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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For Children of Bilingual Parents, West Hartford School Offers Parent Read-Aloud Program

Mung Thai read aloud in Cantonese as he sat next to his son Nick in Jennifer Burkey's second-grade class Friday morning. The idea to bring parents into the classroom and share their native language and culture started as a conversation between Melchor, fellow ESOL teacher Jeff Bette and Webster Hill principal Jeffrey Wallowitz. Webster Hill, this year, includes students who speak 22 different languages, Melchor said, and this program is a way to embrace that. "We send a clear message that we value [native languages] and we ask you to come in and share that with the school," Wallowitz said. "We want families to read to their children in their native languages as much as they can and it's just a way to celebrate that and say, 'Hey, it's important to still maintain your culture and maintain your language,' and by doing this we highlight it, we celebrate it and we value it."

Undocumented Teachers Shielded by DACA in Legal and Emotional Limbo

Nearly 100 undocumented Teach For America members who have work permits through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, are currently teaching nearly 6,000 students across 11 states. Amid the uncertainty about DACA’s future, TFA is offering free legal assistance to its members and its 46 alums who are also DACA protected.  In the meantime, TFA has already accepted close to 40 undocumented corps members for next school year. But if DACA is repealed without a replacement, the organization will have to put off assigning them to work in a school. Corps members need valid work permits and the ability to work at least two full school years, spokeswoman Kathryn Phillips said.

Relationships Matter in Recruiting Latino Students

Many community colleges across the country have seen growing populations of Latino and Hispanic residents in their regions. But that growth often hasn’t translated to increases in Hispanic enrollment on their campuses, especially as overall enrollments decline in a largely recovered economy. Like Southcentral Kentucky, some colleges are learning that the key to reaching out to Latino students, in particular, requires more personal effort than just college fairs or new advertising.

Sesame Street Plans Social-Emotional Learning Program for Refugee Children

The Sesame Workshop hopes the friendly faces of Sesame Street characters will help refugee children navigate the complex social and emotional effects of trauma and displacement. The organization is teaming with the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization, to "deliver transformative early learning and social-emotional support to millions of refugee children in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria," it said in a news release Thursday.

Supporting English-Language Learners in Science (Video)

Anna Dearlove, a 2nd grade teacher at Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, introduces academic language to prepare English-language learners for their science investigations. Students work in pairs and make claims about variations in plants and animals.

Scientists Take on New Roles in K-12 Classrooms

As schools work to implement the Next Generation Science Standards, practicing scientists are also rethinking how they work with schools to advance understanding of their field. The National Board on Science Education, part of the National Academies of Science, brought together science educators and members of professional science groups like the American Chemical Society last month to discuss guidance for developing partnerships between scientists and teachers.

'Juntos' Program Preparing Latino Students for High School and Beyond

It's Sunday afternoon and a half dozen middle school students are gathered with their parents for a class in the basement at Olivet Presbyterian Church and Mission in Cedar Rapids. This is "Juntos" — or "Together" — a class offered by Iowa State University Extension that aims to teach Latino families how to navigate Iowa's school system and students how to be successful in high school and beyond.

Kunkush the Refugee Cat Stars in a New Children's Book

In the midst of the worldwide migration of refugees, one small story documented in a just-released picture book for children carries a spot of sunshine amid so many tales of upheaval and struggle — the story of Kunkush the cat, a beloved pet that a family fleeing Mosul, Iraq, found it impossible to leave behind. "Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey," by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison, was published this week by Crown Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House.