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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Getty, MuslimGirl Partner to Diversify Images of Muslim Women

A new photo collaboration between Getty Images and a website for Muslim women is seeking to change the perception of women in Islam.  The project between the photo licensor and MuslimGirl.com was launched last month and includes a collection of diverse images of Muslim women and girls that go beyond the head-to-toe burqa.  "One of the ways I open up my talks is by asking the audience to search 'Muslim women' images on their phone browsers, which is always met with their awe at the unsettling results," Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.com, said in a statement. "I don't want to be able to use that example anymore."

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale | SLJ Review

"Across time, desperation has driven people from their homes in search of refuge—and the only way out is often through a stormy passage on the sea…It is impossible to ignore the importance of a book like this in the current political climate, and educators and librarians looking for a human face for the refugee crisis will find this offering essential."

How to Cultivate Student Agency in English Language Learners

In this excerpt from Navigating the Common Core with English Language Learners: Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills, authors Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski write,Agency is the ability to be proactive in determining one's life path and not just react to the surrounding circumstances. Agency also recognizes that outside factors provide some limitations, and that people have some ability to influence and determine one’s response to them. Many of our English language learners face particularly large challenges in these outside factors—socioeconomically and linguistically. In addition, since many came to this country with little voice in the decision to do so, it may be an uphill battle to help them feel as though they do have control over what happens to them in life. Those issues make it even more important for teachers to encourage students to see these challenges not as limits to what they can do but, instead, obstacles that can be overcome."

After Years of Advocacy, Boston First Haitian Creole–English School Will Open in the Fall

At the K-12 level, Miami and New York City have programs that support bilingualism in English and Haitian Creole. A new dual-language program in Haitian Creole will be the first in Massachusetts, however, and Boston Public Schools administrators have worked with educators in Miami and other experts to develop a high-quality program. The Mattapan Early Elementary School will open in the fall of 2017 as the first expression of this goal. Located in one of Boston’s largely Haitian neighborhoods, it will have one Haitian Creole and English dual-language classroom for 4-year-olds, featuring the district's renowned preschool curriculum administrators are having translated into the new language.

Community Schools Are Turnaround Models

Despite spending only $7,605 a year in state and local funds per student, which is about one third less than the national average, and paying its veteran teachers with advanced degrees less than $50,000, the Union Public Schools District in Tulsa, OK had a high school graduation rate of 89 percent.  That compares with the national average of 82 percent.  Its attendance has risen while its suspensions have plummeted. It's important to note that 70 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches and more than one third are Hispanic, many of whom English language learners. What explains these remarkable results?  In a nutshell: community schools that offer wraparound services.

Sisters Find Home in Utah After Somali Civil War Made Them Refugees

Fatuma Abdullahi and her sister Maryan Osman are originally from Somalia, but when they were little girls, their parents died during the civil war happening in the country and both girls became refugees. Since then the girls, who are now teenagers, have found a stable home with Annie and Randall Johnson, a young couple from the Salt Lake City, Utah, area. Last summer they welcomed their little brother, Roscoe, into the world. All in all, the five have become a family in their own way.

Día 2017: A Celebration of Literacy and Diversity

With springtime showers and warmer weather comes the fun-filled day known as El día de los ninos/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), or Dia for short, which underscores the importance of literacy for kids of every background. Officially celebrated on April 30, this nationally recognized program strives to honor children by connecting them with a range of diverse books at their local libraries.

Deported Students Find Challenges at School in Tijuana

As President Trump moves to fulfill his campaign promise to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally, they'll most likely include Mexicans whose children were born in the U.S.. Over half a million of these kids are already in Mexico. Researchers call them "los invisibles", the invisible ones, because they often end up in an educational limbo of sorts. Most don't read or write in Spanish, so they're held back. Many get discouraged and stop going to school. In some cases schools even refuse to enroll them. In the border city of Tijuana, however, there's a model program designed to help these children.

Education Groups Push Congress to Fight for Title II Funding

A coalition of groups that represent tens of thousands principals, teachers, and school administrators are calling on members of Congress to preserve funding for Title II, which President Trump wants to eliminate as part of sweeping education budget cuts the White House has proposed.