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:

September 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Late Educator Paulo Freire Was Born On This Day

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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.

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)

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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:

Pronunciator has simple lessons for 60 different languages, and its most important feature is that it allows you to repeat and record what is being taught, and then “grades” your pronunciation. English Central pioneered this kind of capability over two years ago, and the is the first time I’ve seen another web tool try it, too.

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!

December 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Favorite Posts In 2013 — Part Two

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I regularly publish a list of my personal favorites posts during the year, and it’s usually my last annual “Best” list of the year.

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume One, focused on the year 2007 and includes a fair amount of still-useful material (at least in my opinion).

I’d say the same thing about my review of posts from 2008, which you can find in My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume Two.

Volume Three covered 2009.

Volume Four reviewed 2010.

Volume Five looked at 2011.

My Favorite Posts In 2013 — So Far

So, here are my favorites from over the past six months:

I’ve got to start off with my latest book, which was published by Education Week: Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching

In addition to my teacher advice column at Ed Week (by the way, tomorrow I record the first of what will be weekly radio shows with the BAM! Network interviewing people who contribute guest pieces to that Ed Week blog), I’ve really enjoyed writing weekly posts for The New York Times on teaching English Language Learners (previously, they just appeared monthly).

There are almost 1,250 “The Best…” lists, and here are a few of my favorite ones from over the past six months:

A Collection Of The Best Fun, Yet True, “Said No Teacher Ever” Resources

The Best Resources On Why Improving Education Is Not THE Answer To Poverty & Inequality

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013

In addition to my Ed Week and NY Times posts, I’ve published a number of other articles elsewhere. Here are a few of my favorites:

Here are some on classroom management that I particularly like:

“Flowchart For When A Day Goes Bad In Classroom Management”

Getting A Special Wristband Is Not The Best Road To Greater Student Motivation

Choice Equals Power: How to Motivate Students to Learn is a nice article over at KQED’s MindShift blog about an online conversation I had during Connected Educators Month.  It’s been quite popular, and I think offers helpful ideas.

As far as education policy goes,  Why we can’t all get along over school reform is a post I wrote for The Washington Post that I like a lot and has received a fair amount of positive feedback.

Here are a few other posts I’ve published on teaching English Language Learners that are also among my favorites:

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

And here are three favorites on classroom instruction:

This Is Exactly What I Mean By Connecting Social Emotional Learning & Literacy Instruction….

Here are some audio interviews I did:

Dana Goldstein had me as a guest, along with Matthew Chingos from the Brookings Institution, on a Slate podcast of Schooled: Does Class Size Matter?

School Leadership Briefing posted a fifteen minute audio interview they did with me over the summer.

The BAM Radio Network interviewed several guests, including Daniel Pink and me, for a program on student motivation. You can listen to it here.

I hope you find these links helpful!

December 16, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Using “PixiClip” With English Language Learners

xmas

Last week, I posted about the new web tool called “PixiClip” (see “PixiClip” Is A Neat Drawing Tool For English Language Learners). It’s a drawing tool that doesn’t require any registration and has a feature of letting you provide an audio commentary to your artistry. I explained that I thought it had a lot of potential for English Language Learners, and that I was going to give it a try this week and write about what happened.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I’ve been pretty aggressive this school year in trying out Web 2.0 tools with my ELL students. Our District has “lightened-up” considerably on its Internet content filters, and I’ve been taking advantage of this opening. You can see previous posts about the tools we’ve been using:

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).

So, today, we tried out PixiClip….

It didn’t start-off well earlier in the day when an aide and I tried it out before school — even though the site wasn’t blocked, it appeared that our antiquated computers would only allow the “doodling” function and not let us record audio. That, of course, was the primary reason it was an attractive site.

After our lack of success using it in Firefox (it had worked at my home in that browser) and in Internet Explorer, we downloaded Google Chrome and were pleased to find that it worked fine there.

We began a unit on Christmas today, and my Beginner students wrote out a series of instructions on what to do with a Christmas tree (after learning the necessary vocabulary). We then went to the computer lab, and PixiClip worked like a charm. It was a great opportunity for a formative assessment, students got speaking practice, and they enjoyed it a lot.

Here are a couple of examples embedded below:

The only negative is that the videos seem to turn on automatically when you embed them.

I’ll definitely be adding PixiClip to my list of tools to regularly use!

December 8, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – Part Two

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Another day, another  “The Best…” list…..

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2013 – Part Two:

I’m obviously biased, but I think the weekly posts I write for the New York Times Learning Network on teaching ELLs are one of the best resources on the Web for both students and teachers.

