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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Found in Translation: Bilingual Students Train at UA

Around one-third of Arizona's population says that English is not their primary language and they have difficulty speaking or understanding it. The University of Arizona, in tandem with Pima Community College's Translation Studies Program, is intending to solve that problem. High school seniors and college-bound students are flocking to the UA for a summer interpretation class. They are being trained to be professional interpreters in a three-week summer program known as the Professional Language Development Program.

Denver Metro Districts Enroll Diversity

When Debbie Smith left her teaching position in southwest Denver for a job in a Cherry Creek district school, she anticipated a classroom filled with rich, white kids. What she found at Eastridge Elementary in southwest Aurora were children of refugees and immigrants and a third-grade classroom even more diverse than the one she left in Denver.

Ed. Dept. to Allow Waivers for Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Department of Education has released draft guidance to states and school districts on how to apply for waivers that would give them more flexibility in spending economic-stimulus money tied to Title I, the federal program for schools with high numbers of students in poverty. Districts are required to set aside up to 20 percent of their Title I dollars to pay for students in low-performing schools to receive tutoring outside the regular school day, referred to as "supplemental educational services," or transportation to higher-performing schools if students choose to transfer.

The Education of Sonia Sotomayor

The first time she walked into my office in Princeton University's Dickinson Hall, Sonia Sotomayor was holding a paper she'd written for my Contemporary Latin America course. She was not the best student I taught in my seven years at Princeton -- though she certainly was high on the list -- but she was the one who took greatest advantage of the opportunities there and emerged most transformed by her experience.

Music Used to Teach Language

Four young pairs of eyes are trained quietly on instructor Patti Tryhus. She tells her eager pupils to align their noses, elbows and toes with the strings of their violins. She reminds them to have good posture and distribute weight evenly across both feet. Nearby, a small handful of music educators and academicians are holding their breath, anxious to see how well these four English-language learning students can play.

Sotomayor: Tough Kid Turns Unintimidated Judge

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings next week on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would be the 111th justice to serve, the third woman and the first Hispanic. Sotomayor grew up in a tough New York neighborhood but demonstrated that with hard work, she could change her circumstances.

What Do You Think an Ideal Teacher of ELLs Knows and Can Do?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is inviting the public to comment on standards it has developed for what the organization calls "teachers of English as a new language." I call them teachers of English-language learners. The standards will be used as a basis for requirements for teachers who become nationally certified as teachers of English as a new language by the organization, a process that is open to content teachers as well as English-as-a-second-language teachers.

Ireland: Parents Agree to Compromise in Irish Language Row

A dispute over language that divided a school community in the Kerry Gaeltacht has been resolved -- and all sides say they are happy. The row centered on whether pupils were entitled to an education through both English and Irish at a school with an all-Irish policy.

For 51 Years, Dodger Announcer Calls Games in Spanish

Most fans of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers are familiar with legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. But the Dodger's organization includes another Hall of Fame broadcaster. Jaime Jarrin has been calling games in Spanish for 51 years. Renee Montagne went to Dodger Stadium, and talked with Jarrin, who has become a major figure in Hispanic broadcasting.