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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U of Puerto Rico Students Prep to Spend a Semester at Cornell

Sixty-two students from Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) are getting ready to arrive on campus by mid-January. They’re choosing classes and – almost as importantly – buying winter coats and long underwear online. For one semester, UPR students will leave behind the devastation of Hurricane Maria to study at Cornell. While several universities have offered UPR students in-state tuition, Cornell is one of only four offering one semester of free tuition, room and board; the others are Tulane University, New York University and Brown University.

North Carolina Teacher Is Changing the Lives of Her ESL Students — and Their Families

A group of North Carolina parents walk into Irvin Elementary School in Concord, armed with homemade tamales, tacos, enchiladas, pozole and their children — little Allen and Briana, Alison and Alexander — in tow, for an all-Spanish-language Cinco de Mayo teacher appreciation party. They may have given their children English names, but these parents struggle with English. Astrid Emily Francis, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, hopes the party feels welcoming; for some of the immigrant parents it will be the first time they have walked into the school. Because of the language barrier, coming to school can be intimidating, but tonight they’ll serve and eat with the teachers. They might even play Spanish B-I-N-G-O, and the parents will help the teachers find the right pictures on the cards.

Without Financial Aid, One Teacher Tries to Help Undocumented Seniors

At the start of the New Year, many high school seniors are scrambling to get college applications finished. But for many undocumented students, applying to college is just half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to pay for school, and that can be overwhelming. One Providence teacher is trying to help.

Understanding Vocabulary Through Hand Movements (Video)

At Horning Middle School in Waukesha, Wis., humanities teachers Meredith Sweeny and Shannon Kay introduce the 'Total Physical Response' method to learning vocabulary. This learning strategy is beneficial for students, especially English-language learners, to break down and analyze the roots and endings of vocabulary words by using hand movements and gestures. 

Why Shareholders Are Pushing Apple to Study Smartphone Effects on Kids

Smartphones have changed the way kids live and interact, prompting growing concerns about the consequences. In January, two of Apple's big shareholders called on the maker of the iPhone to come up with ways for parents to restrict their kids' phone use and study the effect that heavy usage has on mental health. John Yang talks to Charles Penner of Jana Partners LLC and Jean Twenge, author of "IGen."

Using Data to Help ELLs Succeed Requires Partnerships, Persistence, Report Argues

Illinois' use of English-language-learner data as an "emerging bright spot" for states looking to better serve and understand the growing, but often misunderstood, student population, according to a report from a Washington-based think tank. In the new report, New America examines how the state's effort to use longitudinal data could serve as a model for other states seeking guidance on how to accurately evaluate the academic growth and needs of their English-language learners. New America also praises Illinois' partnership with the Latino Policy Forum, a Chicago-based advocacy group that advises state on English-learner issues.

University Budgets Suffer After a Drop in International Student Enrollment

After a decade of large-scale growth in overseas enrollment, the number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities is dropping — leading some schools to make budget cuts. It's these students who frequently pay full tuition and fees at American schools, netting more revenue per student than from in-state or scholarship students. Admissions officials say one of the reasons for the decline is a more skeptical view of the U.S. from prospective students.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Just Gave $33 Million to a Scholarship Fund for 'Dreamers'

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have donated $33 million to a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — the biggest grant in the organization’s history. "My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," Jeff Bezos said in a statement Friday. "He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination – and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware – my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships."