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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Schools in England Introduce a New Subject: Mindfulness

Students in England already learn about mathematics, science and history, but hundreds of schools are preparing to expand the traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness. In up to 370 English schools, students will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health, the British government said on Monday. They will work with mental health experts to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other methods to “help them regulate their emotions,” the government said in a news release announcing the program.

Baltimore County schools are rapidly adding students. More than half are immigrants or speak another language.

Baltimore County's school system is absorbing a wave of immigrants that has fueled rising enrollments the past few years, adding thousands of students who teachers say are enriching their schools but also stretching the system to find additional seats and new ways to teach them. While the largest number of foreign-born students are from Central America, the newcomers are from around the world. The second-most commonly spoken foreign language in Baltimore County schools after Spanish is Yoruba, a language of Nigeria. Across the system, students come from 116 countries and speak 97 different languages.

Undergraduate students engage with Latino farmworker community through course

Because of significant labor shortages, Pennsylvania's dairy farms rely on Spanish-speaking immigrants as a key source of labor. However, cultural differences and language barriers can leave employers and workers lost in translation, affecting workers' well-being and community connection, and ultimately, farm viability. A new, innovative community service-learning course — "Service-Learning with Pennsylvania Farmworkers" — offered by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is aimed at breaking down those barriers.

New resources for colleges to benefit deaf children using English as an additional language

New resources will be available for nurseries, schools and colleges to benefit 6,500 deaf children using English as an additional language. A new booklet and video are being launched with practical advice and strategies for teachers and education professionals to help children overcome these challenges and learn at the same pace as their hearing classmates. These resources are free of charge and the National Deaf Children's Society is urging all schools who work with these deaf children to use them.

How a merit pay system lost support of Denver teachers and led to a strike

Jeff Buck was the very first teacher to sign up for Denver's revolutionary pay-for-performance system in 2005. More than 13 years later, he is one of a dozen teachers sitting in a conference room at an obscure school district building, trying to unravel what the system has become.

Opinion: 21 Savage and the Way We See Black Immigrants

Samuel Getachew is an Ethiopian-American high school student and poet, and a delegate to the International Congress of Youth Voices. In this commentary about the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest of rapper 21 Savage, who is a British citizen, he writes, "In the legal saga surrounding 21 Savage, I found unexpected validation. Here is a public figure who is very much black, and also an immigrant — an image that we don’t see enough and that I could have used when I was younger and grappling with my identity. It’s clear to me that 21 Savage is an immigrant and a black man, and neither invalidates the other."

Bilingualism No Problem for Children with Down Syndrome

Children with Down syndrome can and do become bilingual. Initial findings of a research study at Bangor University suggest that speaking two languages is not in any way detrimental to the language development of children with Down syndrome.

Why a Texas school district is helping immigrants facing deportation

Abigail Rubio, 16, was eating lunch in the cafeteria of Honey Grove High School when she found out ICE was raiding the trailer factory where her dad worked. "Did y'all hear about what happened at Load Trail?" a friend asked. Abigail, or Abby as friends and family call her, went on social media. On Snapchat, a friend asked if she'd talked to her dad yet. The friend said buses and helicopters were outside the plant. "That’s when it hit me," said the shy junior who runs cross country and plays tambourine in her Pentecostal church band. "I broke down." When The Hechinger Report visited six weeks later — long after the choppers had left and most of the workers had been released on bail — fear and anxiety remained high, with entire families swept up in the emotional, legal and economic insecurity. But in this small Texas town where Friday nights belong to high school football, Superintendent Todd Morrison decided these weren't struggles families should deal with alone.

How to Differentiate Instruction for ELLs (Without Losing Your Mind)

Instructional expert and esteemed blogger Larry Ferlazzo wants you to know: Differentiation isn't as hard as you might think.  Ferlazzo and veteran teacher Katie Hull Sypnieski are featured in a new video series about differentiating for English language learners on Education Week.