Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Use Mistakes When Teaching Writing


This is sort of an odd “The Best…” list.

I’ve written a lot in this blog and in my books about using student mistakes as an opportunity and not as a problem, and have an extremely long The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures list.

This list, however, has a different take on the subject. I’ve only got three related resources now, but I’m hoping readers will contribute more.

You’ll see what I’m looking for after looking at these sites:

27 Reasons Why You Should Always Proofread is from BuzzFeed.

Wonderful Video: Brazilian Kids Learn English By Correcting Tweets From Celebrities

The Best Collections Of Funny Signs (For Use In English Classes)

In other words, I’m looking for more resources that, in a funny (though not cruel) way, highlight errors that have been made in language usage. Students can then identify the mistakes, fix them, and learn along the way — and, with a little luck, have fun doing it!

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July 11, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Good Grammar & Vocabulary Interactive Exercises

I’ve previously posted about the excellent British Council Learn English Teens website. Today, I’ll like to particularly highlight two of its features.

Grammar Snacks are a series of animations about…grammar, followed by interactive exercises. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Grammar Practice.

Vocabulary Exercises contains a lot of thematic interactives on….vocabulary. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.

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May 14, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Important Research On Grammar Instruction

Grammar Errors? The Brain Detects Them Even When You Are Unaware is a report from Science Daily on new research related to grammar.

I’ve got to admit I’m still not sure I understand the description of the researcher’s experiment, but I do like their conclusion:

It may be time to reconsider some teaching strategies, especially how adults are taught a second language, said Neville, a member of the UO’s Institute of Neuroscience and director of the UO’s Brain Development Lab.

Children, she noted, often pick up grammar rules implicitly through routine daily interactions with parents or peers, simply hearing and processing new words and their usage before any formal instruction. She likened such learning to “Jabberwocky,” the nonsense poem introduced by writer Lewis Carroll in 1871 in “Through the Looking Glass,” where Alice discovers a book in an unrecognizable language that turns out to be written inversely and readable in a mirror.

For a second language, she said, “Teach grammatical rules implicitly, without any semantics at all, like with jabberwocky. Get them to listen to jabberwocky, like a child does.”

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May 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Beginning List Of The Best Sites For ELLs To Learn About The Pacific Region

March 22, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo

“No Red Ink” Is A New Grammar Site

As regular readers know, I don’t spend a whole lot of time on direct grammar instruction (you can read more at The Best Sites For Grammar Practice). Sometimes, though, it can be useful and/or students can want grammar reinforcement opportunities, which is why I created that “The Best…” list.

Noredink is a new site created by a teacher for students to practice grammar using interactive exercises. It’s a nicely designed site, and students can pick choose the topics that they are most interested in — the NFL, NBA, specific TV shows, etc.

I think there are plenty of other sites on “The Best…” list I mentioned earlier in this post that are more expansive and don’t require registration, so I’m not going to add Noredink to that list.

However, since teachers can create virtual classrooms of their students there, I will add it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Note that the site says that it’s free now. If and when they start charging, though, I’ll remove it from that list.

Thanks to Mashable for the tip.

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April 28, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Practice Parts Of Speech

The University of Nottingham has a nifty online tool where where students can practice multiple parts of speech (adverbs, articles, etc.) with any piece of 300 word text they, or their teacher, choose.

And it can be used with several languages, including English.

It’s just a matter of pasting the text in, clicking a button, and you’re presented with the exercise.

Thanks to mme_henderson for the tip.

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March 27, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo

Grammar Arcade

McDougal Littell has a large collection of grammar-related games at their Grammar Arcade. Many are accessible to English Language Learners, and they have made them as fun as any grammar-related activity can be….

I’ve placed the link on my website under Grammar.

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November 9, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Whack Attack

Whack Attack is a game from the BBC that tests knowledge on Math, English or Science. It’s probably accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.

The questions are good, though the game is a little weird. You’re given three answer choices. Each answer is color-coded, and in order to choose an answer, you have to “whack” the correctly-colored figure that keeps popping up.

