Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent NY Times Column Today On Teaching English Language Learners

Thanks to Carol Salva, I learned about today’s NY Times column headlined What Is America to Me?

In it, writer Margaret Renkl tells about her experience working in an ELL classroom in Nashville, and the challenges facing students – especially after the election of President Trump.

Here’s how it ends:

 

My students have some of the same fears  those Nashville students have, which they wrote about in The Washington Post: ‘Dear President-elect Trump’: Immigrant students write letters asking for ‘the opportunity to demonstrate we are good people.’

July 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Videos For Content Teachers With ELLs In Their Classes – Please Suggest More

Many mainstream content teachers have English Language Learner students in their classrooms. And they often are not sure of the best ways to support them.

I thought it could be useful to bring together a collection of short videos that they might find useful. I hope readers will suggest others.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning Strategies To Teach ELL’s In Content Classes.

Here are my video picks:

I’ve got to start with this great one from Valentina Gonzalez:

Next up is this one from Carol Salva. It’s designed for volunteers in an ESL classroom, but they’re good ideas for all teachers with ELLs to keep in mind:

There are so many good things to say about it and how it provides a glimpse into the challenges facing our English Language Learners. It’s a little longer than most other videos on this list, but it’s well worth the extra few minutes:

Here are some words of wisdom from Dr. Jim Cummins on scaffolding for ELLs:

Lastly, here’s a short excerpt from a longer interview the the Time of Remembrance Project did with me:

Here’s a video suggested by Carol Salva where a science teacher is offering her thoughts and examples:

Here’s another one from Carol where one of her students shares what has helped him in the classroom:

Again, I hope readers will suggest more short videos, especially ones that show scaffolding in action…

July 13, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four 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 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far.

Here are this week’s choices:

I’ve previously posted an excerpt from Carol Salva’s great new book (see New Book Excerpt: Supporting ELL Students With Interrupted Formal Education) and now you can participate in an online book discussion about it. Learn about the easy process at Book Study on Boosting Achievement.

What Modern Language teachers like and dislike about professional development events is from Gianfranco Conti. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More.

This website has an incredible collection of short narrated slideshows where immigrants share their stories. You can also view and/or download transcripts. They would be great models for students to use to create their own. Thanks to Damaris Gutierrez for sharing it on Twitter.

Beyond the Gap Fill: Dynamic Activities for Song in the EFL Classroom is from American English. I’m adding it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

Contours of the Field: Engaging Parents of English Learners is from New America.

Here’s a nice example of phonics instruction for high school ELLs. You can download materials here. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics:

July 1, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four 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 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far.

Here are this week’s choices:

Bracing for a Showdown Over Immigration Rights, DACA is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Practical Resources For Helping Teachers, Students & Families Respond To Immigration Challenges.

Carol Salva writes about the many ways teachers can use the Kahoot game with ELLs.

Are You Practicing Culturally Responsive Teaching? is from Valentina Gonzalez. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About “Culturally Responsive Teaching” & “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy” – Please Share More!

What’s new in ELT besides technology? is from Cambridge Press.

ESL Jigsaws by Nancy Callan has some great ideas about how to use the jigsaw strategy with ELLs, along with offering excellent materials.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.

I also happened to learn about a good reading site for Intermediate ELLs called Talk Path Therapy.  Nancy writes about it here.

Here are several new additions to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons:

You can find a bunch of “spot the difference” pictures here. I’ve found these useful as part of a classroom vocabulary game. You can find even more here.

I’ve sometimes shown photos to students, hid the captions, and challenged them to write their own. It’s easy hide the captions at The Atlantic Focus photo blog ; the Boston Globe’s Big Picture and The Sacramento Bee’s photo galleries. These three sites show large images with captions at the bottom of the photos that are easy to cover-up. In addition, Getty Images has the ability to click on an icon and have the captions disappear.

Speaking of captions, The British Council has a special site where ELLs can write captions for photos.

Finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ELT Pics is a wonderful site for ELL teachers who want to use photos.

June 25, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four 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 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far.