There are tons of ways to use photos in lessons with English Language Learners (see The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons) and the Awkward Family Photos site is a great source for them.  Some are inappropriate for classroom use or just too mean-spirited to use, but there are tons of excellent ones, and the site has an index to easily search by topic, especially by specific holiday.

Eva Buyuksimkesyan has published the 36th ELT Blog Carnival(formerly known as the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival) and it’s a great one on holiday lessons. Teachers from around the world have contributed posts.

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 – Part Two

9 great reasons to use posters in your language classroom is a very good post from Adam Simpson.

Dictations Are Fun! is from TEFL Reflections. It doesn’t exactly fit, but I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners.

James Keddie has a site called Lessonstream that contains many lessons for English Language Learners.

Larissa’s Languages some good ideas in Homework is..Fun! I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

Getting the whole class talking offers some good ideas. It’s from The British Council. Again, it’s not an exact fit, but I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

Here’s another good resource from The British Council — activities to do when you’ve got ten minutes to prepare and few materials to use.

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

Supporting English Language Learners In Content Classes

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

Readers of our book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide, know that there’s a lesson plan in it helping students learn the qualities of a successful language learner and that they do a self-assessment as part of it. Part of that lesson includes use of The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner.

Now, Marisa Constantinides has created a quiz called Are You A Good Language Learner (completely separate from our lesson), which would be great to give to students. And the EFL Smart Blog has turned Marisa’s quiz into an interactive one that could be taken online. It’s an excellent activity to use on its own or as part of our lesson plan.

Kate Kinsella has a collection of hand-outs to assist in academic language instruction. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

The Best Ways To Modify The Picture Word Inductive Model For ELLs

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

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution

Vicki Hollett published the 35th ELT Blog Carnival (formerly known as the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival) and it’s a great one focusing on Teaching and Learning with Video. Teachers from around the world have contributed posts.

English Agenda is a site from the British Council which offers a wealth of language-teaching research and online professional development. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research and to The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development.

Skills Practice | Using Storyboards to Inspire Close Reading is from The New York Times Learning Network, and shares a reading strategy that I think would be particularly useful to ELLs. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “Close Reading.”

Teaching English at the British Council features a “blog post of the month” from English teachers throughout the world. It’s a great collection.

Focus on portfolios: 4 advantages of alternative assessment is by Adam Simpson. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Maximising Learning in Large Classes and Teaching Large Classes are both from The British Council. I’m adding them to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom

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

Making Instagram Videos With English Language Learners

Writing bingo is a very creative lesson plan from Sandy Millin. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement.

I must have my head stuck in the sand, because I had never heard of “A General Service List: the most important words for second language learners of English” until Wendi Pillars sent a tweet about anew version of it. It looks pretty useful, particularly the interactive exercises on Quizlet.

The 21 Luckiest People In The Entire World is a pretty amazing GIF collection from BuzzFeed. Show these to English Language Learners and have them describe what they are watching, perhaps alternating with the Back-To-The-Screen exercise I use with videos (read about it here).

Tellagami is neat iPhone/iPad app that lets users quickly create virtual characters that can speak audio that’s been recorded or use text-to-speech. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English and to The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me.

The Benefits Of Learning Languages is an excellent lesson plan from Film-English. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual.

David Deubelbeiss at EFL Classroom 2.0 published the 34th ELT Blog Carnival (also known as the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival).  It’s theme is “Best Lessons,” and teachers from around the work have contributed posts.

Jimmy Fallon Comes Up With A Great Game For English Language Learners

“Lyrics Videos” On YouTube & English Language Learners

The Teaching English – British Council Facebook page. This site is relatively new to me, but it’s certainly not new to many others since it has well over 1,000,000 “Likes”! Ann Foreman does an extraordinary job inviting and sharing resources from teachers throughout the world.

The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers

Alex Case has put together a list of his most popular blog posts/shared resources from the TEFLtastic blog.

ESL Teacher Interviews: Larry Ferlazzo comes from Kaplan International, and you might find it interesting. Even more interesting, though, is the interview they did with my friend, colleague, and co-author Katie Hull Sypnieski a few months ago.

David Deubelbeiss has what I think is a great idea on how to make multiple choice questions more learner-friendly and effective.

The Best Infographics About Teaching & Learning English As A Second (or Third!) Language

Carissa Peck published the 34th ELT Blog Carnival (also know as the ESL/ELL/EFL Blog Carnival) and its focus is on teaching/learning pronunciation. It’s so good that I’m adding it toThe Best Websites For Learning English Pronunciation.

