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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Students Take Lyrical Approach to Learning English

Teachers struggling to instruct ever-growing numbers of children who don't speak English have found that singing with their students hits the right note. Throughout California's central San Joaquin Valley, for example, where one in four students are still learning English, singing is a proven technique to expand children's vocabulary. Nevertheless, although there is growing research on pairing songs with learning English, music instruction in elementary schools is declining because of budget cuts and pressure on teachers to focus on math and English.

From The Fields To The Classroom: A Mother's Tale

Lourdes Villanueva's parents were migrant workers who harvested fruit throughout the South. Recently, she told her son Roger what it was like in the 1960s trying to get an education while her family was constantly on the move. Villanueva says that everywhere her family went, even if they only planned to stay and pick crops for a month or so, her mother made sure to enroll the children in school.

Parent Involvement Focus of California Conference

The best advice Gloria Rodarte could give parents is to get involved. "In any which way possible," she said through a translator. "Go to your child's school, but not to ask 'What's going on?' But rather 'What can I do to help?"' Parent involvement was the focus of Wednesday's Ontario-Montclair School District's 35th annual Parent Leadership Conference 'Working Together for a Better Future.'

Speaker: Focus Should Be on Hispanic Students' Success

Many Hispanic students in Illinois, particularly in high school, have struggled with state tests, like the ISAT and PSAE. Lourdes Ferrer would like to change that. Ferrer, a nationally known expert in Hispanic educational achievement, recently spoke at Hester Junior High School in Franklin Park, IL about ways Hispanic students can succeed.

Schools Say Stimulus Package Is Too Late

President Obama said in his address to Congress Tuesday that education is one of his top priorities. He's offering up $115 billion toward schools in his stimulus package. However, local school officials say that money may not be enough.

A College Student Fights Deportation

Juan Gomez came to America illegally as a child. His parents and grandmother had to return to their native Colombia. Now Juan, a Georgetown University student, faces deportation and is fighting to stay.

English-Only Bill May Reach Oklahoma House

Several measures in the Oklahoma legislature that propose making English the official language of the state are advancing through both the House and the Senate. One of them, House Joint Resolution 1042, written by Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, would make English the official language of Oklahoma to prevent the state from having to provide taxpayer-funded services in any language other than English, Terrill said.

Obama Puts Spotlight on Education Deficit

President Obama on Tuesday laid out a series of challenges for the nation to meet in job training and college attainment, part of an effort to give every child a "complete and competitive education." The president, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, said his administration would provide the support needed to give the U.S. the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. He said there was a vital need for Americans to complete more years of education if the nation is to compete globally.

N.Y.C. Test Sizes Up ELLs with Little Schooling

The New York City school district has rolled out what is believed to be the first academic diagnostic test in the country designed solely for English-language learners who have missed years of schooling. The district has identified 15,500 out of its 148,000 English-language learners who are "students with interrupted formal education," or SIFE. That subset of ELLs has grown rapidly over the past decade, with about 3,000 to 5,000 students entering the school system each school year.