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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Carranza Names New Leader — and New Department Name — for English Language Learners

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has named a veteran New York City educator as the new head of its department that oversees students learning English as a new language. Mirza G. Sánchez-Medina, the founding principal of Manhattan Bridges High School, will be the new deputy chief academic officer of what will now be the Division of Multilingual Learners, the city education department announced in a news release. It was previously called the Division of English Language Learners and Student Support.

From Collecting Firewood for Sale to Forging a Path in College

Nuam San, 20, recalled last month how much her life had changed since she moved to the United States five years ago. At the time, she spoke no English and came from a country where women are expected to stay at home. Now she is a freshman at Agnes Scott, a small, private women’s liberal arts college outside Atlanta.

How the Loss of Native American Languages Affects Our Understanding of the Natural World

Alaska has a "linguistic emergency," according to the Alaskan Gov. Bill Walker. A report warned earlier this year that all of the state's 20 Native American languages might cease to exist by the end of this century, if the state did not act. American policies, particularly in the six decades between the 1870s and 1930s, suppressed Native American languages and culture. It was only after years of activism by indigenous leaders that the Native American Languages Act was passed in 1990, which allowed for the preservation and protection of indigenous languages. Nonetheless, many Native American languages have been on the verge of extinction for the past many years. Languages carry deep cultural knowledge and insights. So, what does the loss of these languages mean in terms of our understanding of the natural world?

The Mountain West Brings Native Lessons to the Classroom

The United States has a grim history when it comes to our indigenous people. For the most part, this history isn't taught in our public schools; neither is indigenous culture. But that's changing, and the Mountain West is on board. At a Colorado library recently, its Department of Education unveiled a brand new set of lessons for 4th graders. The optional curriculum was written and approved by the the state's two federally recognized tribes – the Southern Ute and the Ute Mountain Ute. It covers the gamut from the history of Indian Boarding Schools to arts, language and tribal governance.

New Gallery Will Be First in a Smithsonian Museum to Focus on U.S. Latino Experience

The Smithsonian announced Thursday that it will open its first gallery focused on the U.S. Latino experience, in the National Museum of American History. Opening in 2021 on the museum’s first floor, the Molina Family Latino Gallery will feature bilingual exhibits exploring the history and contributions of American Latinos.

Top Colleges Seeking Diversity From a New Source: Transfer Students

When applying to many of the nation's top universities, if you aren't accepted in that first, extremely competitive, round of admissions, you're not likely to get in. But some institutions are trying to change that. This fall semester, Princeton University offered admission to 13 transfer students, the first transfer admissions in nearly three decades. In reinstating the school's transfer program, they wanted to encourage applicants from low-income families, the military and from community colleges.

Breaking Down Barriers to Reading East of the Anacostia

When Derrick Young and his wife Ramunda opened MahoganyBooks on Good Hope Road Southeast last year, it was the first bookstore to open in the neighborhood in decades. The bookstore, which focuses on African American literature, is one of several attempts to increase reading and literacy east of the Anacostia River.

Education, Unsettled: Inside the Struggle to Keep Migrant Students in School and Out of the Fields

In North Carolina, migrant workers pick blueberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and tobacco, work on Christmas-tree farms, or have other jobs that require them to move from county to county and state to state. North Carolina is a stop on a typical migrant-worker route. Workers might start on the East Coast in Florida, picking tomatoes, oranges, or any number of other crops; pass through to North Carolina, where they may work with tobacco or blueberries; and end up in Michigan, harvesting everything from arugula to zucchini before starting over again. Inevitably, some of these workers bring their families, which means migrant students are going in and out of school districts around the country as their parents move for work.

Students as Citizen Archivists and Scientists: The New Community Service?

It may not be the typical white glove or laboratory experience, but students of history and science can find multiple opportunities to volunteer as citizen archivists or citizen scientists in a few important crowdsourcing efforts. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian offer parts of their collections to be organized and made accessible by employing the services of citizen volunteers.