“Rewordify” Is One Of The Most Unique Sites Out There For English Language Learners & Others

Using Tech to Teach English is the title of a new guest post I’ve written over at the International Reading Association’s blog, Engage.

Adam Simpson posted about The BBC Motion Gallery, which has zillions of short clips. It’s particularly useful to teachers outside of Great Britain, since they are viewable in the United States and elsewhere. Most other BBC video clips for education are blocked for viewing outside that country.

Place Pulse is a site from MIT that shows you two Google Street View images from around the world, and then asks you to “vote” on which one looks “livelier”; “safer” or any number of other comparative adjectives (you can switch them by clicking on the question mark).

It’s an intriguing way to teach comparative adjectives to English Language Learners, as well as having IB Theory of Knowledge students explore perception.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Gaining A Basic Understanding Of Adjectives.

Using Music and Songs in EFL Classes is the theme of the 33rd ELT Blog Carnival, and it’s a good one!  Eva Buyuksimkesyan has gathered contributions from English teachers throughout the world on the topic, and it’s so good that I’m adding it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

Chaplin & Keaton Silent Movies For English Language Learners

Yet Another Good Piece For Students On Learning & The Brain

I think it’s pretty clear that English Language Learners are a pretty low priority as far as implementation of the Common Core Standards are concerns, and Californian’s Together have put together a prettygood toolkit explaining those problems.

Of course, one potential benefit of being a low-priority is that we teachers of ELLs, and our students, might be left alone, but I’m not counting on that.

By the way, look for what — if I say so myself — is an excellent article on ELLs and the Common Core that my colleague Katie Hull and I wrote for ASCD Educational Leadership.  It will be appearing there in a few months.

50 Ways To Use Images In The ELT Classroom is from David Deubelbeiss. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Breaking News English, the popular site used by thousands of English teachers around the world, has now begun providing each lesson in multiple levels – from beginners to advanced.  And I thought Sean Banville, the site’s creator, was busy before! I wonder how much sleep he’s getting now?

Perhaps this has been available for quite awhile, but I just noticed that Jossey-Bass makes the first chapter of our ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide available for free.

Just go to this link and on the right of the page it lists three excerpts. Excerpt 1 is the entire first chapter. Excerpts 2 and 3 show the index.

Of course, you can find tons of other free resources from the book here, too.

You might also be interested in my other over 1,200 “The Best…” lists and, particularly, this year’s end-of-year favorites.

November 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

November’s Best Posts From This Blog

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I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see older Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month (more recent lists can be found here).

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

Using Protest Movements & Historical Photos For English Language Development

Here’s What My IB Theory Of Knowledge Students Did For Their “Ways Of Knowing Final Project”

‘Listen, Empathize, Connect’ For Student Motivation

A Simple & Effective Classroom Lesson On Gratitude

“Collection Of Tweets From Second Week’s Chat On Classroom Management”

‘Good News & Bad News’ About Student Motivation

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

Create Collaborative Online Documents Using “Notepad” With Audio Chat

“Choice Equals Power: How to Motivate Students to Learn”

Lesson On John F. Kennedy

“Teachers Should Be Friendly With Students But Not Friends”

‘There Is No Such Thing As An Unmotivated Student’

Professor James Heckman Publishes New Paper On “Non-Cognitive Traits”

Microsoft Eliminates Its Own Destructive VAM Rankings; However, Gates Still Seems Focused On Using It For Us

“Collection Of Tweets From First Week’s Chat On Classroom Management”

Supporting English Language Learners In Content Classes

Teaching English With Lucha Libre

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

No, L.A. School Reformers, Grit Does Not Equal Giving Students Rewards & Being Data-Driven

Finding Similar Images To Use For Compare/Contrast Prompts

Ways To Support Students Setting Goals

Student-Created Prompts As A Differentiation Strategy

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

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution

Getting A Special Wristband Is Not The Best Road To Greater Student Motivation

“Response: A Bad Day In The Classroom ‘Will Pass’”

Google Unveils Great Resource For Virtual Field Trips

My NY Times Post On Using Music With ELLs

This Year’s Shipment Of Stress Balls For Students Has Arrived!

