Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

ESL/EFL Sister Classes Project

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ESL/EFL teachers from seven countries (Kuwait, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Sudan, Hungary, and Romania) have brought our classes together online to correspond and to develop joint projects. You can see some of the first efforts by our students in their introductory slideshows, VoiceThreads, animated movies and videos at our Student Showcase. Feel free to leave audio or written comments on the VoiceThreads, and written comments on the blog itself.

We’re also open to other teachers of Intermediate English classes comprised of 15-20 year-olds joining us. You can leave a comment or contact me (or any of the other teachers who are now participating) directly if you’re interested.

We’re exploring a variety of future projects, including creating a Ning-like network (but we can’t use Ning since my School District blocks it) and possibly studying and sharing presentations on topics like how our governments work, the effects of globalization on each of our countries, and our countries’ histories.

The teachers participating now are Dot MacKenzie, Hala Fawzi, Ronaldo, Ana Maria, Tibor Prievara, Rita Zeinstejer, Mona Bran and me.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

11 Comments

  1. What a great idea! You’re creating a classroom across countries and native languages to explore our emerging 21st century global culture.

    Good luck, and I look forward to reading more about your international educational experiment!

  2. Hi Larry. Can we leverage our traffic to help your efforts in any way?

  3. Pingback: “Burbank Students Use Blog To Learn English” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

  4. Great Work Larry, Regarding the creation on a social network I would suggest an ELGG that creates a ning kind of environment. You might be familiar with youthvoices; http://youthvoices.net/elgg/_weblog/everyone.php I caught from Teachers Teaching Teachers. Check out post on Social Networking for teens; http://teachersteachingteachers.org/?p=160

  5. This is a great idea.
    I teach ELL students from novice to advanced and would love to get more exposure to other students from around the world. My students’ ages range from 15-25. At my school we have been talking a lot about how to enhance learning for our students and bring them into the 21st century.
    Unfortunately we are a small school with a small budget and our technology doesn’t always seem to be ready for the 21st century. Plus, many sites are blocked.
    Please keep me informed about any work you might be doing. I am definitely interested and hope to be able to clear some technology issues to participate. I am also using my personal e-mail to make sure nothing gets blocked at this point.
    Inge White
    ESL teacher, Vermont

  6. I love this idea and an excited to join. I look forward to participating and reading. This looks to be a great and wonderful social network, we can learn from each other.
    ESL Teacher wife of ESL student

  7. There are so many more possibilities is one is willing to look outside the box and try something new!

    I teach many older, ELL students. I’ve also been doing language exchanges for several years with partners in Europe, Africa and South America and can say from personal experience that this is an excellent way to learn another language. Recently, I’ve moved beyond e-mail and text/voice messaging and have set up private, multimedia blogs that several partners and I are using with great success. I’m now applying what I’ve learned to my students and am in the early stages of setting up blog-based discussion groups that will mix some of my own ELLs with ELLs from other countries. The participants will be given full editorial permissions, so they will be able to upload photos and videos, create podcasts and make voice comments to supplement the text discussions. The direction of the discussions will be entirely under their control. My role will be to give feedback, such as impromptu grammar lessons, based on the kinds of errors they make, or recording myself reading what they have written to help them improve their pronunciation and develop an ear for the rhythms of the language.

    This is only one example of what can be done with this technology. I mention it because it demonstrates how adaptable these tools can be. The solutions can be as formal or informal, structured or unstructured as the situation requires. It must be remembered, however, that it’s also a learn-as-you-go process for both the learners and the instructor, and as they gain experience in using this technology, more and more new ideas on how to use it will begin to present themselves.

    Cost is really not an issue. There are free, open-source alternatives to most proprietary software products. When UNIX and Linux operating systems are installed on older, donated computers, many of these computers will have the same capabilities and perform as well as Vista running on a new machine.

    A possible solution to the problem of sites being blocked is to subscribe to a web hosting service. They are very inexpensive. The one I am using now offers 1 1/2 terabytes of storage for $6.95 a month on a two-year contract and allows me to install up to 50 free blogs, photo galleries and other useful tools. It takes less than a minute to install a blog and plugins can be used to expand it into a social-networking tool. Since the site is private and owned by the subscriber, concerns that would cause it to be blocked should be moot. Again, there are a lot of possibilities if one is willing to step outside the box.

  8. Bob makes many excellent points. Sometimes our schools seem more designed for 19th century industrial models than 21st century educational experiments. We can do so much more by thinking outside the box!

    By the way, OTAN has been pushing some educational technology seminars for adult educators. I don’t qualify since I now teach at a university, but the technology integration program appears designed to encourage these sorts of cross-cultural and language rich environments using 2.0 technologies.

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to learning and learning and learning more.

  9. Bob,

    It sounds like you’re doing some great things with your students!

    Certainly the idea of increasing student autonomy is a universal that all educators — K-12 and adult — need to be more conscious of.

    Some of the specific examples you cite might be more appropriate with adult English Language Learners than with K-12 public school students because of many School District policies, and because of the greater ELL access to native English speaking students on campus.

    I’m all for thinking out of the box, and I hope you’ll write more somewhere about your projects.

    Larry

  10. Hi everybody!
    I’m a teacher of ESL and I also have a web page where you can find resourses on grammar to teach English as a foreign language. About the idea of the autor about creating a classroom in many countries such as Brazil, I think it is so cool, and teachers that know or have heard about CALL (Computer Language Learning) could also make part of this project and provide better tools to make it better.

    :) Bye, Sofìa,
    My page is: http://www.amigadelsaborbumangues.pbwiki.com

  11. Now I got my edublog. http://galobeasam.edublogs.org

    I´m presenting a proposal to my school about BILINGUAL AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATION for the media vocational students. I hope we can start the program by fall. There´s so many potential resources on this project, and we can help each other a lot.

    Regards to everybody

    Guillermo
    EFL teacher INEM Pereira, Colombia

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