Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 24, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is A Brilliant Idea For An Online Dictionary

Embedplus is a nice tool that’s on The Best Tools For Cutting-Out & Saving Portions Of Online Videos (Or Annotating Them) list. They recently added a really neat dictionary feature called Learn how to pronounce words (and use them).

You type in a word, and it shows you multiple short clips from videos where the word is used. Jeez, so many dictionaries are next to useless for English Language Learners because they either just show the word in writing or only pronounce the word itself. Some might include a written sentence demonstrating it in context. But you can’t beat literally seeing and hearing it!

Of course, the videos are all from YouTube, which make it inaccessible for most schools. But students certainly use it at home.

I’m adding it to The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners.

January 8, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

“clubEFL” Is A Fantastic Site For EFL/ESL Teachers & Students

clubEFL has fantastic resources for EFL/ESL students and teachers, including:

* A Picture Dictionary and a Talking Dictionary. These stand out particularly for all the additional interactive reinforcement activities they include. I’m adding them to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites.

Several other parts of their site are equally as good, but I’m not adding it to that list because they include YouTube videos. I only include sites that most students can use on their own in that “The Best…” list and, since YouTube is blocked by most schools for student use, I can’t include them in that list. However, it has prompted me to think about creating a comparable “all-time” list for useful teacher sites. In our district, teachers can access YouTube, so these following pages are excellent to use in a whole class lesson using a computer projector. They have short video clips along with lots of interactive reinforcement exercises (students could use them at home, too):

Gogo’s Adventure with English, which I’m adding to The Best YouTube Channels For Learning English (even though it’s not quite a “channel.”

Learn English Through Movies, which I’m adding to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

They have another site, also called a Picture Dictionary, that has mostly YouTube music videos and interactive exercises. I’m adding it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

They have two other features that I think are good, just not quite as useful as the ones I’ve mentioned already. They are:

Aesop’s Fables in English for language learners, which I’m adding to The Best Sites For Using Aesop’s Fables In The Classroom.

Very Short Stories and Verses For Children, which I’m adding to The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers.

March 30, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Memidex Is A Great Dictionary…And More!

Memidex is a very impressive dictionary, and a lot more. Jim Burke just shared it on Twitter. It tells you just about anything you want about a word. I particularly like its word origins.

I don’t think it’s particularly useful for English Language Learners, so I won’t add it to The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners. But I’ll certainly be using it, and recommending it to my Theory of Knowledge students.

June 9, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment


Fotopedia is a new combination photo-sharing and encyclopedia site.

You have to download software in order to upload your photos, so that part isn’t feasible for most schools. However, anybody can access the pages on the site, which combine user-contributed photos with excerpts from Wikipedia articles on the topic. It’s very accessible to English Language Learners, and it’s particularly engaging because anybody can vote on whether photos permanently become part of the site’s pages on the topic.

In some ways it’s similar to Navify, which also adds multimedia to Wikipedia text. However, once Fotopedia gets more content, I think it’ll be even better.

You can read more about Fotopedia at TechCrunch.

June 8, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo


Wordnik, which is trying to become the “world’s biggest dictionary,” just opened to the public today.

It includes a ton of user created content from throughout the web. For English Language Learners who are trying to learn the meaning of a word, I’d say it offers too much content and they might feel overwhelmed.  Other dictionaries on The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008 would work better, I think.

However, it does offer the opportunity for users to add their own audio pronunciations and definitions, so I am adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Create Online Learning/Teaching Objects For An “Authentic Audience”.

You can read more about Wordnik in two other places:

Webware has a good post about it today.

The Christian Science Monitor ran a piece a couple of months ago on Wordnik’s founder.

June 7, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

One Look Reverse Dictionary

One Look Reverse Dictionary is exactly that — a “reverse” dictionary. Here’s how the site describes itself:

“OneLook’s reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. Just type it into the box above and hit the “Find words” button. Keep it short to get the best results. In most cases you’ll get back a list of related terms with the best matches shown first.”

It could possibly be useful to English Language Learners.  However, I think the thesauruses in The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008 work as well — if not better.

Thanks to the Make Use Of blog for the tip.

January 15, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo

Dictionary Added To Best Reference Sites

A few days ago I posted about a new dictionary called Shahi. Shahi is a dictionary that combines simple definitions with quite a few Flickr photos. The combination of the two makes it pretty accessible to English Language Learners.

I forgot to mention, though, that I’ve added it to The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008.

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