“My Most Popular Parent Engagement Posts In 2013″

“Recover From Bad Days by Seeing ‘Disasters as Opportunities’”

Three Useful Common Core “Cheat Sheets”

EDpuzzle Is An Innovative Video Site

Education Books In One Sentence — Part One

It Might Be Hard To Find A Better Short Video Than This One To Portray “Grit”

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

“Student Contest | 15-Second Vocabulary Videos”

New Link For My Article, “Developing Teacher Leadership For The Long Haul”

“Five key strategies to get/keep kids engaged at school”

 

November 6, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

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

screen

This year, our School District loosened our Internet filter, so there are now many more options for tools we can use (though, of course, our antiquated tech does create some barriers).

Because of this new freedom of access without having to battle for individual sites to be unblocked, I’ve been pretty aggressive in experimenting with Web 2.0 tools to determine which ones provide the most benefit with the least “hassle” for all involved, especially with my English Language Learner students.

I’ve previously posted about some of them already this year:

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 tried this out today, and I think it will work well as a formative assessment — check them out here).

The ones I’ve listed above have all gone very well — easy to use, free-of-charge, higher-order thinking, multiple language domains (reading,writing,speaking, listening), authentic audience, high levels of student engagement, minimal time commitment.

And, now, we’ve had another student success with with Screencast-o-matic.

I had previously posted about it, but hadn’t visited the site in quite awhile. Jose Rodriguez, one of the coordinators of the impressive K-12 Online Conference, recommended I try using it for the keynote address I gave for the conference in October on teacher leadership (you can see it here). I was quite impressed at the changes they had made since I had last tried it out.

All you do is register for the site, show a slideshow, and record audio — you don’t even have to upload your slides prior to recording. You only upload your entire slideshow and audio narration at the time it’s finished. You can publish it to the site and/or to YouTube, and you’re provided with an embed code.

I thought this would be perfect to my students — some knew PowerPoint and they could teach the rest quickly, so there wouldn’t really be much new to learn — I suspect, and I ended up being correct, that it would take less than a minute for students to learn how to use Screencast-o-matic.

We had just finished our Latin American unit in Geography by reading a Mexican folktale, so I thought it would be a good time to experiment. I had students create a simple storyboard (just a piece of paper divided into ten or so boxes) and asked them to tell a folktale from their own culture. They needed to end it with the “lesson” of the story. It took one class period for them to create the storyboard, about two periods to make the PowerPoint, and then they recorded on Screencast-o-matic today. We’ll watch them in class tomorrow.

Here are a few of them:

It’s been a positive experience, and we’ll definitely be using Screencast-o-matic again.

Have you had your students try it out?

June 24, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2013 – So Far

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Another day, another  “The Best…” list…..

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2012 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — Part One

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2013 – So Far:

Looking For Assets, Not Deficits

Here’s What I Do To Help My Students Combat The “Summer Slide”

Video In The Classroom is by David Deubelbeiss.

David Deubelbeiss has collected all his ESL/EFL/ELL Teacher Training Presentations in one place.

Thanks to Judie Haynes, I saw this video, Best TV shows for learners of English. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

The same people who created this video are creating sixty others related to English-language teaching. It might be worth visiting the video on YouTube and checking out their other ones.

Study Says Ability To Identify Patterns Key To Second Language Learning

TESOL Report: The Changing Role of the ESL Teacher is by Diane Staehr Fenner. Here’s a direct link to the report she writes about. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Common Core Standards & English Language Learners.

The Common Core State Standards and English Learners: A Resource Page is from TESOL. I’m adding it to the same list.

Important Research On Grammar Instruction

The news magazine The Week has a surprisingly interesting collection of articles about language. Here are a few of their recent ones:

How foreign languages mutate English words

14 words that are their own opposites

How the U.S. made war with the language of peace

Ellen DeGeneres’ New iPhone/iPad Game Is Great For ELLs & You Can Use The Idea & Play Without Tech, Too

Ideas for English-Language Learners | Celebrating the End of the School Year is my  post (co-authored by Katherine Schulten) at The New York Times.

Two Infographics On English Language Learners

Math Instructional Videos In Spanish

David Deubelbeiss has put together a great virtual online book of songs and videos for ELLs.

The New York Times has an op-ed piece from two university educators who have done surveys of immigrant youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s titled Immigrant Kids, Adrift. The column doesn’t paint a completely negative picture, but it is pretty depressing. Here’s what I think is the worst part:

I’m sure that this is not the case at our school. However, we are also divided into Small Learning Communities, where 300 students and 20 teachers stay together for multiple years. Do you think this statistic is truly representative of schools generally?

Jossey-Bass, the publisher of our book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide, recently told us that our book has been selected by Walden University for their Canter Read4Credit™ Courses. You can read more about it here.

