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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Sesame Street Offers 3 Tips for Supporting Students With Autism (Video)

Sesame Workshop has introduced Julia, a muppet with autism, to the world of Sesame Street — an important move that advocates feel will increase visibility and acceptance of autism. Drawing upon footage of Julia's behavior, Laura Anthony, a clinical psychologist with the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National Health System, explains the top three ways teachers can support children like Julia in the classroom.

How Latino Players Are Helping Major League Baseball Learn Spanish

With the start of baseball season in sight, millions of Latino fans in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America will be rooting for their favorite players, many of whom are transplants from places like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. But Spanish-speaking fans, millions of whom watch Spanish-language broadcasts of baseball games, will have little idea of the lingering challenge some Latino players in the States have long faced: inadequate language support from the minor and major leagues.

My Immigrant Story: Loneliness and Empowerment at the American Campground

In this essay, Ambree Tariq, who started the Instagram account @brownpeoplecamping, reflects on what the outdoors meant to her as she struggled to assimilate to a new life in America. She writes, "One day, my father came home and told us about how people in Minnesota go camping, and that there were free, clean, beautiful parks for us to enjoy, too. My parents pieced together just enough information and money to take our first steps into the outdoors, buying a tent and a few sleeping bags for our new adventure. We did it our own way: eating kabob and roti at the campsite, telling jokes in our own language and laughing loudly. We didn’t know much about the outdoors culture, and we certainly didn’t look like the other families on the campground, but we took in stride the discomfort of being minorities in yet another American space. In doing so, I developed a profound and sentimental love for the outdoors."

Common Bond for Miami Schools Chief, Student: Being Undocumented

Five years ago, Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Daniela Pelaez walked out of North Miami High School hand-in-hand. Pelaez, the valedictorian of her high school class, faced an imminent deportation order after a federal immigration judge denied her request for a green card. The two have kept in touch since she moved to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth College in the summer of 2012, setting aside time to chat every three to four months about classes, family, and work. The tone of their conversations on the topic of immigration have shifted from hopeful to harrowing amid the aggressive enforcement policies ordered by the Trump administration. As she prepares to graduate in June with a degree in anthropology and health studies, with plans to attend medical school in the future, Pelaez’ immigration status remains tenuous while awaiting word on the fate of DACA.

On The Navajo Nation, Special Ed Students Await Water That Doesn't Stink

On the Navajo Nation, kids with the most severe developmental disabilities attend a school called Saint Michael's Association for Special Education. More than one-third of the Navajo Nation — which is the size of West Virginia — doesn't have running water. And at some of the places that do, like Saint Michael's, people don't want to drink it because it smells, tastes funny and looks bad. Many of the kids at Saint Michael's are medically fragile. So they have equipment that needs to be cleaned daily. The staff refuses to use the tap water to wash equipment. Instead, they use 5-gallon jugs of filtered water trucked in from many miles away.

Bilingual Teacher Shortages in California: A Problem Likely to Grow

The passage of Proposition 58 in November 2016 removes restrictions on bilingual education programs for California’s English Learner (EL) students, allowing California school districts to more easily create or expand bilingual and immersion programs. Now, schools and families have greater latitude to seek bilingual education, which will likely lead to increased demand for teachers with bilingual authorizations. Teachers in bilingual programs must be fluent in both English and the second language of instruction, as well as pedagogically skilled to support language acquisition and academic content mastery. Teacher shortages pose a unique challenge in this context. As districts and schools attempt to create or expand bilingual programs, they will have to vie for an already limited supply of fully prepared teachers, in addition to recruiting teachers with bilingual authorizations.

New York First in Nation to Make Tuition Free at Public Four-Year Colleges

New York has become the first state in the country to make tuition free at public four-year colleges and universities, but it has sparked objections by imposing a key restriction on students who receive the assistance. It requires students to live and work in New York state for as many years as they received free tuition. If they don't, they'll be required to pay off the tuition amount as if it were a loan.

8 Ivy Leagues Accept 1st-Generation Immigrant with Exceptional Writing Talent

Cassandra Hsiao and her family may not speak English in a typical way, but the high school senior's talent with words has caught the attention of all the Ivy League colleges.  Last week, Hsiao, a first generation immigrant from Malaysia who lives in Walnut, California, received the exciting news that she had been accepted to not just one, but all eight Ivy League schools — a feat few have achieved.

San Bernardino Victim Jonathan Martinez, 8, Was 'Happy Child' with Williams Syndrome

An 8-year-old boy shot and killed along with his teacher in a San Bernardino special-education classroom was born with a genetic condition and had survived heart surgery, a school official said Tuesday. Jonathan Martinez had Williams syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by learning delays, mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities and heart problems, according to Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. But affected children also have "extraordinary gifts," including a passion for music and an extremely friendly personality, an expert said. The superintendent said the Martinez family wanted to honor Jonathan's memory by getting the word out about Williams syndrome.

Rhode Island Governor Seeks Permanent Funds for English Language Learners

English language learners are the fastest-growing segment of the school population in Rhode Island, comprising 7 percent of all public school students, or almost 10,000 students. That's why Gov. Gina Raimondo is asking the General Assembly to set aside a specific amount of money each year for this group of students. The governor last year targeted $2.5 million for these students, and wanted to make this funding stream permanent, but the legislature chose to fund it for only one year.

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