Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 13, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

LyricsGaps Gets Even Better – Now ALL Existing Songs Can Be Assigned & Student Progress Monitored


I’ve previously shared about how teachers can create music clozes (gap-fills) for students to complete while they listen to – and watch – popular music videos at LyricsGaps (see Create Customized Exercises & Monitor Student Progress At “LyricsGaps”).

Now, though, you can -in seconds – assign any existing exercise on the site. All you have to do is click the “Share This Exercise” button (see screenshot at the top of this post).

My students have to do five hours each week of homework from any of the sites at The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions.  I’m sure that LyricsGaps will now become a very popular option.

November 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Create Customized Exercises & Monitor Student Progress At “LyricsGaps”


LyricsGaps has been on The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites list for awhile.  It’s a great (and free) site that lets students watch/listen to music videos and then fill-in-the-blanks.

Since a fair number of the videos are blocked for students by our District’s Internet content filters (but accessible to teachers), I will show the video on the screen and then students write the word on mini-whiteboards.  They, of course, can also use the site at home.

I recently discovered they added a feature for teachers to create customized exercises. Click “play” for any video and you go to a screen that looks like the image at the top of this post.  You can then click on any words you want left blank (it literally takes seconds).  Next, you’re given a url address you can provide students and your account will list the users that have used your exercise and their scores.

I’m adding this info to:

The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions

The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress


October 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New & Absolutely Delightful Playing For Change Music Video: “Everyday People”

I’ve often shared videos from Playing For Change.

They just released a new one that is absolutely delightful.

Here’s how they describe it:

We are proud and honored to reshare this video, produced by Playing For Change in partnership with Turnaround Arts.

Turnaround Arts infuses struggling schools with arts as a strategy for reform. The program was founded by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and is now run by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Turnaround Arts currently works in 73 schools, 38 districts, and 17 states and the District of Columbia.

“Everyday People” features Turnaround Arts students alongside their Turnaround Artists including Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Paula Abdul, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Banks, Keb’ Mo, Forest Whitaker,and many more performing this timely song by Sly and the Family Stone.

This video was created to inspire the idea that all children deserve access to the arts in school and that the arts have the power to create change.

Learn more about Turnaround Arts at

October 9, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Playing For Change Releases New Around-The-World Video – “My Own Two Hands”

For years, the organization Playing For Change has been releasing collaborative music videos showing musicians from around the world singing songs.

And, for years, I’ve been sharing them here on this blog.

In addition to the great music, their message, and the important work they support, their songs are usually very accessible to English Language Learners – they are usually sung slow enough from them, and the meaning of the lyrics offer great opportunities for class discussion.

Here’s their brand-new video of “My Own Two Hands.” You can find the lyrics here.

June 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Great Strategy For Interacting With Art!

This morning, my wife and I took our granddaughter to visit the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

While there, I spotted a neat way to interact with art. Now, I’m not an art museum aficionado, but I’ve been to quite a few over the years, and I had never seen this particular strategy.

Next to a painting was a counter fill with small pieces of paper (a different question was on each paper) and pencils. Viewers could respond to one of the questions (one of the sheets invited viewers to create and answer their own) and place their completed sheet on a board with others.

I thought it would be a neat strategy to use with student art shows at schools (recognizing there might be a few less-than-helpful responses in the bunch). I’m thinking of using it with the art project I do with my IB Theory of Knowledge students and have them create questions about their piece of art (see Play-Doh & IB Theory Of Knowledge: Student Hand-Out & Videos).

Is this a common strategy in museums and I’m just living under a rock?

Here’s what it looked like – the painting, the counter, and the completed sheets:

April 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Google’s Brand New “AutoDraw” Is Likely To Become A Favorite Place For Those Of Us Who Are Artistically-Challenged

Google just unveiled AutoDraw, a free site that uses artificial intelligence that provides a series of guesses about what you are drawing. You can choose the right “guess” to pretty-up your artistic creation, write up some description, and then download it or share the link. The image above is an example.

This is perfect for English Language Learners – instead of spending tons of time getting their drawing “just right,” they can, instead, have fun drawing quickly and spend more time on the language part of the exercise.

And it’s great for ESL teachers, too – no more working hard trying to draw images of scenes for vocabulary items to support language acquisition. Now just draw a few lines, project it onto the screen, and you’ll be able to show a masterpiece.

I’m adding this info to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

You can read more about AutoDraw at Technology Review article, Google’s AI Turns Your Crappy Doodles Into Proper Pictures.

Thanks to Greg Toppo for the tip.

December 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Playing For Change Releases Its Newest “Song Around The World” – Take Me Home, Country Roads

I’ve shared many of Playing For Change’s videos, especially their “Song Around The World” series where singers from…around the world collaborate in singing a song.

Today, they released their thirty-sixth in the series (you can see them all here):

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