Lessons On Movies is a new site created by the incomparable Sean Banville. It’s the latest addition to Sean’s “empire” of free and helpful websites for English language learners and their teachers.

Stemming the Tide of English-Learner Dropouts is an important post from Education Week.

Response: Common Core & ELLs — Part Two is the title of one of my  posts over at Education Week Teacher.

The Best Pink Panther Fight Scenes For English Language Learners

Ideas for English-Language Learners | Earth Day and the Environment is another one of my posts over at The New York Times. I think teachers might find it interesting, and it includes a lesson building on the work of Paulo Freire.

Teach-This.com is a new addition to The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets. It’s free, and no registration is required to download the materials.

One Sentence Project Video

Never Forget a Useful Phrase Again – Introducing Phrasebook for Google Translate is the title of Google’s new post about a neat new feature they’re adding.

It basically allows you “save” frequently used phrases.

It seems to me they’re overhyping the new feature as a language-learning tool:

Phrasebook for Google Translate jumpstarts this slow learning process by allowing you to save the most useful phrases to you, for easy reference later on, exactly when you need them. By revisiting the useful phrases in your Phrasebook from time to time, you can turn any brief translation into lasting knowledge.

What it can be useful for, though, is as a timesaver for teachers who might use it with parents or with very early English Language Learners for basic communication purposes.

Feedback is welcome, including additional suggestions.

Ideas for English Language Learners | The Real Harlem Shake, Mapping Memories and More is a post at The New York Times Learning Network.

Learning Another Language Makes Your Brain Grow Bigger — Literally

Student Neighborhood Asset Essays (& Bonus Slideshow)

ELTchat has a new website where transcripts and summaries of all chats are archived. The old site was eltchat.com and the new one is eltchat.org. Links to the old site no longer work.

The Best Sports Videos To Use With English Language Learners

One New Activity I’m Doing To Help ELLs Learn Academic Vocabulary – & Practice Speaking It

How My ESL Class Evaluated Me This Semester

After 31 editions of ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival, it was time for it to be refreshed. So I’ve worked with other bloggers to “re-brand” it as The ELT Blog Carnival and it now has its own permanent site!

A Collection Of “Best…” Lists On Vocabulary Development

What’s the “trick” for motivating more L2 in our #ELT classrooms? is by Brad Patterson.

Ideas for English Language Learners | Labeling Photos, Sequencing Passages and More is another of my posts over at The New York Times.

The ELL Toolbox published Lesson Planning for English Language Learners, which are some useful “cheat sheets” for ELL lesson planning.

Nice Cloze Generating Tool

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 1100 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

December 1, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume Three

I’ve been writing this blog for six or seven years. I thought readers might find it useful for me to dig back in the “archives” and highlight my choices for some of the best posts that appeared during that time.

The first list in this series, My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume One, focused on the year 2007 and included a fair amount of still-useful material (at least in my opinion).

I’d say the same thing about my review of posts from 2008, which you can find in My Best Posts Over The Years — Volume Two.

Here in Volume Three I’ll identify the best of 2009:

I posted what has turned out to be the most popular piece I’ve every posted — The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom (which, as I do for most of my “The Best” lists, I continue to update).

The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations) has been similarly popular over the years.

And The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience” is another long-time popular list that was published that year.

I had my first book published that year, Building Parent Engagement In Schools, and started by other blog, Engaging Parents In School. And I began publishing an annual list of my best posts on parent engagement.

Some “unusual” lists that I like, and which came out in 2009 include:

The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes

The Best Sites To Learn About Walls That Separate Us

The Best Images Of Weird, Cool & Neat-Looking Buildings (& Ways To Design Your Own)

I still regularly use The Best Sources Of Advice For Teachers (And Others!) On How To Be Better Bloggers and The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets.

And my students love The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.

I wrote Teaching Secrets: The Last Day of School for Education Week, and Parent Involvement or Parent Engagement? for Learning First.

I also wrote an Ed Week article on making home visits to parents.

That year, I taught one U.S. History class in the classroom and another in the computer lab. I wrote about how it went here.

I reflect on the difference in career goals that I see in my mainstream and ELL students in The Hopes And Dreams Of My Students.

I wrote some decent posts on classroom management issues and lesson plans:

“I’ll Work If You Give Me Candy”

What Do You Do To Keep Students (& You!) Focused Near The End Of The School Year?

