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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Local Immigrant Inclusion Group Offering Training for English as a Second Language Teachers

A local immigrant inclusion initiative, All for All, is recruiting English as A Second Language teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program. ESL teachers have reported feeling isolated and overwhelmed as Pittsburgh’s immigrant and refugee population grows and diversifies. Organizers said ESL teachers in the region have limited access to training and opportunities to share best practices with other teachers at a time when the ELL population in the area is growing.

What's Happening in the Brain of a Multi-Lingual Child?

Have you ever considered what might be going in the mind of someone who happens to be multilingual? Modern research continues to point to the fact that individuals who speak more than one language have a tremendous advantage. The brain becomes permanently shaped and influenced by the addition of an extra language, but is that where it stops?

How Puppetry Class Helps District 54 English Language Learners

An unusual partnership played out last week when students in the Playful Puppeteers Club from Churchill School in Schaumburg set up their stage and puppets in front of Opera in Focus, a professional puppet theater in Rolling Meadows. The young puppeteers from Schaumburg are all English Learner students, whose participation in the club strengthens their language and reading skills, as well as their self-confidence and teamwork, their teachers said.

A Fifth Grader's Mission to Save His School’s Librarian

When Jakari Singleton heard his school might lose its librarian, he went right to the source to confirm the news. "He said, 'Is this true?'" says Mindy Burns, who has been the teacher-librarian at Fryelands Elementary School in Monroe, WA, since it opened 13 years ago. When Burns informed Jakari that, yes, the district was in fact considering eliminating her position and others, the 11-year-old told her, "I'm going to save your job.'"

Spanish-English and Urdu-English Programs Coming to Schools in Guilford County

Students at Allen Jay Elementary learn all the time in English, even though many are native speakers of Spanish, or Urdu, the main language of Pakistan. Next year, though, Guilford County Schools will debut new dual-language programs at Allen Jay and Hunter Elementary in Greensboro. All rising kindergartners have the option to get half their lessons next year in a different language: Spanish at both schools and Urdu at Allen Jay. They plan to add first-grade the year after, and so on, so that children can progress through.

Too Hot to Learn? New Research Links Hot Temps to Academic Struggles

It's nearly 90 degrees outside. You have 30-plus kids in a classroom. And you have no air conditioning. Is it too hot to learn? The answer, according to newly released research, is yes. It's a timely study. On Tuesday and Wednesday, students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District were released three hours early because of the heat. They also were expected to be sent home three hours early Thursday. The same thing happened in a few other charter schools and school districts this week.

Let's Stop Talking About the '30 Million Word Gap'

Did you know that kids growing up in poverty hear 30 million fewer words by age 3? Chances are, if you're the type of person who reads a newspaper or listens to NPR, you've heard that statistic before. But did you know that the number comes from just one study, begun almost 40 years ago, with just 42 families? That some people argue it contained a built-in racial bias? Or that others, including the authors of a brand-new study that calls itself a "failed replication," say it's just wrong? NPR talked to eight researchers on all sides to explore this controversy.

R.I. Districts Adapt to Rise in English Language Learners

As Rhode Island's population of English Language learners continues to grow, some districts, including Providence, Central Falls and South Kingstown, are partnering with local colleges to fast track this training to put more teachers in the pipeline.

Starting with a Pop-Up, a School Library Grows in Denver

Janet Damon, Ed.S, MLSIS, is the library services specialist for Denver Public Schools.  In this blog post about a pop-up library she helped create at a Denver high school, she writes, "I then asked, 'How many of you had a library in elementary school?' More than half raised their hands. ‘How many of you had a library in middle school?’ Only three hands were still raised—and this school, as the principal noted, has no high school library. This predominately Hispanic and African American community doesn’t have librarians to help them connect to books—and most kids don't have the devices to read ebooks on from our digital collection. This situation creates a systemic problem: I believe that implicit bias creates a belief that students of color don’t care about reading. Students often internalize this negative belief."