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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Voicing Pain Through Performance

Standing in a circle, in a windowless classroom near an on-ramp to the Queensboro Bridge, two dozen high school students chanted in unison. Their accents revealed their origins: Honduras, Ghana, Albania, Vietnam. Leading the recent rehearsal at the International High School at LaGuardia Community College was Judith Sloan, a performance artist and oral historian with a fountain of red hair.

Little Pre-K Access for Latinos

Inside Casa Infantil Head Start in Logan Square, teacher Janeth Medellin called on her students to form a circle and then started singing a bilingual version of the "Good Morning" song. "What day is today?" she asked 4-year-old Gustavo. <em>"¿Qué día es hoy?"</em> By using bilingual preschool curriculum and providing financial assistance, the Casa Infantil Head Start program is confronting one of the most debated issues in early childhood education: how to raise academic levels of low-income, Latino children.

Bilingual Babies Get Head Start Before They Can Talk

Even before they can babble a single word, babies in bilingual households may get a head start in life, according to a team of scientists in Italy. Rather than confusing babies, hearing more than one language gives newborns a mental boost, according to the new study, which tested seven-month-old infants.

L.A. Teachers Protest Public School Budget Cuts

The Los Angeles public schools are facing a huge budget deficit. The Board of Education voted Tuesday to cut thousands of jobs over the coming year — everything from teachers to janitors. Angry teachers, holding picket signs and mock pink slips, chanted outside the doors of the downtown Los Angeles school board offices.

Education Standards Likely to See Toughening

President Obama and his team have alternated praise for the goals of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind law with criticism of its weaknesses, all the while keeping their own plans for the law a bit of a mystery. But clues are now emerging, and they suggest that the Obama administration will use a Congressional rewriting of the federal law later this year to toughen requirements on topics like teacher quality and academic standards and to intensify its focus on helping failing schools. The law's testing requirements may evolve but will certainly not disappear. And the federal role in education policy, once a state and local matter, is likely to grow.

Editorial: Broken English Immersion

Boston suffers from a garbled approach to education for students with limited English — an approach that is widening achievement gaps at all grade levels and driving students to drop out. A change of course is needed to ensure opportunity for the 24,000 Boston students who aren't native speakers of English.

Preview of Horne v. Flores

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Read The School Law Blog, written by Mark Walsh, for a preview of the arguments that are likely to be made in <em>Horne v. Flores</em> in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 20."

The Admissions Gap

Affluent students who can afford pricey SAT prep have an advantage when it comes to getting into college. But more educators are asking whether such exams are necessary.

Keeping The Native Nipmuc Language Alive

Some scholars estimate that at the time of Columbus, there were roughly 300 native languages spoken in North America. Many of them are now extinct. But David White, an electrician in the small town of Brimfield, Mass., is on a mission — to save his native language, Nipmuc, from dying.