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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Ohio School Puts Hispanic Heritage on the Table

Samantha Idrogo watched her classmates shape tortilla dough with a trained eye, showing them how to flop the dough from hand to hand to create a pancake. For many of the students in Sherri Roth's Spanish III class, this activity was an opportunity to try something new. But for Idrogo, making tortillas is part of her heritage. Idrogo is a student at Danbury High School in Lakeside Marblehead, and the school's annual Hispanic Heritage celebrations are a chance for her to share her family's traditions with her classmates.

Some Education Groups Oppose Move of Title III Grant Program

In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The agenda for the LEP Partnership meeting scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday lists Zollie Stevenson as the director of student achievement and school accountability programs for both Title I and Title III programs of the No Child Left Behind Act … Ms. Stevenson's title indicates that the U.S. Department of Education has carried through with its intent to put Title I and Title III under the same administration, effective this fall. The Title III program had previously been administered by the office of English-language acquisition, or OELA."

Growing Latino Population Redefines Small Town

Siler City, N.C., used to be the kind of town where almost everyone, black and white, had roots going back a century or two. It was just about the last place a Spanish-speaking immigrant was likely to land. That started to change in the 1990s. Today, thanks to chicken-processing jobs that no one else wants, Siler City is about half Latino, and the town's long-time residents are still adjusting to the demographic shift.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers

Teachers at Annapolis Middle School hope a new pilot course that gives Spanish-speaking students instruction in their native language will help them do better in school. For now, it's an experiment for about 35 sixth- and seventh-graders, but if it's successful, it could be expanded to other grades and schools next year. It could also be a way to raise Annapolis Middle School's lagging test scores.

Schools Say Measure 58 Could Face Legal Challenges

Oregon's public schools are pondering what, exactly, Ballot Measure 58 will mean for them, how it will be implemented and what impact it will have on students. Portland schools officials say it's difficult to gauge how much the so-called bilingual education ban would impact public education, but that it would affect thousands of students and hundreds of teachers.

Young Readers at Glenwood Springs Elementary School Get a Surprise

Lois Foraker asked her preschool students at Glenwood Springs Elementary School of Glenwood Springs, CO to gather around the table in the middle of the classroom Thursday morning. A cartoonish red gift with yellow ribbon was in the center of the table and had the students wondering what it could possibly hold. The gift held red book bags given to the kids through the Raising A Reader program. In each of the bags students received two English language books, one bilingual book and a Spanish language book to also encourage bilingual education.

Opinion: Lessons in Life, Not Just Language

I have taught English as a Second Language for nearly 20 years. I've taught ESL to students from more than 100 different countries and who spoke more than 120 different first languages. In education, we call these students Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. Unfortunately, this simple fact also puts these children "at risk" — at risk for dropping out, at risk for failing, at risk for "falling through the cracks." For the LEP student, it is paramount to become aware early on that having two languages will eventually be to their advantage.

Oregon Schools' Bilingual Program a Hit with Students

Three years ago, when their daughter, Ellie, was about to enter first-grade, Gini Petersen and Jon Schnorr made a choice about the way she would be educated. The couple, who live Forest Grove's Old Town neighborhood, enrolled their daughter at Echo Shaw Elementary School in Cornelius so she could learn in both English and Spanish. These bilingual classes could be threatened if Ballot Measure 58, which seeks to restrict bilingual education in Oregon's public schools, passes in next month's general election.

English-Learning Critic: Our Way Not the Best Way

Arizona State University Assistant Professor Margarita Jimenez-Silva has worked in the classroom teaching English-language learners and more recently has been preparing future teachers to work with ELL students and researching the topic. She said there are many ELL experts across the nation skeptical of the new approach Arizona has adopted for teaching ELL this school year: Four hours per day of intensive English grammar, reading and writing.

Learning English via Mobile Phone

Researchers from universities in Anakara, Turkey, have developed a system to enable learning English by messages on mobile phones. Experts claim this method to be more effective than other teaching methods.