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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Justice Sonia Sotomayor Aims to Expand Scope of Civics Education Efforts

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking as the keynoter at a forum on civics education Thursday, stressed the importance of engaging young people of various backgrounds on the topic. "For me, civic education is the key to inspiring kids to want to become and stay involved in making a difference," Sotomayor told the Democracy at a Crossroads National Summit, a daylong event that drew scores of students, educators, policymakers, and others to the Newseum here.

How to Help Mexico and Puerto Rico

Mexico and Puerto Rico are still in shock after being hit by devastating natural disasters earlier this week. The following organizations posted by Latino USA have received four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, a watchdog organization that vets charitable organizations. Most of these groups also allow you to a specific disaster relief cause, and offer their forms in English.

Where have all the teachers gone?

Where are all the teachers? That's what education expert Linda Darling-Hammond asks and answers in this post about the teacher shortage in many parts of the United States — and what can be done to finally end it. While teacher shortages are not new, they are getting worse in many parts of the country. A report by the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute found that teacher education enrollment dropped from 691,000 to 451,000, a 35 percent reduction, between 2009 and 2014 — and nearly 8 percent of the teaching workforce is leaving every year, the majority before retirement age.

San Diego Wants to Be an Even More Welcoming City to Newcomers

When Samuel Tsoi first emigrated from Hong Kong, the then-8-year-old focused on learning English to assimilate into his new country. “And yet, I wasn’t given an opportunity to retain my Chinese language, so I had to learn that later on," Tsoi said. Because in today’s globalized world, he said, bilingualism is an asset. That is one example he hopes representatives from the education, business, government and nonprofit sectors will consider as part of a new committee focused on improving immigrant integration. Tsoi, named an Urban Leadership Fellow with RISE San Diego, said the effort with the city of San Diego and other partners will examine how systems currently work and what can make them better.

'The Snowy Day' Captured in New Stamp Series

On Oct. 4, the United States Postal Service will issue four stamps, part of the "Forever" series, featuring Peter, the little boy from Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snowy Day." The book was published in 1962. The next year, Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and "The Snowy Day" won the Caldecott Medal.

Author Interview: 'Teacher Agency for Equity'

In this interview with Larry Ferlazzo, Raquel Ríos answers a few questions about her new book, Teacher Agency for Equity: A Framework for Conscientious Engagement. Raquel is an Instructional Designer at New Teacher Center, a national resource on mentoring and coaching for teacher effectiveness located in Santa Cruz, Calif. Her research focuses on language, literacy, and critical mindfulness in education. She lives and works out of New York City.

Miami 4th-Graders Write About Their Experiences with Hurricanes

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma. By Wednesday, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

What Students Protected By DACA Are Worried About

The Hechinger Report spoke recently with four DACA recipients about how the potential end of DACA affects their lives and education goals. Here are their perspectives in their own words.

Talking Less, Listening More: TED Talk Inspires Va. Teacher of the Year

A TED Talk shaped Michelle Cottrell-Williams' perspective as a teacher. The talk, led by scholar Brene Brown, delved into how vulnerability and shame influence people's connections with one another, Cottrell-Williams recalled. The 35-year-old teacher took the lesson to heart and, since then, has made it a point to talk less and listen more to her students, to let them be the guides for their own learning. "I learned how important empathy is," she said. Cottrell-Williams, a social studies teacher at Wakefield High School in Arlington County, was named Virginia Teacher of the Year on Monday. She was selected from among educators representing eight regions across the state.

Program Generates Instructors for English Language Learners in Chicago-Area Classrooms

The state of Illinois is home to the fifth-largest Spanish-speaking population in the United States, with thousands of children from bilingual homes heading to Illinois schools. As the university that provides one out of every eight teachers in the state, Illinois State's College of Education is making strides to equip current and future elementary school teachers with the skill set to teach English learners and bilingual children in the classroom.