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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Seeds of Maya Genius Grow in a New Kind of School

Imagine a small, developing nation whose education system is severely lacking: schools are poorly funded, students can't afford tuition or books, fewer than half of indigenous girls even attend school — and often drop out to take care of siblings or get married. These are the schools of rural Guatemala. Now meet a firebrand educator who thinks he has a way to reinvent those schools by focusing on the whole child.

How Traumatized Are Puerto Rico's Children, and What's Being Done to Help?

Puerto Rico's students and teachers are still grappling with fallout from Hurricane Maria more than a year after the storm struck the island. So what do we know about the extent of trauma in the U.S. territory's schools, and what resources are being brought to bear to help them? 

One of the World's 7,000 Languages Dies Every Three Months. Can Apps Help Save Them?

Like his ancestors, 65-year-old Clayton Long spent his childhood immersed in Navajo culture, greeting fellow clan members with old, breathful Navajo words like "Yá'át'ééh." Then he was sent to an English-only boarding school where his native language, also known as Diné, was banned. "I went into a silent resistance," Long says from his home in Blanding, Utah. He vowed that he would help to preserve it after he left, work he has done for about three decades as a teacher. This week, he’s entering new territory on that mission: the app store. Long is one of the educators working with language-learning startup Duolingo on the company’s latest endeavor: using its popular app to revive threatened languages. On Oct. 8, celebrated in some places as Indigenous People's Day, Duolingo will launch courses in both Navajo and Hawaiian, two of the estimated 3,150 languages that face doubts about their long-term survival.

Most States Failing to Meet English-Learner Academic Targets, Report Finds

A new U.S. Department of Education report found that states are struggling to meet their academic targets for English-language learners in mathematics and reading. "The Biennial Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Title III State Formula Grant Program" found that just five states met their goals for helping English-language learners make progress in learning the language and reaching academic targets in mathematics and reading during the 2013-14 school year, the most recent year for which data was submitted.

Situation Precarious for Tens of Thousands of Children in Indonesia

On September 28, a powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, followed by a tsunami with waves up to 20 feet high. One week later, the death toll has risen to 1,581, and that number is expected to increase as more bodies are recovered. More than 66,000 houses have reportedly been damaged and at least 70,000 people are homeless. The situation remains particularly precarious for tens of thousands of child survivors, many of whom have been separated from their families. The longer a child is separated from her or his family, the more difficult it is to locate them and the more at risk a child is to violence, economic and sexual exploitation, abuse and potential trafficking.

Why Eleanor Roosevelt's Civics Book for Kids Is Making a Comeback

In 1932, Eleanor Roosevelt's husband Franklin had just been elected president. In the throes of raising five children, Eleanor thought they should know "what their parents were up to" and "how it all worked," according to her granddaughter Nancy Ireland. "When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You," a civics book Eleanor wrote for young children that year, only came across Ireland's desk a year ago, even though she has spent three decades in charge of her grandmother's literary estate. "I was never given a copy of it by my parents, which amuses me," she told PBS NewsHour about the book's new reissue this month. The book, with revised text by Michelle Markel and illustrations by Grace Lin, explains to readers age 6-12 (and beyond) that we all have a stake in how our democracy is governed.

American Educator: Educating English Language Learners

The Fall 2018 edition of AFT's American Educator magazine focuses on English Language Learners, with articles from Dr. Diane August; Dr. Linda Espinosa; Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski; Aídfa Walqui and Margaret Heritage; John Seidlitz; and Sara Rutherford-Quach, Annie Camey Kuo, Hsiaolin Hsieh.

Four Steps Schools Should Take to Identify Gifted English-Learners

Despite the growing numbers of English-language learners in U.S. schools, their representation in gifted and talented programs continues to lag behind not only their native English-speaking peers, but also other underserved populations, including black and Hispanic students and children from low-income families.

New Study Examines Costs of Dual Language Immersion Programs

A new study, published in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), explores the costs of Dual Language Immersion programs and monolingual English programs in Portland Public Schools (PPS). The study aims to uncover differences in these programs spending over time and analyzes the processes by which these programs are connected with student achievement. Portland Public Schools (PPS) has a long history of supporting DLI and uses a lottery process for student admission into these programs. In 2012, PPS partnered with the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, RAND Corporation, and the American Councils for International Education to conduct a comprehensive study of their DLI programs, including academic impact and implementation.