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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Sharing Languages, Students Gain an Edge

Parents, students, and officials at Massachusetts' Arnone Elementary School agree that an innovative bilingual language-immersion program called Two-Way Spanish, which is in its seventh year, has proven to be a success. The program integrates native Spanish-speaking students with native English-speaking students so that each can learn the languages, not only from teachers, but from each other. With Brockton's increasingly diverse population, the benefits can be seen in everyday life.

Teaching Parents

Pete Paukstelis, president of the Manhattan-Ogden Board of Education, isn't asking parents to accept all the responsibility for their child's academic success. But he is asking them to accept some of it. Paukstelis, who said parental involvement is "something (the board) has talked about on and off over the last few years," nominated the topic for discussion at a special board of education retreat Wednesday evening. The goal, he said: "To find out what we can do better'' to promote it.

UCLA Study Reveals Growing Gender Gap Among Hispanic College Students

Hispanic women are enrolling at higher rates than ever as full-time freshmen at four-year colleges and universities. They're more likely to aspire to doctoral degrees. Their self-rated drive to achieve is higher than any other group. Those are some of the findings in a report on Hispanic college freshmen released Thursday by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles' Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

No Language, No Learning

Nicole Marrero has attended Buffalo's alternative school for more than two years but says she can't understand her teachers, her classmates or her assignments. Nicole, who moved to Buffalo with her family from Puerto Rico six years ago, speaks fluent Spanish but very little English. And none of her teachers, including her English as a Second Language instructor, speak Spanish. So Nicole, 15, sits in class, unable to understand what is being said. She has been doing this for two years.

Campbell Elementary Earns an A+ From the State

After a carefully scheduled day of math in large and small groups, reading, science, lunch and storytime, Campbell Elementary School teacher Peggy Nichols congratulated her kindergartners on a hard day's work. This year, Campbell received an "A+" under the state accountability system: the "exemplary" rating earned by only 12 percent of schools statewide in 2008. Campbell, which is attended almost entirely by African American and Hispanic students from poor families, is the Austin school district's first elementary school in East Austin to have received the rating since 2003.

Dallas ISD Chief Hinojosa Says Bilingual Teachers 'Protected'

Dallas schools superintendent Michael Hinojosa said today that bilingual teachers were largely protected from recent layoffs because of the district's student population. Students with limited proficiency in English now number 53,785 in the Dallas Independent School District, or 34 percent of total enrollment. Some teachers complained after the district's recent layoffs that bilingual teachers, and particular those recruited from other countries, were not impacted.

ELL and Refugee Enrollments Soar in Fargo, ND

West Fargo and Fargo haven't seen such large numbers of refugee students entering their schools since before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The influx has created record English Language Learner enrollment. In West Fargo, the ELL enrollment has forced the district to look at expanding its Newcomer Center only two months after it opened. More refugees are flocking to the area — stabilizing resettlement numbers that were drastically affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Study Debunks Myth That Early Immigrants Quickly Learned English

Joseph Salmons has always been struck by the pervasiveness of the argument. As a professor of German who has extensively studied European immigrant languages in the Midwest, Salmons recently discovered there was little direct research available about whether this "learn English or bust" ethic really existed, and that in fact the German language often thrived in business and the community for two or three generations before the immigrants' descendents learned English.

Oregon Voters Will Parse English Immersion Debate

Measure 58, which claims the best way to learn English is to immerse children in it without regard to their native language, squarely fits with a language controversy as old as America itself. The rise and fall of U.S. immigration rates, with the accompanying alternating attitudes towards immigrants, influences the debate. Language, especially English immersion, most recently has been cast as a surrogate for an anti-immigrant stance.

Schools in South Carolina Expect More Diversity

South Carlolina's Taylors Elementary School holds an Immigration Day in November to help students appreciate differences among their peers. The students are also taught the life stories of heroes from various races to help them better understand other cultures. These are just some of the methods Principal Vaughan Overman uses to reach students of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds. Because of the continuing growth of the Hispanic population, the look of schools across the country is changing, according to a report released by the Southern Regional Education Board.

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