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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Wisconsin Provides In-State Tuition Rates to Undocumented Students

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Wisconsin becomes the 11th state to permit students who are living illegally in the country to pay in-state tuition rates at state schools, according to a story published this week in the <em>Milwaukee Journal Sentinel</em>."

Teach For America Program Expands to Twin Cities

The highly touted and controversial Teach for America program announced today it would expand into the Twin Cities. Forty college graduates will teach in public and charter schools around the Twin Cities this fall, the first class of 120 recruits Teach for America is sending to the metro area over the next three years.

Storm Lake District Revises English Fluency List

School officials in Storm Lake, Iowa say they overestimated the number of students last year who were not fluent in English. Officials said 100 students, nearly a tenth of "English language learners" in the 2008-09 school year, did not deserve the label. They included an honor student who was punished when she refused to take a fluency test, and whose case garnered national attention. The label is significant because it qualifies school districts for more federal money and puts students on the hook for government-required language tests.

Study: Latino Teens Benefit From Sharing Two Cultures with Parents

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Latino adolescents are happier and healthier if both they and their parents have one foot firmly planted in Latino culture and the other in U.S. culture, a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found. In other words, Latino adolescents are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs or dropping out of school, if they take steps to stay involved in their culture of heritage and their parents also take steps at the same time to integrate into U.S. culture."

In Queens, Life and Failing Economy Derail Dream

Joe Alonzo is the type of person who thinks ahead. When he was a teenager, he laid out a 10-year plan. "I would go to college right around 18, graduate around 22, and probably wouldn't get married until I was 25 or 26," Alonzo tells NPR guest correspondent Judy Woodruff. Today, Alonzo is 24 and plans to get married this year, without the college degree he'd planned for and — for the moment — without a job. The urgency of finding one has been elevated by his fiancee's pregnancy; the baby is due in January.

Children's Books, ESL Materials to Get Late Fines at Seattle Libraries

The Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously last week to impose overdue fines on previously exempt children's books and English-as-a-second-language materials, charge a $5 fee for interlibrary loans, and limit the number of materials a user can check out and place holds on. University of Washington student Alice Tsoi told the board the changes would disproportionately affect the people that rely most on the library — immigrants and the homebound.

Column: State, Local Budget Cuts Slash Adult Education

California is about to reach another benchmark by offering fewer adult education opportunities to its residents than — well, just about any other state. When classes resume in the fall, most of the state's 2 million adult education students will pay registration fees for all classes, including high school equivalency and English as a Second Language classes, two classes that have traditionally been free.

How Should We Teach English-Language Learners?

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Arizona has not violated federal laws that require schools to help students who do not speak, read, or write English. Despite the federal mandates, these kids often fail to do well in school. So why haven't schools figured out the best way to teach English to non-English-speaking students?

Mock Graduation Takes Place on Behalf of DREAM Act

Several hundred high school and college students, along with young immigrant workers, donned graduation gowns and walked in a procession to "Pomp and Circumstance" recently in sight of the U.S. Capitol. They carried signs that said "I graduated. Now what?" and "It's not my fault my parents brought me here 4 a better future."

Summer Camp Aims to Hone English Skills While Making It Fun

When Maggie Porto, a gradudate student at Berry College, first came to America, she only knew Spanish, and the transition from Spanish to English was anything but easy. "The teachers were kind and patient, but had they been ESOL certified, it would have made things a lot easier," she said. Porto is one of the 12 teachers who are part of the ESOL summer camp at Georgia's Alto Park Elementary.

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