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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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.

States Ponder ESL Limits in Schools

In a high school classroom, Xavier Chavez is trying to teach teenagers about Manifest Destiny — the 19th-century belief that the United States was divinely fated to stretch from sea to shining sea. But these students are children of immigrants, and they first have to learn English. They might soon have to learn it faster if Oregon voters approve a ballot measure in November to limit the amount of time students can spend in English-as-a-second-language classes.

Teacher's Challenge: Diverse 21st Century Class

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.

Teachers Can Be "Dream Makers or Gatekeepers"

Teachers can be "dream makers or gatekeepers," said Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, where she became the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field. Kickbusch, 54, a motivational speaker who grew up in poverty in a Texas border town, encountered both kinds of adults at her high school.

Schools Prepare for More Refugees

More than 100 new Burmese refugees will enter the Utica City School District this fall, and another 15 are expected in Rome. To prepare, both districts are working to accommodate the needs of students — who do not speak English — as they look for more funding and new ways to teach the curriculum.

L.A. Unified Elementary School Experiments with Dual-Language Program

Twenty kindergartners gathered expectantly around their teacher Wednesday, the first day of an urban experiment nearly two years in the making at Aldama Elementary School in Highland Park, Los Angeles. They are going to learn Spanish and English and, teacher Amanda Kunkel promised, have fun. Lots of mothers and fathers have a tough time letting go on the first day of school. But it was especially difficult for some Aldama parents who brought equal parts of idealism and economic reality to work with L.A. Unified officials on starting a Spanish and English immersion program at their neighborhood campus.