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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Life Is a 'Grande Fiesta': Children's Book Author Celebrates Publication, Life

With a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in marketing and mass communications, Caren McNelly McCormack's job in high-tech marketing was missing something back in the 1990s. Today, McNelly McCormack's decision to leave marketing in 1997 and change career caps to freelance writing is paying off with the publication of her first children's book, <em>The Fiesta Dress: A Quinceañera Tale</em> (Marshall Cavendish, 2009).

Sagging Economy Boosts English Language Class Enrollment

The sinking economy has spurred demand for English classes, while at the same time cuts in education budgets have left some of the programs without classrooms, California education officials say. While there has always been a high demand for English classes, recently more students are calling and walking up to registration counters at local community colleges throughout the county, hoping to sign up for one of the hundreds of classes offered during summer sessions, according to education officials.

'The Today Show' Hosts Discussion on Bilingual Education

In her Learning the Language Blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "'The Today Show' broadcasts an interview with Ron Unz, who financed the effort to curtail bilingual education in California back in 1998, for a segment that attempts to answer the question, 'Should education in the U.S. be bilingual?' The show stresses how the Hispanic student population has grown dramatically in this country in places that didn't traditionally receive a lot of immigrants, such as North Carolina."

2009 Ohio Fatherhood Summit Aims to Celebrate, Strengthen Dads

The Rev. Max Rodas uses the word "familismo" to describe the warm, family-centered culture for which the Latino community is known, even as he worries the term evokes a bygone era. "I think it's changing," said Rodas, the pastor of a Spanish-speaking congregation on Cleveland's West Side. "I think we're a people in flux." That's one reason Rodas was eager to join the recent 2009 Ohio Fatherhood Summit in downtown Cleveland.

First Class: Somali Bantus Graduate from Lewiston High

Iman Osman, Abdinoor Hassan, and Osman Bashir flashed big smiles as they posed in their graduation caps. Like all members of the Class of 2009, there was a lot of pride when they received their diplomas June 5, but the ceremony was extra special for them. They and Fatuma Hassan are the first four Somali Bantus to graduate from Lewiston High School, said their mentor, Sheikh Mohamed, spokesman for the Somali Bantus of Lewiston, ME.

Mom and Daughter Attend College Together

Eloisa Rangel and Susan Orozco are roommates, and classmates at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. They also are mother and daughter, survivors of domestic abuse. To those who work with victims of domestic violence, they represent the kind of success story that can happen when given the support it takes to move beyond their many obstacles and become self-sufficient, happy, and healthy individuals.

Sotomayor Shaped By Her 'Nuyorican' Roots

Sonia Sotomayor has called the stretch of Southern Boulevard in New York City's South Bronx the center of her childhood universe. Sotomayor has said she never thought of herself as a minority back then because most of the neighborhood was Hispanic, and has called herself "Nuyorican" — a term derived from blending the words "New York" and "Puerto Rican."

Scholars Make Case for Integration

A study presented on Capitol Hill last week provides new evidence that black and Latino children who attend elementary schools with high concentrations of minority students fare worse academically than students being taught in whiter, or more integrated, school settings. The paper, written by two researchers from Teachers College, Columbia University, was among several studies presented at a recent briefing organized by three universities to marshal new ideas and evidence for integrating K-12 schools.

Opinion: The Unexamined Educational Experience of Chinatown Immigrants

Imagine that you are a new student at a high school. Amid your English-speaking peers and unfamiliar surroundings, you find yourself walking into classrooms where you barely understand the words that your teachers say. When you go home to your one-room apartment, your parents have a pile of bills for you to translate, and your household's financial "stability" hangs in the balance by the unstable minimum wage jobs that your parents (and possibly you) hold&#133;This is the reality faced in San Francisco by hundreds of children of immigrants.

Schools Reaching out to Portuguese Community

Multicutural Magnet School in Bridgeport, CT was established nearly three decades ago on the premise of being a tri-lingual school — teaching every child Spanish or Portuguese in addition to English. There are just 25 students from Portuguese-speaking backgrounds, however, and one for whom English is not their native language. As a result, officials at Multicultural are examining strategies for boosting the the representation of Portuguese students at the school.