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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New App Created by Latinos Offers Interpreter Services in Real Time

During his visits to several courts as a translator-for-hire, Victor Abundis grew increasingly frustrated at the amount of people who didn’t know they could be eligible for interpreter. "It'll state that in the package they get, but the package is always in English," he says. What usually happens next, he says, is that the lawyers and agents scramble in the waiting room to find any random person who can speak or interpret the language. Abundis thought that wasn't fair. "This is the most important appointment of their lives. And it literally hangs in the balance of some random person they found out of a waiting room." With Interpreter Tap, Abundis is hoping to change that. Interpreter Tap is an app that offers interpreter services in real time on your mobile device. The idea is that the app will connect you to an interpreter through a video call and interpret on the spot.

What's Going On in Your Child's Brain When You Read Them a Story?

"I want The Three Bears!" These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options when it comes to fulfilling that request. You can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa. A newly published study gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's brains in each of those situations. And, says lead author Dr. John Hutton, there is an apparent "Goldilocks effect" — some kinds of storytelling may be "too cold" for children, while others are "too hot." And, of course, some are "just right."

#KidsNeedBooks Twitter Campaign Helping Students and Schools in Need

Ann Braden didn't mean to start a movement. The former middle school teacher, whose debut middle grade novel, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, will be published in September, simply had a stack of books from a recent conference and remembered a recent Donalyn Miller Nerdy Book Club post. It's not complicated, Miller wrote, kids need access to books. With that inspiration, Braden decided to offer her stack of books to a teacher or librarian whose students needed them. In early May, she posted a picture of the books on Twitter, asked teachers or librarians to reply if they wanted a chance to win them, and added the hashtag #KidsNeedBooks. She figured she would randomly select a winner, ship the books off, and that would be the end of it. Only that's not exactly what happened.

Sabika Sheikh, Exchange Student Killed in Texas Shooting, Is Laid to Rest in Pakistan

A 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas was laid to rest Wednesday in her hometown of Karachi. Sabika Sheikh was among 10 students and staff slain Friday at Santa Fe High School. Sabika had planned to return home in a few weeks for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In Chicago, Student 'Peace Warriors' Spread Message of Healing and Nonviolence

At his desk at North Lawndale College Prep High School, Gerald Smith keeps a small calendar that holds unimaginable grief. In its pages, the dean and student advocate writes the name of each student who's lost a family member, many of them to gun violence. And then he deploys the Peace Warriors—students who have dedicated themselves to easing the violence that pervades their world.

Survivor of Suicide Bombing in Iraq Graduates from College in Texas

Qusay Hussein was playing volleyball with friends in the Iraqi city of Mosul Aug. 3, 2006, when a car pulled up. The driver looked him in the eyes and smiled. Then he detonated. On Thursday, the 29-year-old graduated from Austin Community College in Texas with an associate's degree. And he shared his remarkable story as the keynote speaker.

Funeral Held for Santa Fe Victim Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani Exchange Student with Dreams of Becoming a Diplomat

The funeral was about to begin, the first of 10 for the victims of the Santa Fe High School mass shooting, and the body of Sabika Sheikh was waiting at the mosque. Sabika, 17, dreamed of being a diplomat, of working to empower women. A Muslim exchange student from Karachi, Pakistan, she had come to the United States through a State Department-funded study program, excited to leave behind the dangers posed by extremists at home to experience a country that represented all that was possible.

Hamilton, Dearborn Students Connect During Tulip Time

During Tulip Time, the people of the Holland, MI area share Dutch culture with thousands of people from around the world. This year, a group of Hamilton High School students made that cultural exchange more personal, hosting a group of students from Fordson High School at their school and in their community. It's the second time the groups of students have met. Hamilton High teacher Lauren Robinson, a Dearborn native, took a group of students from her Culture in America class to Dearborn in February 2017, where they had small-group discussions with Dearborn students, visited the Arab American National Museum, had a Lebanese lunch and learned an Arab dance. The goal of these visits has been to promote cultural understanding between groups of students who come from very different environments. Hamilton Community schools is nearly 90 percent white and in a rural area, while Fordson High School is urban, mostly Arab-American and about half the student body is English language learners.

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