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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"Anger Is a Gift" by Mark Oshiro | SLJ Review

"High schooler Moss is a survivor. He's witnessed his father's death at the hands of the police and has anxiety, but his friends and mother help him through panic attacks. He struggles with self-consciousness and body image, and his dating life as a large, gay, African American male teen has been nonexistent — until he meets Javier, an undocumented immigrant from a different school, and begins to fall in love… In the same vein, the diversity of this title also makes it shine: sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, and ethnicity are all portrayed in Oshiro’s inner-city Oakland setting. This timely title will provoke much-needed discussion."

New Mexico District Eyes Spanish, Navajo Dual-Language Plan

A school district in New Mexico's Four Corners region wants to have some students fluent in Spanish or Navajo by time they graduate from high school. Kindergartners in the Farmington Municipal School District next school year have the chance to enroll in a dual-language program in Spanish or Diné, the Daily Times in Farmington reports.

Ability to Learn Languages Stays Strong Until Late Teens, New Study Finds

Scientists have long posited that there is a "critical period" for language learning, but new research suggests that the time frame stretches on much longer than previously thought. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that children remain skilled at learning the grammar of a new language up to the age of 17 or 18, the time at which many students graduate high school. This finding injects new evidence for the decades-long debate over the "critical period" that had centered on whether the decline in language-learning skills begins at age 5 or at the onset of puberty.

Latest DACA Ruling Could Open the Door for Thousands of Immigrants in High School

A federal judge's ruling on the future of DACA could open the door for tens of thousands of undocumented high school-age students to be protected from deportation. Handed down last week, the court's ruling is the third that ensures DACA will remain in effect for recipients after a March 5 deadline originally set by the Trump administration.

Librarian, Art Teacher Hope To Give Students Storytime — and Stability — Over Summer

Last summer, library media specialist Heather Cory went to the public library nearest her school, but she didn't see any of her Midwest City (OK) Elementary School students. She then drove past her school and the adjacent park, which are within walking distance for many of the kids. She found them at the Splash Pad, a park water play area.

Celebrate Día with Bilingual Books, Library of Congress Livestream, and More

Monday, April 30 is El día de los niños/El día de los libros, also known as Children’s Day/Book Day or Día! Día is a national library program that “fosters literacy for all children from all backgrounds.” It aims to help meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population and promote understanding and acceptance. This specific day of celebration highlights the program designed to “celebrate a variety of cultures every day, year-round.” Día events are planned at schools and libraries around the country. For educators looking for ideas, the American Library Association has free downloads of booklists, planning kits, coloring sheets, and more. This year, the Library of Congress is presenting a free interactive video conference and livestream for public librarians, school librarians, and K–12 teachers from around the country.

English learners are becoming English-proficient at higher rates. How did LAUSD pull it off?

Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District who are still learning English are becoming proficient in their new language at record levels.  20.7 percent of their students who began the school year as English learners will end the year having been designated as "fluent-English-proficient" — a record high "reclassification" rate, as the state's largest school district recently announced.

Park Rapids adopts an Ojibwe Language Project

Ojibwe is an Indigenous language of North America spoken by the Anishinaabe people throughout much of Canada and US border states from Michigan to Montana. Though still widely spoken, he number of fluent speakers has declined sharply.
A movement started years ago in Bemidji, Minnesota to help bridge the Native and non-Native communities has now spread to Park Rapids, MN where signs in Ojibwe and English are now available to area businesses. "The goal of the project is to create an inclusive, welcoming environment with an awareness of and respect for Ojibwe culture," said committee member Beth Baker-Knuttila.

Erin Entrada Kelly Talks Newbery Award and Filipino Storytelling Tradition

For the first time in Newbery history, the winner and all three honor books were written by authors of color. “I get messages from people in the Philippines who are just very proud that a Filipina-American has been recognized,” says Kelly. “When you have a group of people saying they’re so proud you’re representing the community, it’s like ‘Whoa.’” Lara Saguisag, an assistant professor at the College of Staten Island, hopes Kelly’s novels and success help Filipino and Filipino-American kids “recognize they are worthy of being in stories” and even inspire them to create their own.