Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 9, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Malcolm Gladwell’s New Story On The Importance Of Being A Good Listener

dual-head-mounted-listening-device
Photo Credit: James Vaughan via Compfight

In my books, I have useful classroom lessons on helping students become better listeners, and I also have The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners here on this blog.

The newest addition to that list is the transcript of a talk journalist Malcolm Gladwell gave on BBC radio. The BBC just published it, and its title is Viewpoint: Could one man have shortened the Vietnam War?

The story is about Konrad Kellen, who, among other things, did interviews with captured Viet Cong guerrillas for the United States to try to figure out what the “enemy” was thinking. It’s a short enough piece that students could read.

Here’s an excerpt:

he would say that his rethinking began with one memorable interview with a senior Vietcong captain. He was asked very early in the interview if he thought the Vietcong could win the war, and he said no.

But pages later, he was asked if he thought that the US could win the war, and he said no.

The second answer profoundly changes the meaning of the first. He didn’t think in terms of winning or losing at all, which is a very different proposition. An enemy who is indifferent to the outcome of a battle is the most dangerous enemy of all.

Now why did Kellen see this and Goure did not? Because Goure didn’t have the gift [of being a good listener].

Goure was someone who filtered what he heard through his own biases.

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March 19, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent Post On The Different “Levels” Of Listening

For Real Influence, Listen Past Your Blind Spots is an excellent post at the Harvard Business Review and discusses research related to different “levels” of listening.

I’ll definitely be adding it to the lesson on listening that’s in my new book, and I’m certainly adding it to The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners.

Here’s a quote from the article:

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March 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Great StoryCorps Video Animations

The wonderful StoryCorps stories on NPR are great pieces to read and listen to on the radio. They also have converted a number of them into short video animations, and many of them (though not the one I’ve embedded below) are closed-captioned.

Here is one of my favorites — with the late, great Studs Terkel:

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February 5, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: “The Chinese New Year: From Fear to Festivity”

The Chinese New Year: From Fear to Festivity is the title of this video from English Central that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Chinese New Year.

More importantly, though, it’s the first English Central video that I’m embedding in my blog. It’s easy to do, and I just learned it was possible through David Deubelbeiss’ blog — check out his post with screenshots.

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July 23, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners — Contribute More

'090/365: String telephone' photo (c) 2008, Ben Smith - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

This is a very short “The Best…” list. It’s different from The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners, and is focused on ideas we can use to help all our students develop better listening skills.

I shared my best ideas, and many readers shared theirs, in my Education Week Teacher piece titled Several Ways To Help Students Become Better Listeners.

The Power of Smart Listening by Annie Murphy Paul is another good resource.

Here’s a quote from The Harvard Business Review:

For leaders, listening is a central competence for success. At its core, listening is connecting. Your ability to understand the true spirit of a message as it is intended to be communicated, and demonstrate your understanding, is paramount in forming connections and leading effectively. This is why, in 2010, General Electric—long considered the preeminent company for producing leaders—redefined what it seeks in its leaders. Now it places “listening” among the most desirable traits in potential leaders. Indeed, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt has said that “humble listening” is among the top four characteristics in leaders.

Excellent Post On The Different “Levels” Of Listening

Here’s a playlist from TED Talks on the topic of listening.

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Story On The Importance Of Being A Good Listener

Say What? 5 Ways to Get Students to Listen is from Edutopia.

Here’s The Form I Have Students Complete When They’re Listening To Their Classmate’s Presentations

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Better Listener is another excellent article from The Harvard Business Review. It’s short and accessible, and will be a great addition to the lesson plan I have about becoming better listeners in my Self-Driven Learning book. Here’s a tweet about the article:

I hope readers can contribute other good ideas….

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January 8, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“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.

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December 13, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Amazing Listening Exercises For ELL’s

As regular readers know, ever since I discovered them, I’ve believed Henny Jellema’s online TPR Exercises to be not only the best listening exercises for English Language Learners on the Web, but the best ELL activity — period.

Well, I don’t know how I missed it before, but has a number of other similar activities that are just as good:

Stepping Stones Basic

Stepping Stones VBO

Four Stories

I’m adding them to both The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites and to The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners.

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