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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Encyclopedia Provides Comprehensive Look at Bilingual Education

A new encyclopedia of well-researched, non-technical articles edited by an Arizona State University Professor is being hailed as a first-stop reference for accepted knowledge in the controversial and dynamic field of bilingual education. The encyclopedia links bilingual education to its many areas of direct socio-cultural impact, including issues of language and literacy, diversity, education equity, and the effects of shifting demographics across the United States.

Columnist: Don't Water Down Florida's Teacher Training for ELLs

In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The Miami Herald published a column by Myriam Marquez over the weekend who opines that it would be a mistake for Florida education officials to reduce the number of training hours that reading teachers who work with English-language learners need to receive on how to teach such students… Florida has educators on both sides of the issue who have been very feisty in making sure their views are heard, which is why, I imagine, this issue is not going away anytime soon."

Expert Touches on Education for Latinos

Helping a growing Latino population send its children to college is going to require creative thinking about the nation's universities, an expert in Latino education said last week during a conference at East Carolina University on Latino issues. Antonio Esquibel, an author, professor emeritus and member of the board of trustees at Metropolitan State College in Denver, was the keynote speaker during a conference on building leadership to help Latinos access education.

Exhibit Brings Refugees' Plight Home to Students

All you can eat for the entire day: 2 1/2 cups of rice, 1 1/2 cups of beans, a few grams of salt and sugar, and half an ounce of oil to cook with. For days, months, maybe even years, this is the extent of what's on the menu. "No guacamole, no tortillas or enchiladas," added Dr. Tomoko Kurokawa, a local physician who told 14 middle school students from South Los Angeles about life in refugee camps. It's a stand-out moment in the traveling exhibit, "A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City," organized by Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian aid agency that has won the Nobel Peace Prize for relief efforts in war-torn nations.

Restricting Bilingual Education in Oregon

Oregon voters will decide next week whether to ban bilingual education in favor of fast-track English learning classes. Over the last ten years, voters in three states have passed laws tightly restricting how much help students can get in their native languages. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Rob Manning reports.

Opinion: Two Languages, One Future

Heath Dollar, a teacher ESL at Schrade Middle School in Rowlett, TX, writes in this column, "In America's classrooms, the issue of immigration is post-political. The simple fact is that immigrant children attend this country's public schools, and our teachers are contractually obliged to educate them. In truth, our nation's future depends on properly educating our immigrant population."

Unions Battle for Democrats in Swing States

Teachers' unions around the country have shifted into high gear in the countdown to the presidential election next week, and nowhere is the fervor more evident than in the battleground states. Affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have been campaigning with every tool at their disposal. The two national unions, which have both endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, have raised and spent large sums of money on this election.

Untapped Talents of Educated Immigrants

One in five college-educated immigrants in the United States is unemployed or working in an unskilled job such as a dishwasher, fast-food restaurant cashier or security guard, depriving the U.S. economy of the full potential of more than 1.3 million foreign-born workers, according to a study released yesterday.

Sharing Languages, Students Gain an Edge

Parents, students, and officials at Massachusetts' Arnone Elementary School agree that an innovative bilingual language-immersion program called Two-Way Spanish, which is in its seventh year, has proven to be a success. The program integrates native Spanish-speaking students with native English-speaking students so that each can learn the languages, not only from teachers, but from each other. With Brockton's increasingly diverse population, the benefits can be seen in everyday life.

Teaching Parents

Pete Paukstelis, president of the Manhattan-Ogden Board of Education, isn't asking parents to accept all the responsibility for their child's academic success. But he is asking them to accept some of it. Paukstelis, who said parental involvement is "something (the board) has talked about on and off over the last few years," nominated the topic for discussion at a special board of education retreat Wednesday evening. The goal, he said: "To find out what we can do better'' to promote it.