Want To Know What’s Happened Since My “Marshmallow” & “Visualizing Success” Lessons

Student Goal-Setting Lesson I’m Trying Out On Monday

The Importance Of Saying “I’m Sorry” To Students

When You Have A Sub…

Improvisation In The ESL/EFL Classroom — At Least In Mine

“How Students Can Grow Their Brains”


Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”

And here are some interesting education policy-related posts:

“Data-Driven” Versus “Data-Informed”

Evaluating Teachers In Order To Fire Them?


Is Figuring Out How To Make Schools Better A Puzzle Or A Mystery?


Do Teachers REALLY Come From The Bottom Third Of Colleges? Or Is That Statistic A Bunch Of Baloney?


“I just thought it would end differently this time”

Compasses Or Road Maps?

“Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?”

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

Here are some posts to particularly useful sites that are still in operation:

Culture Crossing

The Art Of Storytelling

“Funniest videos about teaching / learning English”

The Fun Theory

And check out this essay on “The Best Teacher I Ever Had.”

January 13, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
5 Comments

Banning Books In Tucson

It was bad enough that the state of Arizona forced the Tucson School District to end their ethnic studies classes (which had 700 students enrolled).

Now, “Salon” reports that the District is taking it a step further and banning certain books from schools that are related to the topics studied in the class, including Rethinking Columbus, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña.

Those are just a few of the banned books.

What in the world is the District leadership thinking?

January 5, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Resources For CCIRA 2012 Literacy Conference

Here are resources for the two workshops I’m leading at the CCIRA 2012 Literacy Conference:

Participants in both workshops should also explore:

Classroom Q & A With Larry Ferlazzo, my Education Week teacher advice column

My nearly 850 categorized “The Best….” lists. Using Control and F on your keyboard is the way I recommend that people explore it.

Links to seventy articles I’ve written on education issues.

Q & A With A Sacramento Teacher, Sacramento Bee

Helping Students Motivate Themselves (New York Times)

The Five By Five Approach To Differentiation Success

Looking At Assets, Not Deficits: Learning And English Language Learners, Friday 9:15 – 11:15

Slideshare Presentation:

English Language Learners

View more presentations from mrferlazzo

The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites

Freire’s Learning Sequence

The Picture Word Inductive Model

ESL Class Blog

ESL U.S. History Class Blog

English Language Learners and the Power of Personal Stories

Voice Thread of San Francisco Field Trip

Luther Burbank High’s program to teach English targets not only students but their entire families

English learners take to Internet

Family Literacy Project earns IRA technology Award

Phantasy Quest

Phantasy Quest “Walkthrough”

High-Tech, Low-Tech and No-Tech Ways To Help Students Motivate Themselves, Friday 2:45-3:45

LINKS MENTIONED IN WORKSHOP:
STUDENT MOTIVATION

The Best Resources On The Importance Of Building Positive Relationships With Students“Relevance” & Student LearningThe Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas

The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career

The Progress Principle

The Best Resources For Showing Students That They Make Their Brain Stronger By Learning

The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Giving Students “Reflection Cards”

LESSON PLANS:

My book’s page on the Eye Of Education website. Going to the sample chapter link will take you to the entire first chapter, which includes several lesson plans and hand-outs.

Blaming Others Lesson Plan

KEY TECH SITES:

The Best Learning Games For Advanced ELL’s & Non-ELL’s

The Best Ways For Advanced ELL’s & Non-ELL’s To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly (For Their Classmates & Teacher To See)

The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards

The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

The Best Places Where Students Can Create Online Learning/Teaching Objects For An “Authentic Audience”

December 30, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2011

August 24, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — So Far

I usually just do a year-end list on this topic and many others, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to start publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a site appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…

You might also be interested in:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s — 2010

The Best Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2011 — So Far:

Every so often I’ll have a student who says they’re not very interested in learning English because they’re going back to Mexico as soon as possible. My usual response, which has been pretty effective, is that the student is likely to get a better-paying job there if he/she knows English, too. That position makes sense to me and, usually, to the student, who then tends to become more serious about learning English. I have gotten anecdotal evidence from English teachers in Mexico that this statement is true, but had never been able to find any concrete evidence to back it up. Until now.
The Guardian recently ran a story on research showing that knowing English increased your income by 25% in five countries in the developing world. Mexico wasn’t one of the countries started, but just being able to show this kind of data to my students will be helpful.

Mary Ann Zehr from Ed Week’s excellent Learning The Language blog has written a good overview on what she calls shifting ELL “trends” in the United States.

