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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Teachers' Challenge: Diverse 21st-Century Class

In this editorial, Michael Hamill Remaley, vice president and director of communications for Public Agenda, a nonpartisan public opinion research and public engagement organization based in New York City, writes, "Imagine you are a first-year teacher standing in front of your class tomorrow on the first day of school. What do you see before you? If you're picturing a group of 15 to 20 well-behaved children from similar backgrounds with similar abilities and English-language skills, each prepared to absorb your words of wisdom, you are clearly not envisioning the 21st-century classroom."

Sticking to the Lesson Plan

Adjo Habia has always loved learning. And the 35-year-old African immigrant and native Ewe speaker says she's more enthusiastic than ever about helping her children do the same. With a GED in hand, American citizenship and fluency in English, Habia said she's only just begun. And recently, she was named Literacy Minnesota's Learner of the Year.

First-time Test Takers Post Modest Gains

San Mateo County students who took the California High School Exit Exam for their first time as sophomores showed slight improvement while their counterparts statewide posted stronger gains, according to the 2007-08 results released Tuesday. Statewide, 78 percent of 10th-graders passed math and 79 percent passed English-language arts — both two-point increases, according to the results.

Giving The Gift Of Literacy

With the growing ESL population in our city schools comes a matching number of adults in those households who do not speak English. The work of literacy organizations is imperative in helping these families assimilate into the community.

California School Celebrates Testing Achievements

Ocean Knoll wasn't the highest-scoring school in Encinitas Union School District on recent state tests, but it was by far the most improved. Its latest score on the state's Academic Performance Index — the annual measurement system that the state uses to track schools' progress — jumped by a dramatic 72 points this year, according to state data released last week. None of the eight other schools in the Encinitas Union district can touch that figure.

Santa Rosa Schools Fall Short

Despite making overall gains on student test scores, Santa Rosa City Schools District entered Year 1 of program improvement for meeting only 34 of 38 Annual Yearly Progress federal targets. Latino and economically disadvantaged students and students learning English failed to meet proficiency goals in English language arts, and English-learners also missed the bar in math.

Teachers Use iPods to Help ELLs

Twenty teachers gathered at Steamboat Springs High School for Saturday's "Digitally Speaking" training, with the purpose of exploring how best to use modern technology and multimedia tools for the benefit of their students. "We have elementary teachers looking at creating interventions for kids who are English language learners, so they can acquire language skills with these tools," Holland said. "On the other hand, we have upper elementary teachers who are looking at students having trouble with any subject area — they can focus on lessons for catch-up."

Grant Expected to Help Immigrant Students

While Hernando County may have a relatively low immigrant population compared with other Florida counties, immigrant students still often have unique learning needs. Those needs will soon be addressed with a comprehensive program designed to ease recently arrived immigrants' transition into American society and increase their performance on standardized tests, made possible through a new, $26,000 state grant for local schools.

Program Provides Second Chance to Learn

Monday is International Literacy Day. An estimated 780 million people, or one in five adults, do not know how to read or write, according to the International Reading Association. In Georgia 1.3 million people older than 18 do not have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Coosa Valley Technical College, under the Technical College System of Georgia, has worked to develop literacy programs in Floyd County to help adults who do not know how to read or write, or who do not speak English.

The Changing Face of Adult Literacy

To practice her English, Ada Stiophen writes about the day's events in her diary each night before going to bed. Stiophen is one of 241 adult students who attend one-on-one English lessons at the Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle. Over the past 25 years, the organization has seen its mission evolve dramatically.