By the way, today is the day Katie Hull and I officially began writing our next book on teaching ELLs.  It’s going to be a crazy summer, so I’ll probably be posting less than I have in the past….

Here are this week’s choices:

Drawception is an online site where users play a weird but fun combination of Pictionary and the Telephone game. It’s been around for awhile, but they now finally added the ability to create private virtual rooms so that you can control who you get to play with – a must if teachers are going to use it with students. I’ve added it to The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms” and just updated the entire list.

In reviewing some of my older posts, I rediscovered The British Game from the British Council. It has a lot of nice videos, but its key quality is having many follow-up interactives for each one. I’ll definitely have my Intermediate students try it out next year.

Another site I revisited is Scott Thornbury’s index at his blog, An A-Z of ELT. Check it out!

Eight Characteristics of Effective (& Awesome) ESL Teachers is from Valentina Gonzalez.

Netflix has begun creating online video “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories. Unfortunately, they only work on a touch screen for now, not within the browser of a computer. These kinds of stories are great for ELLs, though, and I’m adding the info to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.

Google has allowed Voice Dictation for awhile on Google Docs (see Google Docs Expands Voice-Typing Ability Expanding Language-Learning Possibilities). Microsoft is now late to the party and offers an extension to do something similar for Word.

Too Few ELL Students Land in Gifted Classes is from Ed Week.

LingoKids is a new online English program for younger children. They have a supposedly free program for teachers, but you can’t try it out without giving your contact information and then have a representative contact you. You can read more the company at TechCrunch.

North Jersey teen, among first Syrian refugees in U.S., graduates near top of class is from a New Jersey newspaper. Thanks to Alexander Russo for the tip.

Four Teacher Collaboration FAQs is from Tan Huynh.

I recently posted What’s Your Best Lesson For Beginning Or Intermediate English Language Learners? and the two first responses I received were from great teachers:

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…But How Do We Get Those Words Out? is from Valentina Gonzalez.

Summer Vacation! is from David Deubelbeiss.

Here’s a video from Carol Salva:

June 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four 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 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far.

By the way, today is the day Katie Hull and I officially began writing our next book on teaching ELLs.  It’s going to be a crazy summer, so I’ll probably be posting less than I have in the past….

Here are this week’s choices:

Jr. Naver, from Korea, has many free and accessible animations and cartoons designed to teach English.

Your Walls as a Co-Teacher is as great post from Carol Salva.

Even for Late Learners, Starting to Read Changes the Brain Fast is an article from Ed Week that has a nice graphic. I’m going to to show it to my ELL students who are not literate in their home language. It goes along with lessons I do about how learning new things makes the brain “grow.” I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning and to The Best Online Resources For Teachers of Pre-Literate ELL’s & Those Not Literate In Their Home Language.

This earpiece can translate foreign languages in seconds is from Wired. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation.

Want to teach online? RPG comes to the rescue! is definitely intriguing.

Understanding Outcomes for English Learners: The Importance of the ‘Ever EL’ Category is from Inside IES Research. Here’s a quote:”While the low graduation rates for current ELs are certainly concerning, it is also important to know that former ELs are graduating at rates slightly higher than students never classified as ELs (77.9 percent vs. 75.6 percent, respectively).”

Does Vocabulary Instruction Improve Reading Comprehension? is from The Backseat Linguist.

Collaborative Reasoning: Small Group Discussions and Their Impact on Language Learning is from ELT Research Bites.

K-12 Teachers Are Disproportionately White and Monolingual. Here’s One Way That Could Change. is from Slate.

‘Dreamers’ to Stay in U.S. for Now, but Long-Term Fate Is Unclear is from The NY Times.

June 17, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Is A Must-Watch Video For Any Volunteer Or Peer Tutor Working With ELLs

This video by Carol Salva is on The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – Part Two list.

It’s the perfect resource for any volunteer who is going to work with English Language Learners for the first time.

Six advanced ELLs have volunteered to work with fifteen Beginning ELLs who are taking a summer school class taught by one of my talented student teachers, and they will benefit greatly by viewing it.

