Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 8, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: Multiple Optical Illusions In One Short Video

I’ve written in my New York Times column about how I use optical illusions with English Language Learners, and I certainly use them when teaching perception in my Theory of Knowledge class. You can many that I’ve previously posted here.

Here’s a new neat one created by Honda and puts many different illusions into one short video:

January 13, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Illusions Game

Super Sneaky Spy Guy Illusions is the latest in a lengthy series of games by the same creator. They’re excellent adventure games with simple text and, best of all, none of them are blocked by our School District’s content filter. Here’s a Walkthrough for the game.

You can find twenty of these games, along with their walkthroughs, on my website under Word and Video Games.

December 9, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Optical Illusions

I’ve written in the past about how I’ve used optical illusions to help my English Language Learner students develop academic vocabulary.

The English Blog recently posted about a UK newspaper that has created a gallery of what they believe are the 20 best optical illusions.

I think I’ll be able to use some of them in class.

May 27, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Optical Illusions

This year I’ve been helping my my students learn academic vocabulary.  One new word has been “interpretation” and its various forms.

I’ve shown students several optical illusions that can be found at this site or at this one.  Then, they have short conversations with other students about what they see:

“What is your interpretation of what’s in the picture?”

“It seems to me that there’s a ……”

I’ve placed the link on my Teacher’s Page under ESL Hand-Outs and Lesson Plans.

February 27, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources On “The Dress”

You may be puzzled by the headline of this post just as I was when I went on Twitter yesterday afternoon and saw tons of people tweeting and arguing about the color of a dress.

Huh?

The whole hullabaloo still seems bizarre to me, but I think it does offer an opportunity, especially for International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge classes, to use it for discussing Perception.

Here are a few quick links that I think TOK teachers might find useful:

What color is this dress? Weigh in on the photo everyone’s talking about is from NBC News.

12 fascinating optical illusions show how color can trick the eye is from The Washington Post.

Though I do think it’s useful in class, and I’ll be talking about it there today, I still do tend to agree with Paul Bruno here:

November 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

I’ve started a somewhat 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:

Unlocking Language for English-Learners is an excellent article at Education Week by Justin Minkel.

The Bewildering Arguments Underlying Florida’s Fight Over ELL Test Scores is from The Shanker Blog.

Honduran Youth Finds Welcome Mat at Oakland School Designed for Immigrants is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Children Refugee Crisis At The U.S. Southern Border.

Languages in schools: put down the textbook and pick up a drum is from The Guardian.

Helping ELs to Learn to Ask Questions During Reading is by Judie Haynes.

How to write your own EFL materials: Part Two – Thinking about context and flow is from Oxford University Press.

How can film help you teach or learn English? is from The British Council. I’m adding it to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

Here’s an extensive list
of excellent classroom activities from The British Council.

October 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All My NY Times Posts For English Language Learners – Linked With Descriptions

ellnytimes

I’ve been writing posts for The New York Times Learning Network for three years on teaching English Language Learners, and that adds-up to a lot of posts! Many include online student interactives and all include multiple teaching ideas.

I thought readers would find it helpful if I put links to them all together, along with short descriptions.

And, as I post new ones, I’ll add them here, too…

Ideas for E.L.L.s | Teaching and Learning About Animals is filled with ideas and multimedia resources for teachers of English Language Learners.

Teaching About Weather and Seasons is the topic of this lesson. It discusses using jazz chants, photos and more!

Food is the topic of this New York Times Learning Network post for English Language Learners, and it’s chock full of some pretty unique lessons. In addition, it discusses how to apply Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow” to those lessons and, in fact, to just about any other lesson, too.

Teach academic writing through civics and citizenship lessons around the legal voting age.  In addition, use surveys and polls to provoke listening and speaking practice.

Students put “scrambled” sentences in order to correctly re-create a paragraph from a story about schools, and are encouraged to create their own sequencing activities.    Another teaching activity is having students identify their visions for their own school and write an argumentative essay about it, as well as meeting with their principal.

Students complete a cloze (fill-in-the-gap) activity in an article about the World Cup, and use the same passage and other teaching ideas to learn about synonyms.

Learn about “articles” in the English language through a cloze activity about Mexico City and additional exercises.   In addition, a teaching idea provides suggestions on how to have students create their own itineraries for trips around the world.

This Mother’s Day interactive and supplemental activities focus on conjunctions and having students do writing about their mothers or other key family members.

Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own.  In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.

Learn about punctuation in this interactive on body language and supplemental exercises, and then have students do some fun listening activities with different videos to see if people are being truthful or not.

Have students learn about nouns in this interactive on the popularity of soccer in China.  Then, have students complete (and then create their own) “scrambled” exercise where they have to place answers with the correct questions in re-creating interviews.

Students learn to categorize words in this interactive on eating insects, and then broaden their categories further.  In addition, they can watch engaging insect videos and describe — verbally and in writing — what they see.

Fill-in-the-blanks in this story about “chewing gum art” and have students create their own artwork online, which they then describe both verbally and in writing.

Complete a cloze about how animals can impact children’s heath, and then students can draw, write or even create a video about pets that are or have been in their lives.

Use a passage about fossils and dinosaurs to learn new vocabulary, practice pronunciation with tongue twisters, and practice a simple paragraph-writing framework.

Learn about comparatives and superlatives while learning about skyscrapers, as well as having students building their own as part of the Language Experience Approach.  In addition, students can use “close reading” techniques as they watch a documentary about the history of tall buildings.

Practice prediction with students as they reading about Valentine’s Day and learn about idioms at the same time.  Plus, have students create Valentine’s cards and share about romantic traditions in their home countries.

Fill-in-the-blanks in this passage about preparation for the Sochi Olympic Games, and use the event as an opportunity to practice writing and listening with a Picture Dictation activity.

Students learn about the progressive tense in this passage about the changing nature of families, and use the article as a stepping-stone to a lesson of creating family trees — with a twist!

Use this fun activity to learn about prepositions through reading incorrectly translated passages and street signs.

Learn about holiday food traditions from different cultures though a fill-in-the-blank passage and different lesson ideas.

Have students watch videos about current events and craft higher-order thinking questions about them.

Students practice the reading strategy of summarization while, at the same time, practice using humor as a language-development activity.

Students watch a short video and have to list the scenes in the correct sequence.  They can then create their own similar “quiz” for classmates and even create their own videos.

Choose the most accurate description of a picture taken at a United Farmworkers Union demonstration  and have students reflect on protest movements in their home countries and in the United States.  Use the lesson to expand to other historical photos and use them for language-development activities.

Teach and learn the past tense through a passage about John F. Kennedy, and use a text data set for an inductive lesson about his life.

Watch a video about the Mexican wrestling style called “lucha libre” and use it in a sequencing lesson.  Then have students create their own wrestling personas.

Watch a clip from West Side Story and use it for a musical sequencing activity.  Then, have students research and write about gangs today.

Learn about The Day of The Dead and Halloween, and use it as a lesson in developing  literal and interpretative questions.

Learn pronouns and the importance of learning from failures and mistakes through this interactive on J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series.

Watch a video and read a passage about a girls soccer team in Mexico to learn about punctuation, and have students create punctuation games and practice reading strategies, too.

Teach the vocabulary of colors by a fill-in-the-blank passage, a discussion of their cultural significance, and the use of a Times’ “grid” of different photos that students have to describe in a game-like activity.

Learn about magic in a sequencing activity and develop academic vocabulary while exploring different illusions.

Study the use of “articles” and learn about the concept of “grit” (perseverance) through online interactive exercises.

Study the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a K-W-L chart and Venn Diagrams that lead to writing a compare and contrast essay.

Learn about mariachis and use them to kick-off an exploration of the different aspects of students’ home cultures.

Use a passage about soccer star Lionel Messi  to encourage students to create their own fill-in-the-blank exercises for classmates to complete.

Encourage students to reflect back on their class year, and provide them with suggestions on how to continue their study during the coming months.

Teaching and learning strategies about the environment and Earth Day.

Using videos, photographs and music for language-development activities, including ones to practice descriptive language and make a connection between art and activism.

Lessons that explore citizenship, including considering if there is a difference between “citizenship” and “active citizenship.”

Learn about the Picture Word Inductive Model as a teaching/learning strategy, as well as sequencing activities with videos and a fun language-learning game.

Multiple lessons focused on different holidays and holiday traditions.

Using video clips for language-development, learning about Malala Yousafsai, discussing the length of the school year and more!

Many lesson ideas about politics and elections.

A mixture of activities, including ones on idioms, recipes,  developing neighborhood tours and writing a compare/contrast essay.

Ideas on using students’ personal stories to maximize the effectiveness English-language development lessons.