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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Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

When you think of sushi, you probably think of raw fish. But sushi isn't just the most famous Japanese dish outside of Japan, it's also an art form. <em>Hiromi's Hands</em> is a picture book biography about one of the first female sushi chefs in New York City. It's also a great resource to help celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Helping Immigrants Assimilate Brings Acclaim to Nonprofit

As her classmates chatted in Spanish, Edith Guerra carefully fashioned her daughter's graduation cap using sheets of thin cardboard and a hot-glue gun. Then she added the final touch: a handmade tassel of shiny, red string. It was Wednesday morning, just weeks from a commencement ceremony for the group of young, Hispanic mothers and children in an acclaimed early education program called Avance, which aims to help "at risk" families — including new immigrants — break cycles of poverty and illiteracy.

Sotomayor's Record on Education Scrutinized

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's choice for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, has ruled on a variety of issues with implications for education during her 17 years on the federal bench, including cases relating to racial matters, students with disabilities, and the strip-search of adolescents. Several Washington-based organizations that track developments in education law said today they were still reviewing Judge Sotomayor's record for better clues as to the direction she might seek to bring to the high court.

Sonia Sotomayor: Someone to Talk About With ELLs

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is someone with whom English-language learners may be able to identify in classroom discussions about current events. Sotomayor spoke more Spanish than English while growing up, according to news coverage by WABC-TV New York."

Celebrating Asian Heritage at Dragon Boat Festival

Thousands of people, including multi-generational families from across the region and around the world, converged on Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius, NC recently for the 10th annual Asian Festival and 4th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. "The festival celebrates Asian cultures and is an opportunity for the Asian community as a whole to open our doors to the entire community," said Dr. John Chen, who organized the first festival.

Schools Prepare for Devastating Losses of Funding

After voters rejected ballot measures that would have restored state funding for schools, educators across California on Wednesday braced for $5.3 billion in cuts over the next 13 months. State and district officials predicted increased class sizes, additional teacher layoffs, more school closures and fewer arts and music offerings. Some districts could face insolvency.

El Paso School a Haven Along Violent Border

Marina Diaz knows each day could be her last when she leaves for school each morning. But that doesn't stop her from making the trip from her home on the dusty outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a key battleground in Mexico's drug wars, to El Paso, Texas, where she attends high school.

Immigrant Women Are 'Family Stewards' in America

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The top two reasons that immigrant women say they moved to the United States were to join family members already in the country and 'to make a better life' for their children, according to a poll of a representative sample of such women by New America Media. The pollsters interviewed 1,002 immigrant women from Latin American, Asian, African, and Arab countries in August and September of 2008&#133;I'm thinking the findings might be helpful for educators of English-language learners who have a lot of interaction with parents."

'Scratch' Gives Students Tools to Create Interactive Media

Two years ago, computer software engineers at The Media Lab, MIT's innovative technology research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, launched a new and easy-to-use programming language they called Scratch. Since its launch, Scratch has quickly found its way over the Internet into classrooms and homes around the world, putting the creative power of software design into the hands of everyday users, young and old. One teacher using Scratch is Jeff Elkner, whose students are learning English as a second language.

Review: 'Speak American' Fleshes out Complex Immigrant Issues

There's more to speaking American than learning English words and grammar. That distinction is at the heart of Eric Simonson's "Speak American," which City Theatre commissioned as part of the celebratory activities for Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary. Simonson's play focuses on the politics, ambitions, and agendas of everyone connected with an English as a Second Language class for workers at the Homestead mill of U.S. Steel.