There are tons of simple tools that English Language Learners can use to practice speaking when they’re in the computer lab, and I’ve got the best ones listed at The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English. But what about when you’re not in the computer lab? What’s the easiest way to have students do an audio-recording so that they, and their classmates (and others), can listen to — and evaluate — their work? One option is to consider the tools listed at The Best Sites For Students To Record Audio By Phone. However, I recently learned about a new way that might just be the easiest. Audioboo is an excellent recording tool, and is on “The Best….” speaking list. And Posterous is a blogging tool that — though it has some disadvantages,too — is on several other “The Best…” lists.

Here’s a short video that shows how easy it is to connect Audiobook to a Posterous blog — and it’s VERY easy. I could see setting-up a class blog, perhaps only for audio recordings, and regularly going around with my iPhone and having students in the classroom record short snippets — of what they’re reading, writing, or some dialogue they’ve prepared. More importantly, at least in my case since we typically have generous access to a computer lab and can use other audio tools that I think are a bit better, it would be great to use this combination when we’re on field trips. I’ll be teaching Beginning English Language Learners next year, and we’ll be going on many short ones, so I could really see this combo working out well.

The New York Times has published an excellent interactive titled “Belongings.” Here’s how they describe it:

There are three million immigrants in New York City. When they left home, knowing it could be forever, they packed what they could not bear to leave behind: necessities, luxuries, memories. Here is a look at what some of them brought.

This is such a great question that all teachers of English Language Learners could use in class! Not only could students answer it, but it’s an opportunity to have them as the same question to their parents. Students could draw and write the answers and/or take images and put them either on the Web or on a classroom poster.

As a “warm-up” and for some low-stress practice, for students preparing to record a video “book trailer,” we had them 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.

“The 15 Greatest Movie Car Chases of All Time” is a great slideshow of video clips from TIME Magazine. I’m adding it to The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development, where I also explain how I use these kinds of clips in the classroom.

EFL Classroom 2.0, clearly the number one support site for ESL/EFL teachers from around the world, is now a public site. In other words, you don’t have to log-on to access many of the great resources it has available. There are some resources, however, that will only be available to “Supporters,” who just have to pay fifteen dollars a year,and it’s well worth the cost. David Deubelbeiss has written a post explaining the change.

Students Making Video “Book Trailers”

Good Research On How Subtitles Help Language Learning

Research On Music & ELL’s

Movie Segments For Warm-Ups and Follow-Ups is a blog that shares video clips and written activities for English Language Learners. I’m adding it to The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development.

We’ve had some great ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnivals so far this year. You can access all of them here

Homework For English Language Learners.

The Best Language Learning Games (That Are Not Online)

The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners

The Best Resources For Adapting Your Textbook So It Doesn’t Bore Students To Death

How We Made An Excellent Speaking Activity Even Better

I’ve done a series of what I think are pretty interesting interviews with EFL teachers from around the world who are in “hot spots,” places where they’ve had political upheavals, natural disasters, etc. You read all of them here.

Humanising Language Teaching is one of my favorite online journals, and they’ve just published the newest issue. There’s always a lot of good stuff in it. This month, I’d like to highlight a very useful article titled “Why Use Games in the Language Classroom?” by Adam Simpson (you can read his blog here). The article makes a number of good points and points to helpful research. It’s definitely worth reading.

Excellent Speaking Activity

David Deubelbeiss shares some nice resources and ideas in his post, Using Silent Video in the EFL Classroom.

Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it.

There are two sites that provide clozes (gap-fills) to music videos as they are played. Since they both use YouTube videos and most schools don’t provide YouTube access for students, I’m not adding them to “The Best…” list for ELL students. But since many schools, like my own, allow YouTube access to teachers, I’m including them here. Teachers can project them on a screen and students, as a class or in small groups, can figure out the answers. The two sites are:

Lyrics Gaps lets you choose a song and the language you want it sung in and then gives you the option of seeing/hearing it in different modes — karaoke, beginner, intermediate, expert. Apart from karaoke mode, you’re then shown a YouTube video of the singer, along with the lyrics on the side including blanks (fill-in-the-gap). I especially like the beginner mode, which provides several options to chose to complete the sentences. The higher levels don’t give any hints.

Lyrics Training shows YouTube videos of the latest popular songs, and provides subtitled “clozes.” In other words, it will show the words as they are sung, but it will periodically show a “blank” where a word has been removed. The video will stop at the end of that line, and listeners have to type in the correct word that they heard. The “blank” also shows how many letters there are in the missing word. You’re given the option of watching the video with a few blanks, more blanks, or none (which is great after you complete the whole song). It’s great to project it up on the screen and then have students — either individually or in small groups — use small whiteboards to write down their answers. It’s simple to use — no registration is necessary — and you can learn more about it at Teacher Training Videos.

