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!
Get these headlines sent to you weekly!
To receive our free weekly newsletter of the week's stories, sign up on our Newsletters page. You can also embed our ELL News Widget.
Note: These links may expire after a week or so, and some websites require you to register first before seeing an article. Colorín Colorado does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside web sites.
The quarantine is hitting the book industry hard, although some say people are reading more than ever. In the end, what other windows to the world do we have? The Internet, yes, but the reading experience provides what no other art provides, a stimulus to the imagination of complete freedom where the reader becomes, in his own way, a co-creator of the story. To celebrate International Book Day, we have visited some of the most interesting and beautiful Latino bookstores in the United States that, as you can imagine, not only promote reading but have strong community ties. Will you join us?
A historic settlement reached between the state and Detroit students calls for $94.5 million in future literacy funding, a $280,000 payout among seven plaintiffs and the creation of two Detroit task forces to help ensure a quality education for students. News of the agreement came after the Detroit students were locked in a nearly four-year legal battle with the state for better school and learning conditions. The lawsuit was brought by seven students who argued they were deprived access to literacy because of a lack of books, teachers and poor building conditions. The proposal faces an uncertain road in the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has fought with the Democratic governor over budget priorities including education spending.
A Stamford, Connecticut, teacher is being heralded a hero after she generously took in the newborn brother of one of her students whose mother sick with the coronavirus. Thirty-two-year-old Luciana Lira teaches at Hart Magnet Elementary School and knew she had to do something when her 7-year-old student Junior's entire family came down with the coronavirus at the same time his mother, Zully, whose last name has not been revealed, was going into labor. So the teacher did what she had to for a family in need.
Administrators at Dorchester School District Two in suburban Summerville, South Carolina, were well aware of the digital divide when they decided to give students both paper and online resources after shuttering schools because of coronavirus. But even their best efforts have some educators worried, especially those who teach English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).
By law, schools must ensure ELLs can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. Schools often fell short of these requirements, even before the current crisis. Tim Boals, executive director of WIDA, a group that provides educational resources for multilingual learners, worries the shutdowns will result in an even greater marginalization of those students. “I think schools are struggling now to serve all their kids, so there is no doubt in my mind that this is an issue,” he said. From phone calls to text messages and handwritten letters, educators employ multiple tools to find what works.
U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has appointed Lorena Orozco McElwain to lead the federal office for English-language-learner education, shaking up a long-standing tradition of selecting candidates with significant experience in bilingual or federal education policy. She takes over as the director of the office of English language acquisition just as language and access barriers threaten to shut many of the nation's nearly English-learners out of the learning process during the widespread coronavirus-related school closures.
Math education can be difficult—for students and teachers. Those difficulties are often magnified when students have learning disabilities such as dyscalculia that can make it difficult to learn math facts or dyslexia that can make it hard to read word problems. Or maybe they are learning English and struggling to grasp math concepts in a new language. In interviews with Education Week, experts—practitioners and researchers—offered perspectives on how to make mathematics instruction best serve those student populations.
Language learning company Rosetta Stone is launching its first Emergent Bilingual Educators of the Year award program. The company is inviting K–12 teachers across the U.S. to submit 800-word essays explaining how a particular EL teacher is helping their students and how the program’s prize money will make a local impact.
When schools moved to virtual learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was growing concern over how English as a second language students would adapt. "I was a little worried," East High School ESL Teacher Catalina Thompson said. "How do we keep the momentum going?"
When schools reopen in the fall, they will look very different than the schools children left in the spring. There will likely be masks, temperature checks and extra space between desks. Nearly 1 out of 5 teachers may not be able to return to school buildings. And looming over schools will be the potential for additional closures forcing students back to remote learning. This new Blueprint for Back to School lays out the issues leaders need to address in these next four months. It is a product reflecting the thinking of 21 former state education chiefs, federal policymakers (spanning the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations), district superintendents and charter school leaders.