July 29, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
Four years ago I began this 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.
You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – Part Two and The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2017 – So Far.
Here are this week’s choices:
Gianfranco Conti, one of the sharpest minds around in the language teaching world (I’ve previously shared many of his posts) has just begun a Facebook group called Global Innovative Language Teachers that includes teachers of all languages, including ELL/ESL/ELT educators. He was kind enough to write this description:
Global Innovative Language Teachers is a support group whose mission is to bring together language teachers from all over the world in the hope to go beyong insular views of language teaching pedagogy created by national curricula, imposed methods and theories and individual school policies and micro-cultures. Modern language, EAL, ELT and classical language teachers are all equally welcome. It is a place where we hope you will share your knowledge and opinions, celebrate your successes, vent your daily frustrations and seek advice from the many innovative and experienced language educators that have joined our ranks. G.I.L.T. is a safe space where criticism of others’ views and products is not merely tolerated but actually encouraged, although members are urged to stay constructive and conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. You or your posts shall not be removed unless they are totally irrelevant or offensive. Even so, you will receive several gentle reminders of the group’s guidelines before any action is taken and whilst you may be banned from posting (temporarily or indefinitely) you will still be welcome to stay. Do not be intimidated by some of the ‘big names’ on this forum or by the several decades of teaching experience of some of our jurassic veterans (e.g. Steve Smith). Share what you know or think it works, from the most elaborate theoretical SLA construct to the little daily classroom trick that can change the day. Welcome to our group.
Speaking of Gianfranco, check out his post, Eight narrow reading techniques that will enhance your students’ vocabulary and reading skills.
Tune Into English has a lot of resources about teaching English through music. I’m adding it to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.
Virginia high school gets a boost for some of its neediest immigrant students is from The Washington Post.
Closing the Books on Open Court Reading is from The Backseat Linguist. I’m adding it to The Best Articles & Sites For Teachers & Students To Learn About Phonics.
Another Round of Summer Reading for English-Language-Learner Educators is from Learning The Language at Ed Week.
TechCrunch had a story about Duolingo raising a ton of money (see my past posts on Duolingo, which is one of the best online tools, if not the best, for language-learning). This part of the article caught my eye:
Gotthilf specifically noted plans for launching new products that target intermediary users. The first of this is currently called Duolingo Stories and is meant to provide these more advanced users with more of a challenge than the current Duolingo experience, which is geared more toward beginners. As the name implies, Stories will focus on longer narratives, though the exact details of the product remain under wraps.
That sounds interesting!
I’ve written about using photo collages in lessons, and you can find those resources at The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons. Here’s a new collage from The New York Times – it’s on goats!
Ana Cristina wrote a post about an intriguing site called Word Booster. Paste in the url address of any online article and it will immediately provide you with several free PDFs of the article that has been displayed in a reader-friendly way, a word list, and a vocabulary test. I’m generally skeptical of sites that automatically create learner materials. I’ve got to say, though, that my experiments with Word Booster have resulted in some decent sheets. I still wouldn’t generally use them in my lessons. However, I think I will try it out next year by having students pick any article of their choice online and create their own sheets to complete. It might be interesting to see how it goes. I’m adding this info to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.
Very Early Exposure to English Can Help ELLs Flourish, Study Finds is from Ed Week.
I’ve previously sung the praises of CommonLit (see “CommonLit” Now Lets Teachers Create Free Virtual Classrooms). They’ve now made their site even more accessible to English Language Learners. Read about it at their article that has a somewhat over-reaching headline: Transformative Tools for ELLs and Struggling Readers
Unlocking The Potential of ELLs is a blog post by Valentina Gonzalez.
This Arkansas Radio Station Became a Hub for People From the Marshall Islands is from NBC News. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The Marshall Islands.
Literacy Centers for Multilingual Students is a new video from The Teaching Channel: