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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Local CA Schools Add Bilingual Immersion Programs

The popularity of dual-language classes in Ventura County schools continues to grow, with three schools starting programs this fall. "I think parents throughout the state recognize the value of having their kids be bilingual and bi-literate. It's a huge advantage," said Associate Superintendent Roger Rice of the Ventura County Office of Education.

SMCISD's Online Language Tool Praised

Sixty six San Marcos English as a second language (ESL) students proved that online tools can help with learning a new language. An independent study presented in the National Forum of Teacher Education Journal revealed the effectiveness of an online language program with Hispanic students in ESL classrooms at San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. The study tracked the program's effectiveness over two school years.

Illegal Alphabet

The first thing to notice: The handwriting is, not just beautiful, but careful. Each letter tells a clear, tidy story of a painstaking, determined process. "It you take rush to do something, it doesn't come out well" says Rafael Espana during a break from his custodial duties at Pine Middle School. Espana has been working on a journal of words, phrases and sentences in English and Spanish since he came to the United States 35 years ago. It's now been published in book form as <i>Rafael Espana's Journal: Everyman's Everyday Words, Phrases, Sentences from Mexican Spanish to American English</i>.

Culture, Diversity Celebrated

First-generation children of immigrants can have difficulty forming an identity as an American while at the same time retaining their cultural heritage. That's why Waukegan Unit School District 60 launched a new summer program this year, which culminated Sunday with a celebration of cultures event. "Children have learned how to be acclimated here (in America) and still be proud of their culture," said Marilyn Krajenta, English Language Learners program director.

The Children at the Judge's Bronx School

The hardwood floor was shiny yet scuffed, from the tiny chairs and desks that have rubbed against it for generations. The open windows let in a cool breeze. The pencil sharpener on the window sill sat at attention, as did Dorothy Faustini's fourth- and fifth-grade math students. Lately, students at Blessed Sacrament have been doing a lot of talking about what they want to be, as the most famous graduate in the school's nearly 80-year history has been all over the television, appearing this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.

Found in Translation: Bilingual Students Train at UA

Around one-third of Arizona's population says that English is not their primary language and they have difficulty speaking or understanding it. The University of Arizona, in tandem with Pima Community College's Translation Studies Program, is intending to solve that problem. High school seniors and college-bound students are flocking to the UA for a summer interpretation class. They are being trained to be professional interpreters in a three-week summer program known as the Professional Language Development Program.

Denver Metro Districts Enroll Diversity

When Debbie Smith left her teaching position in southwest Denver for a job in a Cherry Creek district school, she anticipated a classroom filled with rich, white kids. What she found at Eastridge Elementary in southwest Aurora were children of refugees and immigrants and a third-grade classroom even more diverse than the one she left in Denver.

Ed. Dept. to Allow Waivers for Stimulus Funds

The U.S. Department of Education has released draft guidance to states and school districts on how to apply for waivers that would give them more flexibility in spending economic-stimulus money tied to Title I, the federal program for schools with high numbers of students in poverty. Districts are required to set aside up to 20 percent of their Title I dollars to pay for students in low-performing schools to receive tutoring outside the regular school day, referred to as "supplemental educational services," or transportation to higher-performing schools if students choose to transfer.

The Education of Sonia Sotomayor

The first time she walked into my office in Princeton University's Dickinson Hall, Sonia Sotomayor was holding a paper she'd written for my Contemporary Latin America course. She was not the best student I taught in my seven years at Princeton -- though she certainly was high on the list -- but she was the one who took greatest advantage of the opportunities there and emerged most transformed by her experience.