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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Dual-Language Programs Boost Student Achievement in English, Study Finds

English-language learners assigned to dual-language-immersion classrooms in the Portland, Ore., school district were more likely to be classified as English proficient by 6th grade when compared to peers enrolled in traditional classes, a new study by the RAND Corp. found. The research team also determined that the district's dual-language students significantly outperformed their ELL who were not in dual-language classes peers on English-reading skills—by nearly a school year worth of learning by the end of middle school.

When It Comes to Sexual Harassment, Schools Are Not Immune

As a cascade of sexual harassment and assault allegations have come out publicly in recent weeks against high-profile men in politics, entertainment, and media, women in fields like customer service, retail, and education have raised a flag to say that their industries are not immune from such problems, though the people who’ve been accused are far less well known. As women everywhere are reflecting on their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault, school administrators should be mindful of whether they are creating climates where employees feel safe and comfortable reporting problems, lawyers who specialize in sexual harassment cases said.

Mexico, Music And Family Take Center Stage In 'Coco'

Pixar's newest animated movie, Coco, is meant to be a love letter to Mexico. The movie has a Latino cast. It's full of Mexican music, culture and folklore — including some of the traditions around the Day of the Dead. And it premiered in Mexico, where it's gone on to become the No. 1 film of all time. Now, audiences in the U.S. can see it.

Governor Signs New Law Clears Way for Bilingual Teaching in Mass. Public Schools

Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law Wednesday that will allow school systems to teach students academic subjects in their native language while they gain fluency in English, effectively overturning a 15-year-old ballot measure that eliminated bilingual education from most public schools. Schools, however, retain the right to provide English-only instruction. The goal of the new law, which garnered overwhelming approval in the House and Senate last week, is to provide school systems and parents with the flexibility to choose programs that best suit the needs of students.

To Help ELLs Study the Constitution, iCivics Unveils Spanish-Language Civil Rights Game

iCivics—a set of free online educational games developed by the nonprofit founded by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor—has released a Spanish-language version of its most popular game in an effort to help English-language learners learn about the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who joined iCivics' governing board in 2015, envisioned the project to make 'Do I Have a Right?' more accessible to all learners and to create its new Spanish counterpart '¿Tengo Algún Derecho?'

U.S. Cancels Program For Recent Haitian Immigrants; They Must Leave By 2019

Some 50,000 Haitians who've lived and worked in the United States since a catastrophic earthquake there in 2010 are reeling from news that their special protected status will be canceled. They have 18 months until their temporary protected status — or TPS — is terminated in the summer of 2019. A statement from The Department of Homeland Security says the 18-month lead time is to "allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019."

House Republicans Have a Little-Known Plan to Raise Taxes on Teachers By $2 Billion

Every year, Brooke Richardson, who teaches English as a second language to mostly low-income Hispanic students in Atlanta, turns to her own pocketbook to help her students. She has lost track of how many pencils, markers, notebooks and glue sticks she buys a year. What has been helpful is that when she does her taxes, she's able to deduct $250 off her taxable income for the extras she buys for her classroom, a small help that Congress created in 2002 for teachers who "go above and beyond." Now, the educator expense deduction has become a sticking point in the GOP tax debate, with the House and Senate taking it in two wildly different directions.

For Many Puerto Ricans, College Plans Washed Away With Hurricane Maria

Yerianne Roldán wants to be a graphic designer, or maybe a writer, or maybe both. Her good friend and classmate, Zuleyka Avila, has already made up her mind. She's going to be a pediatrician. Those plans hit a bump in the road this fall, though, when Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, where both girls lived with their families. Forced to leave the island — much of which is still without power — they've both relocated to Orlando. Both girls are continuing senior year at Colonial High School, a public school where more than half of the 240 faculty and staff members have family ties to Puerto Rico, including the principal. At Colonial, there's a lot of attention on going to college. Which is why, a few weeks after they've both settled into their classes, they are called, together, to the college specialist's office.

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