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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University of California Considers Changes to Guaranteed Admissions

The University of California is considering a major shift in the way it determines which students are eligible for admission — a formula some say is now too rigid. Supporters say the changes would create a fairer approach and broaden access for students at inner-city and rural high schools. Critics, however, are voicing concerns, saying the proposal not only undermines the politically popular guarantee of admission to the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates but might reduce the number of African American, Latino and Asian American students who would be assured admission.

'English Only' Moves Forward; Opponents Play Waiting Game

While opponents of the initiative to make English the official language of [Nashville's] Metro government bide their time, Councilman Eric Crafton's group has collected half of the necessary signatures to put the measure on the ballot this fall. Groups like the state and local chapters of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in addition to education and immigrants-rights advocacy groups say they are waiting to see if the English Only initiative officially gets on the ballot before they begin a campaign to combat the movement.

Nashville Works to Bring ELLs Closer to Home

Big changes are in the works for how the Metro Nashville Public Schools District's students learning English are assigned to schools. The district is in the process of a shift from emphasizing placement of students at English Language Learner (ELL) Centers to kids into ELL Program Schools closer to home. This coming school year, because of the changes, about 600 kids will receive ELL services in their regularly zoned schools. Kids being transported to ELL Centers often have to ride buses up to one hour each way, according to LaWanna Shelton, executive director of ELL for MNPS.

Deaf Teacher Finds Connection with ESL Students

The small classroom where John Kuhlman teaches English to immigrants is a far cry from the large lecture halls and auditoriums where he used to lead 1,000 students in lessons on economics. He no longer teaches on a platform, but sits just inches from his students, intensely concentrating to understand what they are saying. Thirty-five years ago, while a professor at the University of Missouri, Kuhlman lost his hearing. A cochlear implant, lip reading and sheer dedication now allow him to spend five days and 21 hours a week teaching 15 immigrants how to read, write and speak in English.

ESL Students Fly from 'Zero' to Hero

It was a small but heartfelt graduation ceremony at Jones Avenue Adult Centre. The hard work of the ones who didn't make it was praised as highly as the success of those who did. Ana Hernandez made it. From barely being able to speak English last September, the doctor from Mexico zoomed to ESL Level 4 by June and will begin the summer semester next week in Level 5.

New ASU Program Tackles State's Language Issues

Some of Arizona's greatest education dilemmas deal with the languages that are heard — or not heard — in its classrooms and homes. Now, Arizona State University is hoping to create a body of doctoral-level scholars, and research, to tackle those issues. A new Applied Linguistics Ph.D. program, which is seeing its first five candidates enroll this fall, aims to prepare linguists to find solutions to challenges dealing with issues of language and literacy.

Study Looks at Test Scores of Limited English Speakers

Most students with limited English-speaking skills are concentrated in low-performing public schools. Many of them don't do well on standardized tests, but neither do black or white students who attend the same schools. S study released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center analyzed standardized testing data for public schools in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida and New York. The findings, however, have less to do with who the students are and more with what their schools are like.

Summer Camp Helps Kids Enrich Their English Skills

People who speak another language beyond English know if you don't use it, you will lose it. With that premise in mind, the local school system offers a month-long literacy enrichment camp each summer for English language learners who are students in homes where English is not the primary language.

Creative Camp Activities Keep ELLs Interested

The mountain man really impressed Miguel Hernandez. The normally boisterous third-grader sat in quiet fascination as "Iron Thumb," portrayed by Jan Manning, talked about life in the mountains. Miguel is one of 78 students taking part in a Thompson School District summer camp for English-language learners from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Native American Students Flag Holes in Instruction

Fewer than a third of children who identify themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native say that they know "a lot" about their tribe or group, according to a study on the teaching of Native American culture and language released today by a branch of the U.S. Department of Education.