Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: “What Would Paulo Freire Do If He Was A School Superintendent?”

Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

I originally shared this post in 2009.  You might also be interested in A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009.

We don’t have to imagine the answer to that question because Freire, the famous popular educator, was indeed the Superintendent of schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil during 1989-91, and Bob Peterson has just written an article about that experience in the most recent issue of ReThinking Schools. The article is titled Big City Superintendents: Dictatorship or Democracy? Lessons from Paulo Freire .

Here’s a quote from the article:

The heart of the Freire administration’s plan to transform the schools was the movement to reorient the curriculum. This was a change that was only partially successful, uneven from school to school. But it still stands in sharp contrast to the top-down, scripted curricular reforms that are being forced on many of the large urban districts in this country.

At the core of Freire’s approach was changing the nature of teaching and learning in the classrooms. The curriculum had to be based on the realities of the students’ lives, be meaningful to their aspirations, bridge disciplinary divides, incorporate assessments that accurately reflected student learning, and be constantly reflected upon by educators during paid collaborative planning times during the work day. Teachers were being expected not to “deliver” curriculum, but to create it in collaboration with each other, their students, and the community. According to Freire, his goal was

. . . to gradually elevate the level of knowledge of the teachers, promote collective work as the privileged form of teacher formation, and afford the material conditions for all this to occur. In this manner the pedagogic innovations are appropriated, the curricular alterations fruitful, because the principal agents [of these changes], the teachers, are considered not objects of training, but elements that produce and re-elaborate knowledge.

Now, I know that you can’t just take a strategy from one country and plop it into another. And, in fact, there have been challenges in applying Freire’s methods in the United States (I’ve used it quite successfully in my ESL classes, though, and have found the best teaching strategies on how to do that come from U.S. Peace Corps ESL/EFL Training Manuals)

Given that, however, it seems to me that it would still be worth superintendents, particularly ones from urban districts, taking a serious look at Freire’s perspective.

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:

September 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Late Educator Paulo Freire Was Born On This Day

220px-Paulo_Freire

Image via Wikipedia

The late educator Paulo Freire was born on this day in 1921.

You can read more about him at The Zinn Education Project’s Facebook page.

You might also be interested in a New York Times post I wrote that includes a lesson building on his work, and a post that appeared on this blog awhile back, What Would Paulo Freire Do If He Was A School Superintendent?

January 17, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Freire’s Learning Sequence”

Freire’s Learning Sequence is a short article/lesson plan I wrote for the most recent issue of the Library Media Connection.

I mentioned it at the bottom of my earlier post about a recent podcast I did, but thought that some people might have missed it. It’s a good lesson that I also write about more extensively in my book on teaching English Language Learners.

October 19, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

What Would Paulo Freire Do If He Was A School Superintendent?

We don’t have to imagine the answer to that question because Freire, the famous popular educator, was indeed the Superintendent of schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil during 1989-91, and Bob Peterson has just written an article about that experience in the most recent issue of ReThinking Schools. The article is titled Big City Superintendents: Dictatorship or Democracy? Lessons from Paulo Freire .

Here’s a quote from the article:

The heart of the Freire administration’s plan to transform the schools was the movement to reorient the curriculum. This was a change that was only partially successful, uneven from school to school. But it still stands in sharp contrast to the top-down, scripted curricular reforms that are being forced on many of the large urban districts in this country.

At the core of Freire’s approach was changing the nature of teaching and learning in the classrooms. The curriculum had to be based on the realities of the students’ lives, be meaningful to their aspirations, bridge disciplinary divides, incorporate assessments that accurately reflected student learning, and be constantly reflected upon by educators during paid collaborative planning times during the work day. Teachers were being expected not to “deliver” curriculum, but to create it in collaboration with each other, their students, and the community. According to Freire, his goal was

. . . to gradually elevate the level of knowledge of the teachers, promote collective work as the privileged form of teacher formation, and afford the material conditions for all this to occur. In this manner the pedagogic innovations are appropriated, the curricular alterations fruitful, because the principal agents [of these changes], the teachers, are considered not objects of training, but elements that produce and re-elaborate knowledge.

