Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

It’s Now Possible To Access 47 Million Academic Papers For Free, But Should We?


Anybody who is outside of universities and colleges in the Western world, and who has attempted to do academic research, knows about how expensive it is to gain access to many studies. Though there is an on-going effort by many researchers to make their work freely available, the lure of publication in prestigious journals is very tempting and often necessary for career enhancement.

Now, a Kazakhstan researcher – with allies from around the world – has devised a method that allows anybody to gain access to pretty much any published research paper – for free. Later in this post I’ll be sharing links to articles that explain how it works in more detail, but my understanding is that allies in institutions that do subscribe to these journals have shared log-in credentials. Once you copy and paste the url address to the paywalled paper into the “pirate” site, it automatically searches and mixes-and-matches until it gains access.

It seems unbelievable, but does appear to be extremely easy to use and works within minutes.

But it does raise obvious ethical and legal questions:

Yes, the publishers act like bandits, but how ethical is to get research for free – through subterfuge -that is being sold  (even though the people who wrote the study receive none of the the money – at least according to the articles written about this issue)?

When the movie industry began trying to shut-down pirate film sites, they were able to identify some who downloaded copies and prosecuted them. Is that a possibility here, or is the technology completely different?

Since these papers are about science, do ethical questions around pirated movies, books, and music not apply?

Are my questions reflective of a First World Problem mentality?

I’m raising these questions not only for me, but because I plan to discuss this site and these questions in my IB Theory of Knowledge class as we examine ethics….

Let me know what you think…

Here are articles about the site:

The website that offered 47 million pirated academic papers is back is from Quartz, and shares the new url address of the site.

The Research Pirates of the Dark Web is from The Atlantic.

Meet the Robin Hood of Science is from Big Think.

February 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

World Read Aloud Day Is On Feb. 24th – Here Are Related Resources


World Read Aloud Day is on February 24th, and I’ve just updated and revised The Best Resources For World Read Aloud Day.

You can also engage with authors Pam Allyn (@pamallyn) and Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks) during a Twitter chat on February 18th at 3pmEST/12pmPT about best practices.

February 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: “From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth”

Here’s an amazing video from NASA:

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

The images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite orbiting 1 million miles from Earth. From its position between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR conducts its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

I’ve added it to The Best Images Taken In Space, which I’ve just completely updated and revised.

February 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Justice Scalia’s Death – Resources For Teaching About It & Analyses Of What It Means For Ed


As readers know, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died yesterday. This post has two parts — first, teaching resources and, second, implications for educators and our students and their families:


Here are some resources about his life that I’m adding to The Best Sites To Learn About The U.S. Supreme Court (which I have just completely revised and updated):


It terms of policy implications related to education, I’m going to focus in on two (though I’m sure there are more).

First, the Friedrichs case (The Best Resources On The Awful Friedrichs Case), in which the Court was looking likely to decimate public sector unions, including our teachers unions.  Here’s what Mother Jones says:

This case, which produced one of the more contentious oral arguments of the term, was headed towards a 5-4 decision in favor of Rebecca Friedrichs and the other plaintiffs who were challenging the California’s teachers’ union’s right to charge public school employees fees to cover the costs of the collective bargaining it did on their behalf, even though they aren’t members of the union….The lawyers for Friedrichs asked the lower court to rule against them to hasten the case’s arrival at the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals complied, and now that decision is likely to stand if the liberal-conservative split on the court delivers a 4-4 vote. Labor wins.

The news isn’t as good for immigrant families of millions of our students (see The Best Resources On President Obama’s Executive Order On Immigration). Again, from Mother Jones:

Texas and nearly two dozen other states filed suit to block the implementation of President Barack Obama’s orders to the Department of Homeland Security to defer the deportation of about 5.5 million immigrants, especially children brought to the US illegally by their parents. In November, the ultra-conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a lower court decision, ruled that Obama had exceeded his authority to make such sweeping changes to the immigration system without an act of Congress. Obama’s move was in trouble even with Scalia on the court, but now it seems likely that a tie vote will result in the Fifth Circuit’s ruling holding fast. Immigrants lose.

However, Think Progress offers this ray of hope, though I don’t know realistic it is:

Where things get complicated is if the Justice Department successfully obtains an order from a different circuit upholding the program, or if an immigrant who hopes to benefit from the program obtains a similar order. The Fifth Circuit is among the most conservative courts in the country, and it is unlikely that every circuit will follow its lead. In that case, there will be competing court orders holding the policies both legal and illegal, and no possibility of Supreme Court review. It is not immediately clear what happens in such a case.

February 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Three years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2015 – Part Two and The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – Part Two.

Here are this week’s choices:

High Schools With College-Bound ELLs Share Common Practices, Study Finds is from Education Week.

I’ve just updated The Best Sites For Creating Sentence Scrambles.

The latest issue of my favorite ELL teaching journal, Humanising Language Teaching, is online for free viewing. EFL Classrooms Can Teach Higher Order Thinking Skills is an article from Humanising Language Teaching that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom.

Heads-Up English has many free and useful lesson plans.

ICE agents won’t be going onto Los Angeles public school campuses is from The L.A. Times. I’ve been writing quite a bit about the recent ICE raids and their impact on our students.

Here are two articles, offering somewhat different perspectives, that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual. Ironically, they came out on the same day:

Bilingual Kids Are Way Better At Thinking Outside The Rules is from Fast Company.

The Bitter Fight Over the Benefits of Bilingualism is from The Atlantic.

The New Yorker has published a special online collection of their articles on immigration.

Education Week has created a nice collection of articles about teaching English Language Learners. It’s free, though to have to take a minute to register.

5 Fantastic Ways to Pair Students is from ELT Experiences.

Migrant students ‘more motivated to learn’ is from The BBC.

I’m adding this first tweet to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them):

February 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

You might also be interested in The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015 – So Far and The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015.

Here are this week’s picks:

What Do We Mean When We Ask Learners to Think? is from Teach Learn Grow.

Asking “Why” Questions Does Not Improve Behavior is from Marvin Marshall. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

How Feedback Can Be More Kid-Friendly is from Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Rubric Sites (And A Beginning Discussion About Their Use).


Homework: What does the Hattie research actually say? is from Head Guru Teacher. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

I’m adding these two tweets to The Best Resources On “Close Reading” — Help Me Find More: