Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

New York Times Article & Graphic On ELL’s


I posted earlier this week about The New York Times series on immigration.

Today, they included:

An extensive article on educating newcomers titled Where Education and Assimilation Collide

A video of high school that has newcomers in separate classes

an interactive graphic of the entire United States that showed each county, its number of students, and the percentage of English Language Learners.

The pages also include resources I’ve written about in the past.

It’s unfortunate that the article focuses so much on a newcomer program that appears to concentrate on “teaching to the test” by concentrating on fact memorization and worksheets, and that it creates a false dichotomy that either ELL’s are taught separately or with mainstream students.

As readers of this blog know, our inner city school (with over half the student body being English Language Learners) has a culture of not teaching to the test, yet we are one of the few high schools in the country that has exited fourth year Program Improvement Status.

We have some separate classes for English Language Learners, and also integrate them with other mainstream students.  In our separate classes, we create opportunities to connect with the rest of the student body, such as having sister classes.

I’m sure many other successful schools with ELL’s don’t teach to the test and don’t see teaching newcomers as an “either/or” situation.

Too bad The Times didn’t choose one or more of those schools to write about.

Readers might be interested in an article the principal of my school and I co-wrote titled The Positive Impact of English Language Learners At An Urban School.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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


  1. Wow Larry, what a great series! I’m so glad I dropped by today!

  2. Larry, thanks.

    I really think your school/district has it right. I’m really concerned about how many school districts are “pushing in” and not respecting the evidence/research which shows that ELLs need specific and small group support – “pulled out”. It fosters their own transition and identity and if done correctly, doesn’t mean they won’t be integrated or have opportunity to participate in the wider school culture.

    Sounds like you guys are on the right track and good to hear good news when so many are falling through the cracks whether by virtue of the test culture or just inattention….



  3. I completely agree, Larry. I think it is important that successful models like Burbank are showcased as they give an alternative to the “teach to the test” schools.

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