Now, I know that you can’t just take a strategy from one country and plop it into another. And, in fact, there have been challenges in applying Freire’s methods in the United States (I’ve used it quite successfully in my ESL classes, though, and have found the best teaching strategies on how to do that come from U.S. Peace Corps ESL/EFL Training Manuals)

Given that, however, it seems to me that it would still be worth superintendents, particularly ones from urban districts, taking a serious look at Freire’s perspective.

September 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

a-look-back-best-posts

Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

At the end of each month, I’ll also compile a few of them that I think readers might find particularly useful.

In August, I posted A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009.

In September, I looked back at 2010.  Here are my choices for the best ones:

A Look Back: “Idolizing Just One Person Undermines The Struggle”

A Look Back: Combining An “Assets” Perspective With An Authentic Audience

A Look Back: Let’s Do Less ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’

A Look Back: Student Metacognition & Instructional Strategies

A Look Back: “The Office” Teaches Why Extrinsic Motivation Doesn’t Work

A Look Back: Emphasizing What Students Can Do, Instead Of What They “Can’t”

A Look Back: The Problem With “Bribing Students”

A Look Back: Being ‘Transactional’ Versus Being ‘Transformational’ in Schools

A Look Back: “The best kind of teacher evaluation”

A Look Back: “English Language Learners and the Power of Personal Stories”

A Look Back: “Mr. Ferlazzo, I Need My Post-It, Too”

A Look Back: “The Art Of Storytelling”

A Look Back: Student Goal-Setting Lesson

A Look Back: “How Students Can Grow Their Own Brains”

A Look Back: The Importance Of Saying “I’m Sorry” To Students

A Look Back: “What Would Paulo Freire Do If He Was A School Superintendent?”

 

December 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Web Tools For English Language Learners (In Other Words, The Ones My Students Regularly Use)

659042012267578_a-686f8125_vMi1Ug_pm

I received a comment from reader Mark, who says he loves all “The Best…” lists, but would like to hear my top recommendations sometimes.

Of course, I have posted The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites, but even that is a pretty lengthy one.

So, I thought I’d begin a running list here of posts where I have described (and future additions will describe) the Web 2.0 tools that I regularly use with my English Language Learners. In addition, I’ve also included direct links to a few other great tools that my students regularly use for direct language-learning.  I thought this list might “narrow” things down a bit for readers.

I also hope that readers will contribute their own suggestions!

Here’s my list:

Web 2.0 Content Creation Tools:

Using “PixiClip” With English Language Learners

Geography Students Use “Stay.com” To Create Virtual Trips

English Language Learners Using Screencast-o-matic For Folktale Presentations

Having English Language Learners Use Cellphones To Identify High-Interest Vocabulary

Making Instagram Videos With English Language Learners

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

Terrific New Videos: Using English “Sister Classes” From Throughout The World In Our ELL Geography Class

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution (I’ve been using this each week and it works well as a formative assessment — check them out here).

Using “Dvolver Moviemaker” With English Language Learners

Student Accessible Language-Learning Tools:

FOR BEGINNERS:

Lingo Hut is an impressive site for beginning learners of many different languages, including English.

Using a drop-down menu, you can easily select your native language and the language you want to learn, and then progress through a well-designed series of exercises including reading, listening and speaking.

Spanish-speaking ELLs love Pumarosa.

I’ve long believed Henny Jellema’s online TPR Exercises to be not only one of the best listening exercises for Beginning English Language Learners on the Web, but one of the best ELL activities — period.

Language Guide has got to be the best online dictionary for ELLS on the Web. Plus, if you click on the “gear” symbol at the top, students can access all sorts of reinforcing interactive exercises. Too bad they don’t highlight that feature more prominently.

The Reading and Everyday Life activities from GCF LearnFree are excellent.

FOR BEGINNERS & INTERMEDIATES:

Can anything really beat English Central? I think not…

U.S.A Learns is an incredible website to help Beginners and Intermediates learn English. It’s free to use. Students can register if they want to save their work and evaluate their progress.  It’s a joint effort of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), Internet and Media Services Department and the Project IDEAL Support Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Bitesize Literacy from the BBC.

I’m looking forward to hearing reactions and your own suggestions!

Skip to toolbar