Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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BBC Publishes Great Interactive on Optical Illusions

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.

The BBC has now published what is probably the “be all and end all” of resources on optical illusions over the years. It’s titled How your eyes trick your mind and will certainly come in handy.

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.

November 11, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – Part Two

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I use short, funny video clips a lot when I’m teaching ELLs, and you can read in detail about how I use them in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them). In short, there are many ways to use them that promote speaking, listening, writing and reading (including having students describe – in writing and verbally – a chronological description of what they saw).

I’ve posted quite a few of them during the second half of this year, and I thought it would be useful to readers — and to me — if I brought them together in one post.

I’ve also published quite a few during the previous seven years of this blog. You can find those in these lists:

All My 2015 “Best” Lists In One Place

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – So Far

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part One

The Best Videos For Educators In 2014 – So Far

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

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 — So Far

The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part Two)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part One)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2011

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2010

Part Two Of The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2008

The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development

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

The Best Pink Panther Fight Scenes For English Language Learners

The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner

The Best Sports Videos To Use With English Language Learners

The Best Video Clips Of Sneaky Critters

The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More

The Best Fun Videos To Teach Language Conventions — Help Me Find More

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween

The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More

Okay, now here are my choices for The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 — Part Two:

Here’s a video that would be a could one to show English Language Learners. They can describe orally and in writing the chronology of events. It shows a system this cat’s owner has created so the cat “hunts” for his/her dinner:

Here’s a great series of short commercials with the theme “Don’t Judge Too Quickly.” They would good for English Language Learners to watch and describe what they see, along with learning the critical thinking lesson that it’s dangerous to make assumptions.

First off, here’s a group of them together. The second to the last one, however, is probably not appropriate to show in class:

Here’s another one:

There are others on YouTube, too, but, like the one I cautioned about in the first collection, they are a little “iffy” to show in class.

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.

The 2015 Illusion Of The Year has been announced, and here it is:

The upcoming movie “The Secret Life of Pets” looks like it’s a winner, if this new trailer for it is an accurate picture of what it will be like. The trailer itself would be great to show English Language Learners and have them describe in writing and verbally what happens in it. In addition, the segment in the trailer showing how the cat is trying to demonstrate self-control would be a great example to demonstrate an unsuccessful strategy to use….

Though slightly depressing at the end, the Oscar-nominated short would be great for English Language Learners to watch and describe what happened:

October 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“How Can I Better A Better Teacher For You?”

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As I’ve shared on numerous occasions (My Best Posts On Classroom Management), classroom management is a periodic challenge for me – I often teach “intervention” classes and/or classes where students have had limited prior schooling and/or have experienced substantial trauma. And sometimes I teach students with issues.

I try to always respond in positive ways (see More Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom-Management Tips). A couple of weeks ago, I shared one relatively successful strategy I tried (see My New Classroom Management Strategy: “How Are You Going To Use Your Power?”).

Yesterday, students in one of my classes were particularly wild (I suspect having substitute teachers in two previous periods contributed to their conduct). Class behavior had been leaning in that direction for a few days, so I decided it was time for a strong reaction.

Of course, every fiber of my being wanted to lash out at them. However, I also realized that going down that road never works.

So, I made arrangements with one of their other teachers to take out most of them one-by-one during my prep period and bring them into my classroom for a private conversation.

How did I begin those talks? With this question:

“How can I be a better teacher for you?”

That question created an entirely different dynamic for the entire conversation than if I had begun discussing classroom behavior. Most replied that the class is great as it is, while others offered good suggestions about seating and websites they like to use.

We were able to also get into a discussion about classroom behavior, norms, and the things they could do to be a better student, but leading with that question was, I believe, the key to the successful conversations.

It’s possible that coming down on students like a ton of bricks might have resulted in sullen compliance, but it would not have led to the sense of joyful learning that we had today in our classroom.

I have no illusions that all my classroom management issues are in the rear view mirror, but today reinforces my belief that positive beats punitive any day…