The Best — And Easiest — Ways To Use YouTube If, Like Us, Only Teachers Have Access To It

The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics

A Simple & Easy Way To Practice Speaking

The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading

The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning

A Creative Concept For A TV Show & How To Implement It In The Classroom

Jason Renshaw, who is always very generous in sharing materials he creates to help teach English Language Learners, has done it again with a nice and simple Template for making your own reading + projects material.

David Deubelbeiss has a great new book, We Teach We Learn. Here’s the description:

36 print optimized lessons based on the teacher / learner friendly methodology of SCC or Student Created Content. Multi media resource links for each lesson. Teacher’s notes for each lesson. Dozens of blackline master printable extras. Download each lesson from the private wiki and edit for your own environment/class! Voicethread practice linked for all students, for each lesson. It’s not just a text book – it’s a teaching toolkit! Buy one copy and use with the whole class.

I’ve already used some of his materials with my class. If you go to the link, you’ll also be able to see samples.

The Guardian Teacher Network, from the British newspaper, has thousands of resources that can be printed out and used in the classroom. I was quite impressed with the high quality of the materials that I saw, and many can be used with English Language Learners.

The ELT Journal, from The Oxford Journals, is a very nice collection of articles that teachers of English Language Learners would find useful. The collection, titled Key Concepts In ELT, is described this way on the top of the webpage:

‘Key Concepts in ELT’ is a feature of the Journal that aims to assist readers to develop an appreciation of central ideas in ELT, and to approach the content of articles from a perspective informed by current debate on aspects of theory and practice. The list given below is an up-to-date guide to all ‘Key Concepts’ that have been published in the Journal. The list contains links to the original articles, which are available to download free of charge (PDF file).

My Podcast Transcript On “Using Visuals to Teach Text” Now Available

Twitter “Chats” For ESL/EFL Teachers (& How To Participate In Them)

“Freire’s Learning Sequence”

Teaching English through songs in the digital age is a four part series by Vicky Saumell summarizing an #ELTchat session on Twitter. I can’t imagine you’d find a better compilation of resources and teaching ideas anyway — it’s a must-read and must-bookmark resource.

And, if that isn’t enough for you, Eva Büyüksimkeşyan has also posted another exhaustive list of music-related resources: Songs in EFL Classroom.

A Good & Simple Collaborative Storytelling Lesson

The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner

The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual Or Multilingual — Part One

Sock Puppets is a simple iPhone app that lets you easily record a student and upload it to YouTube. It can be used to briefly record a student speaking or reading in class, or even to have two or three students record a simple play (the free app allows thirty seconds of recording while for 99 cents you can upgrade to 90 seconds). One major advantage of using this for speaking practice is that it’s the sock puppet that’s actually speaking on the display, not the student. It looks like it could have potential. Thanks to techchef4u for the tip.

Feedback is welcome, including additional suggestions.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 700 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

January 30, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

January’s Best Posts

I regularly highlight my picks for the most useful posts for each month — not including “The Best…” lists. I also use some of them in a more extensive monthly newsletter I send-out. You can see back issues of those newsletters here and my previous Best Posts of the Month at Websites Of The Month.

These posts are different from the ones I list under the monthly “Most Popular Blog Posts.” Those are the posts the largest numbers of readers “clicked-on” to read. I have to admit, I’ve been a bit lax about writing those posts, though.

Here are some of the posts I personally think are the best, and most helpful, ones I’ve written during this past month (not in any order of preference):

January 15, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Listen To A Short Podcast On “Using Visuals to Teach Text” By….Me

I’ve recorded a five-and-a-half minute podcast on “Using Visuals to Teach Text” for Linworth Publishers, who have published my first two books, English Language Learners:Teaching Strategies That Work and Building Parent Engagement In Schools.

Here’s the podcast transcript.

I’m not entirely convinced that many people listen to podcasts, but I’d be interested in hearing if I’m wrong and people find this one helpful. If people do, I may try to do one or so each month. Also, let me know if you think posting a transcript of the podcast would be helpful. If readers think it would be, I’ll ask Linworth for permission to post it.

On the same page where you find the podcast, you’ll also find a link to a short article I wrote for the Library Media Connection titled Freire’s Learning Sequence. Or you can just go directly to it here.