican Spanish to American English</i>.

Culture, Diversity Celebrated

First-generation children of immigrants can have difficulty forming an identity as an American while at the same time retaining their cultural heritage. That's why Waukegan Unit School District 60 launched a new summer program this year, which culminated Sunday with a celebration of cultures event. "Children have learned how to be acclimated here (in America) and still be proud of their culture," said Marilyn Krajenta, English Language Learners program director.

The Children at the Judge's Bronx School

The hardwood floor was shiny yet scuffed, from the tiny chairs and desks that have rubbed against it for generations. The open windows let in a cool breeze. The pencil sharpener on the window sill sat at attention, as did Dorothy Faustini's fourth- and fifth-grade math students. Lately, students at Blessed Sacrament have been doing a lot of talking about what they want to be, as the most famous graduate in the school's nearly 80-year history has been all over the television, appearing this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.

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