Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Titatok & Tar Heel Reader For Student Writing — Again


I’ve posted several times about Tikatok and Tar Heel Reader, but for some reasons didn’t think until now of including them in The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience” list.  It’s a natural fit, and I’ve just added them to that list.  (By the way, both are on The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online list).

Titatok a site that is a real find for English Language Learners (and lots of other students). Users can create online books that they write and illustrate (they can also use lots of images available on the site). It has a number of features that really make it stand-out. You can make a book from scratch, or you can use one of their many story frames that contain “prompts” to help the story-writer along. In addition, you can invite others to collaborate online with you to develop the book.

Once the book is done you can email the link to a friend, teacher, or yourself for posting on a blog, website, or online journal and the site is available on Titatok for others to read. You can create the online version for free, but have to pay if you want them to print a hard-copy version.

Tar Heel Reader has two great features: 1) It has 1,000 simple books with audio support for the text immediately accessible to Beginning English Language Learners and 2) It makes it as simple as you can get for students to create their own “talking” books using images from Flickr.

Anybody can read the books on the site.  However, in order to have your students create talking books using their “easy as pie” (and free) process, you need to register and have to have a code.  They’re rightfully concerned about publishing the code because of spammers.  Gary Bishop from the site, though, is happy to provide it to teachers.  Just write him at and he’ll send it to you.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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


  1. Hi Larry,

    I love how you can make books with Tar Heel, but I cannot figure out how to embed the finished project into a ning or blog… do you know if the books can be captured or embedded somehow? If I could, I would : )

    Your fan,

  2. Ellen,

    I know you might like to embed them but I really think it best just to use a .jpg and link (like you did with your voicethreads). It is already hosted and available publicly.

    As I suggested to you previously – we’ll be having a Tar Heel Reader contest on EFL Classroom 2.0! I love Tar Heel and the winner will be voted on at the end of May. Details in our May newsletter next week – but cash is on the line! (Amazon certificates actually – let’s get reading).

    your fan too,


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