Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

'Paulo Freire-simon Rodrigues' photo (c) 2007, geya garcia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve written several times about how I use critical pedagogy with English Language Learners, specifically using a Freirian model (see “Freire’s Learning Sequence” from this blog and a New York Times piece I wrote).

In addition, I’ve often written about how I use the Fotobabble tool, which lets you post an image and provide a thirty second narration with it (see Student Writing & Metacognition).

Well, our student teachers and I put the two together this week with our Beginning English Language Learners.

Johnny Doolittle, an art teacher at our school, regularly uses his prep (free) period to help our ELLs, and this week did an art project with them. Along with creating art, our student teachers thought it would be a good time to use some Diego Rivera artwork in the context of a critical pedagogy lesson.

Students followed this sequence with the art:

1. Show a picture or short video clip portraying a national or international problem, or a common challenge your students face.

2. Next, ask students to share what they believe is happening. What is the problem they think is being portrayed?

3. Ask students what they think caused the problem.

4. This is followed by asking students if they, members of their family, or friends have ever experienced a similar problem.

5. Next, students can share how they responded to the problem.

6. The final task is to ask them to talk about other ideas they might have about how to respond to the problem, potentially bringing everything together in a poster to share.

This is where Fotobabble came in — we then took a picture of students with their “storyboarded” answers, and recorded their narration.

It worked pretty well. Here are a couple of example:

Also, students showed the art they created with Mr. Doolittle, and described the steps they took to create it:

October 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

'Paulo Freire-simon Rodrigues' photo (c) 2007, geya garcia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve written several times about how I use critical pedagogy with English Language Learners, specifically using a Freirian model (see “Freire’s Learning Sequence” from this blog and a New York Times piece I wrote).

In addition, I’ve often written about how I use the Fotobabble tool, which lets you post an image and provide a thirty second narration with it (see Student Writing & Metacognition).

Well, our student teachers and I put the two together this week with our Beginning English Language Learners.

Johnny Doolittle, an art teacher at our school, regularly uses his prep (free) period to help our ELLs, and this week did an art project with them. Along with creating art, our student teachers thought it would be a good time to use some Diego Rivera artwork in the context of a critical pedagogy lesson.

Students followed this sequence with the art:

1. Show a picture or short video clip portraying a national or international problem, or a common challenge your students face.

2. Next, ask students to share what they believe is happening. What is the problem they think is being portrayed?

3. Ask students what they think caused the problem.

4. This is followed by asking students if they, members of their family, or friends have ever experienced a similar problem.

5. Next, students can share how they responded to the problem.

6. The final task is to ask them to talk about other ideas they might have about how to respond to the problem, potentially bringing everything together in a poster to share.

This is where Fotobabble came in — we then took a picture of students with their “storyboarded” answers, and recorded their narration.

It worked pretty well. Here are a couple of example:

Also, students showed the art they created with Mr. Doolittle, and described the steps they took to create it:

June 12, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Making Book Trailers With Fotobabble

I’ve previously posted about the video book trailers we’ll be doing in class during the final week of school next week.

As a “warm-up” and for some low-stress practice, we’ve been having students make one minute Fotobabbles about their favorite books of the year. Students just go to Amazon, find the book, right-click on the image, left-click on “View image information” and then copy the “location.” They can then paste that url address into Fotobabble to get the front page of the book. Next, they use the outline I shared in that previous post to say their review.

You can see a some excellent examples at our class blog.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.

May 18, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Fotobabble Now Lets You Create Slideshows

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of Fotobabble, the free tool that lets users use a photo and make a one minute recording to accompany it. I believe that it’s one of the best Web 2.0 tools out there — for English Language Learners and native English speakers alike.

The main drawback to it, of course, is that it’s been limited to a one minute recording.

Today, though, Fotobabble announced the ability to string together Fotobabbles in order to create a slideshow. The process does sound a little bit cumbersome but, then again, I haven’t tried it yet so I might very well be wrong. Here are their instructions on how to do it:

Go to the slideshow page and follow these steps to create your own:

1. Create a series of Fotobabbles
2. Tag them all with the same, unique tag (i.e. FlatStanleyCA) and make them Public
3. Enter a slide number (i.e., where the Fotobabble should go in the slideshow)
4. Search for the unique tag in the search bar
5. After your search results appear, click the slideshow link
6. Your slideshow is ready!

When I try it with my students, I’ll post to let you know how easy or difficult it is. Please leave a comment sharing your experience, too.

I’ll be adding this post to The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows.

May 19, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Fotobabble Gets Even Better!

Fotobabble, the a neat application where people can post photos along with an audio description, has gotten even better.

Now, users can grab images off the web by just using the photo’s url address. Before, uploading images was the only option.

It’s one of the best Web 2.0 applications of the year for educators, and is on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list.

It’s a simple tool students can use to practice their speaking skills. It’s very easy to use but, just in case, Russell Stannard at the great Teacher Training Videos has posted a good video tutorial on how to use the app.

March 24, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Fotobabble Video Tutorial

I’ve written about Fotobabble, a neat application where people can post photos along with an audio description. It’s on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list.

It’s very easy to use but, just in case, Russell Stannard at the great Teacher Training Videos has posted a good video tutorial on how to use the app.

February 27, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

I Like Fotobabble

Fotobabble is a super-easy application that lets you upload a photo, provide a minute audio recording to go along with it, and then you get a link and an embed code that can be used for sharing.

I wish it provided the option to grab an image off the Web instead of only uploading photos, but I guess you can’t have everything.

It’s a simple tool students can use to practice their speaking skills.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

Thanks to the Make Use of blog for the tip.

October 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Singing, Recording & Authentic Audiences For English Language Learners

All teachers of English Language Learners know that encouraging speaking is always a “tough nut to crack.” I’ve written a lot about how I try to do it in the classroom, and how I’ve used technology to help with it.

Those tech resources and strategies have included using Instagram videos, narrated Fotobabbles to promote speaking and metcognition, iPhone apps for creating audio puppet shows, and videos for sister classes around the world.

Having students sing is a staple for ELL teachers and students, too (see The Best Music Websites For Learning English). I’ve just tried an experiment with music and tech that I think I’ll be making a regular part of my class routine now.

One of my classes is a combined Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learner one. This past week, the Beginners learned “You Are So Beautiful” (the number one song, in my humble opinion, out there for ELLs). It’s part of our unit on description words. They then performed it for the Intermediate ELLs, agreed to let me record it with my iPhone, and I uploaded it to SoundCloud and posted the recording on our class blog.

Here it is for your enjoyment:

My Beginning students developed new vocabulary, had fun, practiced listening, speaking and reading, and performed for an authentic audience. And are very motivated to do it again! What more can I ask from a lesson?

It was easy to record on my iPhone and upload to SoundCloud.

Unfortunately, its iPhone app eliminated the recording function. However, another app, Audio Copy, is set up to record and provides an easy feature to upload to SoundCloud.

I’m sure plenty of other teachers have done this before, but it was a first — though not the last– for me!