I’ve placed the link on my website under Word and Video Games.

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May 22, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Verb Project

The Verb Project was developed by students at the Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education Basic Skills class. They worked with their instructors, John Tashima, Danna Weber and Susan Gaer to develop activities for beginning ESL students.

The site has both online and printable activities about….verbs.

I’m adding the link to my website under Verbs.

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May 17, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo

Aardvark’s English Forum

Aardvark’s English Forum is one of the many websites out there with grammar and vocabulary exercises for English Language Learners. I’ve had a link on my website to it for several years.

I’m writing a post about it here, though, because it has a number of exercises that offer a slightly unique twist that some students might like. When they take some of the interactive tests, like this one on animals, there’s a place for them to type their name in. Then, after it’s completed and had the computer check their answers, they can print out the sheet — with their name on it — and keep it for future study.

Yeah, I know, it’s not that big of a deal to be able to type a name on the sheet. However, having it printed out with their name on it and then being able to show their teacher and parents can indeed be a benefit to some students. It might seem a bit more “legitimate” than just writing their name on it.

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March 2, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Additions To “The Best…” Lists On Grammar & Women’s History

Here are some new resources I’m adding to a couple of “The Best…” lists:

Movie Segments To Assess Grammar Goals is a blog by Claudio Azevedo from Brazil. The blog shares grammar exercises connected to…movie segments. He has online video clips embedded in the blog along with the exercises. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely his blog’s host, blogspot, is going to make it through many school content filters, but it would be easy enough to get the videos through Netflix or upload them to a site like Edubogs TV so they can be seen at school. I’m adding his blog to The Best Sites For Grammar Practice. Thanks to Life Is A Feast for the tip.

Milpitas Chat shares a number of good online ESL lessons related to Women’s History.  I’m adding the link to The Best Sites For Learning About Women’s History. Thanks to U.S. Citizenship Podcast for the tip.

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January 25, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Sections On My Website

I have nearly 9,000 categorized links — all except for a few accessible to English Language Learners — on my website.

It’s designed for self-access by students. Many classes at our school use it, including our daily after-school ESL computer lab. My understanding is that classes throughout the world use it, too.

You can read a more extensive description of each page here.

I’d also encourage you to read articles I’ve written that describe how, in my opinion, computers can be most effectively used with English Language Learners and other students.

I have approximately twenty separate pages on my website.  Links become obsolete pretty quickly on the Internet, so I verify links on my site about twice each year.  My “system” is to verify links on one page each week and, then, when I’ve gone through all of them, start again.

I thought it might be useful  to create a “The Best…” list highlighting what I think are the most useful sections of my site. After all, nine-thousand links can be an intimidating number to both students and teachers alike.

Here are my choices of The Best Sections On My Website (not in order of preference):

I have less than one hundred links under Favorite Sites. These are the ones that I think — out of the 9,000 — are the best for English Language Learners. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Most are best for Beginning and Early Intermediate ELL’s, though many are also suitable for Intermediates.

I also like the substantial Citizenship section. You can find many accessible links related to government and civics that are very helpful to students at any language level preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship test.

You can find links to literally thousands of “talking stories” for Beginning English Language Learners under Stories.

Writing is another good section for Beginning ELL’s.

The links under Health are appropriate for any level of ELL, though a small number might not be suitable for very young students.

Word and Video Games is filled with English-learning games for all levels. You might want to read about how I use the online video games that are listed there as a language learning activity.

You can find a ton of tools and examples of how students can easily create their own online projects at Examples of Student Work.

Students enjoy a lot of online Geography games.

There are also a lot useful links on the Teacher Page.

I began to create a The Best Websites page adapting all of my “The Best…” lists.  However, I found that it was just as easy for my students to access them directly from my blog, especially since I had them all organized in one place.  After putting versions of twenty of the lists on my website, I just couldn’t bring myself to do 170 more.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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