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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Success, in Any Language

Last year 9-year-old Yasmin Conchas and her classmates spoke English in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon as part of the two-way language immersion program at Oregon's Phoenix Elementary School. For the second year in a row Phoenix Elementary has beefed up English instruction in its two-way language program in response to reports that non-native Spanish speakers who graduated from the program were struggling with English in middle school.

Latino Students Settle in on Campus

The University of the Pacific recently welcomed new Latino students as part of an initiative to reach a growing Latino minority, to prepare students for working with a diverse population, and to expose the university's students to opportunities abroad in Latin American countries, said Margee Ensign, dean of Pacific's School of International Studies.

Superintendent: "Bilingual Education Didn't Work"

In <em>Education Week</em>'s "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Roger Prosise, the superintendent of the Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein, Ill., makes a compelling case for why Illinois shouldn't mandate bilingual education in schools." A lively and informative debate from the blog's readers follows the posting.

Cañada College Program to Increase Minorities in the Sciences

Jeremy Morales Madrigal, a student at California's Cañada College, has run into very few Latino engineers — an occupation he's pursuing. "I've only met three or four other Latino students even interested in my area of chemical engineering," he said Friday. Cañada seeks to change that with a three-year, $900,000 grant it has received from the federal Department of Education's Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.

State Slow to Raise Preschool Access

The state's two-year effort to create universal access to preschool has so far provided more than 100 programs with new classroom materials, computers, or teacher bonuses but has done little to expand access, according to a report being released today. Despite a waiting list of 4,400 children seeking state financial assistance to attend preschool, the state Department of Early Childhood Education and Care has instead chosen to bolster the academic rigor of existing programs before making them affordable to more children.

High Tech High School Pushes Hispanic Students to Become Top Achievers

A San Diego charter high school is aiming to close the education gaps between students of immigrant families and their counterparts by motivating them to acquire business and science skills and pursue college degrees. Paul Solman of the <em>NewsHour</em> offers the latest in a series of reports on this education initiative.

Some California Dropouts Finish High School but Don't Succeed Beyond, Study Finds

For most high school dropouts, reality sets in sooner or later: Without a high school diploma, their prospects in life are limited at best. A study released Thursday confirms that many California dropouts give school another try. But the California Dropout Research Project also reports that even dropouts who go back to school appear to stand little chance of success in college. And in an economy that increasingly prizes academic success, the outlook is bleak for those who don't return to school at all.

New Year, New Language for Some Students

The first day of school is a mix of excitement and anxiety. There's the new teacher, new classroom, new friends. There are new books, new names, new rules. And for more than 630 students in Virginia's Newport News public schools, a new language. On Tuesday morning, many of those students filled classrooms at Sedgefield Elementary School on Main Street. The elementary school is one of two in the district that provides English as a Second Language, or ESL, instruction. The classes are a blend of students for whom English is their native tongue, and students still mastering the language.

Arizona Still Grappling With Balance on Mandated ELL Instruction

Arizona education officials are giving school districts some room to diverge from a mandate that all English-language learners be taught specific English skills in classrooms separate from other students for four hours a day. Even so, the state is still pushing ahead with its overall requirement that districts provide intensive — and separate — instruction of English skills for those students, despite criticism from experts who say there is little evidence to support that approach.

Elementary Schools Lack Bilingual Aides This Year

Six teachers and two Hispanic parents from California's Barrett Elementary School arrived at a recent trustee's meeting to express their frustration about the lack of bilingual aides at the school this year. Parent Ana Mata's voice was shaky as she relayed a story about a typical day for Barrett's Spanish-speaking parents to a mum school board. The Morgan Hill Unified School District trustees didn't know how to respond to Mata, the mother of a second-grader, partly because at first she pointedly spoke entirely in Spanish even though she knows English. "I agreed to do the speech in Spanish so that you can a little bit relate on how we feel," Mata told the board later, in English. "It's really hard."