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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Fearing Deportation, Immigrant Families in Tri-State Are Forgoing Needed Food Benefits

Some immigrants in the tri-state area are giving up free food from the government and charitable groups, saying they'd rather risk hunger than deportation.  Several local anti-poverty groups tell the I-Team their immigrant clients are asking for help getting off the food stamp rolls because they fear accepting the benefit will expose them to scrutiny from federal immigration officials. 

Kindergarten Bill Becomes Rare Instance of Bipartisanship in N.H. Legislature

Tuesday saw Gov. Chris Sununu's maiden visit to testify before a legislative committee, on a bill to expand full-day kindergarten to more school districts. And from the start, Sununu made it clear he sees the policy as one that could define his time as governor. Sununu’s proposal, which would target aid based on a community’s tax base, its number of low-income students and those who speak English as a second language, cleared the state Senate, 21-2.

How War and Years of Lost Education Have Devastated Syrian Children — And What Can Be Done to Help

More than a third of schools in Syria have closed since the war began six years ago; a recent report found more than 1.7 million children and youth are not attending classes. David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the devastating effects of trauma and the long-term consequences of a generation of children missing out on quality education.

Once Routine, ICE Check-Ins Now Fill Undocumented Immigrants with Anxiety

Florinda Lorenzo has been in the U.S. illegally for more than a decade but checks in with federal immigration agents in Baltimore several times a year. Until recently, it had become routine, almost like a trip to the dentist. Many undocumented immigrants — like Lorenzo —are not in hiding. Hundreds of thousands of them report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a regular basis. They've been allowed to stay because past administrations considered them a low priority for deportation. But with the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration, that once-routine check-in has become a nerve-wracking experience. Lorenzo came to the U.S. from Guatemala 14 years ago. She has three children, two of them U.S. citizens who were born here.

North Carolina Elementary School Holds First Spanish Spelling Bee

You could hear a pin drop in the cafeteria at W.M. Irvin Elementary as fourth-grader Ranferi Perez spelled his last word. The students in the audience learned forward, hanging on every letter that he spoke and watching the judges. As Perez finished his word, he looked to English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Emily Francis, ready for her to confirm that he was correct or give him the bad news that he was off by a letter. After just a moment, Francis smiled as she informed Perez that he was the winner of the first Spanish Spelling Bee for W.M. Irvin and Cabarrus County Schools.

"Get It The Right Way First": Principal of the Year Finds Success in a Virginia School

Growing up in rural Tennessee, Nathaniel Provencio was not fond of school and was, in his own words, "a terrible student." As a Hispanic boy in the rural South, "I never saw myself in any of my teachers," Provencio said. He expected to follow his parents, garment-factory workers, into manual labor, and his upbringing was challenged by spells of poverty. In high school, he joined a student club, called Future Teachers of America, not because he was interested in education but because the activities — including tutoring youngsters — got him out of math class occasionally. Then he discovered that he enjoyed it — and decided to become a teacher. Today, Provencio leads Minnieville Elementary School in Woodbridge, Va., and has been named Washington Post Principal of the Year for the D.C. metropolitan area.

Should High School Students Need a Foreign Language to Graduate?

Tennessee caused a stir earlier this year when it ran an audit of the state's 2015 graduating class. The number crunchers in Nashville reported that nearly a third of students who received a diploma didn't complete the required coursework. One in three. A further review of the data revealed a philosophical disconnect between state-level administrators and many rural districts regarding a foreign language requirement for students.

"Fred Korematsu Speaks Up" by Laura Atkins & Stan Yogi | SLJ Review

'A compelling blend of free verse, expository text, and artwork illuminates the life and times of Japanese American activist Fred Korematsu…(who paved) the way for the Civil Liberties Act of 1988…Primary source documents vividly bring the period to life, while time lines and descriptions of contemporary struggles for equality by Chinese, Mexican, and African Americans, among others, offer meaningful context. An endnote provides suggestions for young people who wish to take action against injustice as well as a poignant statement from Korematsu's daughter. An invaluable profile of a civil rights hero whose story deserves greater attention. Middle schoolers will take to the superb writing and original format."

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