I figured if any other teachers are having volunteers helping with summer school, they too might benefit from me re-posting it:

June 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Here’s What I Will Do Differently (& The Same) Next School Year – Share Your Own “Resolutions”

Today was the last day of our school year.

And here’s a photo with just a few of the many wonderful students I taught this year:

I thought the last day of school would be a good time for me to take some time and reflect on what I want to do the same – and differently – to make next year an even better one!

Here is what I’ve come up with – please share your own reflections in the comments section:

BEGINNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS:

* One thing I did differently this year was spend a shorter amount of time (a few months instead of most of the school year) using the Picture Word Induction Model (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching) before I moved students into more formal academic writing.   That change seemed to work quite well, and was facilitated by having a bilingual aide work more intensively with newcomers while I was working with the larger numbers of High Beginners/Low Intermediates.

*One effective task our aide did with the newcomers was explicit phonics instruction done inductively (see The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics).  I plan on starting that sooner than I did this year.

* After a fair amount of trial-and-error, I was able to identify some decent resources to support our newcomers who were not literate in their home language (see The Best Online Resources For Teachers of Pre-Literate ELL’s & Those Not Literate In Their Home Language). I’m hoping to spend more time reading Carol Salva’s new book on teaching students with interrupted formal education (see New Book Excerpt: Supporting ELL Students With Interrupted Formal Education) to get some more ideas.   Thirteen years ago, I had a lot of experience teaching pre-literate Hmong refugee students, but it’s a different world today, including different cultures.

* Next year, we’re going to make sure our Beginners take a full period each day just focused on verbal skills taught by a talented colleague (see Here’s A Plan For An Oral Skills Class Next Year – Please Help Make It Better!) and I think that it will make a world of difference.

* I’m happy that I did not repeat my biggest teaching mistake (see I Talk About My Biggest Teaching Mistake In This Radio Interview) and took back a period of my Beginning ELL class from a student teacher when it became very large and diverse (she then took over from me teaching our ELL World History class).

* This summer, Katie Hull and I are writing our third book on teaching ELLs.  We both experimented with a number of new instructional strategies this year, and our writing over the next two months will give us a chance to reflect on them.  As we all know, writing helps us think better, and I’m hoping that this process will help me implement many of these strategies more effectively and systematically next year!

IB THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

* I made a lot of changes in my IB Theory of Knowlege classes (you can read about many of them, including accessing tons of lesson plans and materials, at The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2016 – Part Two and  The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2017 – So Far). I’m happy to say that most, if not all, worked well.

* I have students regularly provide anonymous evaluations of my classes and me (see The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers) ). Evaluations are generally very positive, but were even more positive this year. I attribute that result to many of the changes I made to the class.

* In that evaluation, several students did comment on the clutter in my room. That was a well-founded critique, and this week moved many materials into a storage closet across from my room. I can access materials from there when needed instead of keeping them all in my room.

* When I introduce class evaluations, I always request that students take it very seriously and help me become a better teacher. This year, though, I made an addition. I said that they should feel free to make a funny comment if they wanted, but that it had to be accompanied by a serious one. Not only did that admonition, I believe, result in more substantial evaluations, but it also meant I received more and funnier comments than I have received in the past. I hope to compile them in the next week or two. Several were along with lines of “He is a good teacher considering he is an old man.” After reading them, I assured my classes that I would somehow identify who wrote those lines and hunt them down 🙂

ELL SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSES

* I like the curriculum I’ve developed for my ELL World History, U.S. History and Geography classes (you can see much of it at our class blogs). I pretty much supervised student teachers in all of them. I think I got very lucky this year with some very talented teacher candidates, and know that I can’t count on that happening every year. Future ones (like some others I’ve had in the past) might require far great supervision than I gave this year, and I have to spend some time this summer figuring out how to make that happen.

* One regret I have is not encouraging the student teacher in my Geography class to implement sister class projects (see Links To The Joint Projects My ELL Geography Class Did With Classes Around The World – Want To Join Us This Year?).   I don’t want to make that same mistake next year.

 

As you can see, I still have a lot to think about.

But it’s a start.

What about you?

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