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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Cost-Conscious Students Flock to Community Colleges

Community colleges are reporting skyrocketing enrollment, as students make tough choices in a sputtering economy. Some students are giving up on more expensive four-year schools and doing two years in a community college.

Colorado High School to Get Spanish-Language Culture Course

Next year, Centaurus High School in Boulder, CO is testing a pilot class that will immerse students in both the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. The course will cater to students who come from elementary and middle school dual-immersion programs. The inaugural Boulder Valley course, called "Cumbres de la civilizacion hispanica," is billed as an introduction to the "roots of Hispanic culture through the study of key figures of Spain and Latin America."

Evaluating Teachers in New York City

Educators have long argued that standardized testing is a poor way to evaluate student knowledge. They also disagree over whether test scores are the best way to evaluate teachers. In New York City schools, a surprising compromise allows some of that data to be used.

Opinion: Latinos Need a Seat at the Table

Edna Salcedo Talboy, a member of the Kansas City Human Rights Commission, writes in this opinion column, "For over 100 years Latinos have been part of the fabric of the Kansas City area. Twenty percent of the children in the Kansas City School district today are Latino, yet Latino parents and their children do not see one of their own on the Kansas City school board."

Sesame Street Targets English-Language Learners

<em>Sesame Street English</em>, a new series from Sesame Workshop, features anime-style versions of the show's signature Muppets introducing preschoolers to the English language. <em>Sesame Street English</em>, which can be adapted for classrooms, uses research-based methods to provide introductory language skills necessary to build a basic English vocabulary. Each all-English episode introduces one letter, sound and word, using visuals and rhythms. <em>Sesame Street</em> Muppet characters, including Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Grover, are featured in a new anime style.

Teacher Helps Latino Children Learn English

It's a challenge many Spanish-speaking students face inside the classroom, but a Missouri educator is making lesson plans easier to understand, one word at a time. Elvira Escalera is helping many area students learn English. Escalera works as a translator for the Aurora School District, a position she has held for ten years.

ESL Students Explore Oklahoma

Forty international students, belonging to the English as a Second Language class, took a field trip to Lawton, OK to learn about some of Oklahoma's unique historical icons. "We do this every year," said ESL Professor Abby Figueroa. "I think that the students really enjoy it, and learn a great deal about Oklahoma too."

You Can Take College Route, Hispanic Students Are Told

Statistics are against Emma Barrera as she plans to attend college next year. The 18-year-old Des Moines North High School senior has been told that among her fellow Hispanic high school classmates, approximately half will graduate from high school. Of those, only one-fifth will graduate from college. But on Friday, Barrera and other Hispanic youths gathered at Grand View College to hear the other side of the story at the youth leadership portion of the 10th annual Iowa Latino Conference coordinated by a statewide committee and the University of Iowa School of Social Work.

South Texas School District Gets $1 Million Prize

The Brownsville Independent School District, one of the nation's poorest school districts, already tousled by a hurricane, and nervously awaiting division by a fence being built along the U.S.-Mexican border, won a coveted $1 million prize Tuesday for making academic advances. The Broad Prize for Urban Education is the nation's largest and will be divided among the district's graduating seniors for college scholarships.

Many Immigrant Girls Miss Out on Organized Sports

In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The Women's Sports Foundation has documented through survey responses that immigrant girls are much less likely than girls who aren't immigrants to this country to participate in organized sports &#133; A report, 'Go Out and Play,' released by the foundation today, says that 43 percent of immigrant girls in families surveyed participate in organized sports, while 65 percent of girls in non-immigrant families surveyed do."