Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 10, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s A Successful Music Lesson We Did With Beginning ELLs (Hand-Outs & Student Examples Included)

Here’s a two-week-long music-related lesson that, thanks to my extraordinary colleague, Alma Avalos, was a very successful one that took about a week. It includes all the domains — listening, reading, writing and speaking.

First, students were introduced to the Black-Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?” (lyrics video embedded below). The song is sung fairly fast but, just like the saying goes that the best book for a student is not one on their lexile level but, instead, one they want to read, the same hold true for a introducing a popular song.

Students were given copies of the lyrics, asked to highlight new words, which were reviewed in class. They also practiced the song in the wonderful Lyrics Training site.

Students also practiced reading the lyrics out loud. Once comprehension was solid, it was time for Step Two.

, they began completing this Where Is The Love? worksheet. It includes a number of questions and tasks, including picking ten of their favorite lines, translating them into their language, and explaining why they chose the lyrics and what feelings they generated.

Third, Students used the online tool Canva to create an online poster of those ten favorite lyrics, using images to help illustrate their meaning. You can see some of their creations here.

All of the previous tasks made up the first section of the unit lesson. Now it was time for students to apply what they learned to higher-order and more complex tasks.

First, students were asked to choose their favorite song that had classroom appropriate lyrics, and then to complete this form, which included choosing their favorite ten lines.

Secondly, they went back to Canva and created a similar slideshow to their first one — this time, though, using the lines from their song. You can see student examples here (the first one or two links might be for the Where is the Love? song, but the rest are for their favorite songs).

Thirdly, students presented their Canva slideshow, explained in what the lyrics meant, and showed a video of their song.

Students really enjoyed the unit and, as you can see, it was filled with high-interest language-development activities.

It was a great piece of work by Alma!

If we had more time, we would have had the students choose one of the favorite songs and practice singing a portion of it as a group. Then, as we’ve done before, they would have performed for our ELL Intermediates (see how that worked before at Singing, Recording & Authentic Audiences For English Language Learners).

But the school year is ending soon, and we couldn’t afford to use any more time on the unit.

Feel free to offer suggestions on how you think we could have made it better!

I’m adding this post to:

The Best Music Websites For Learning English

The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners
(because of our use of Canva)

May 2, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great Video: Hip Hop In Fourteen Languages To Benefit UNICEF

This is a great video that I’m adding to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

Here’s how it’s described:

#HIPHOPISHIPHOP is a Hip Hop version of “We Are The World” charity single. 14 rappers from 14 different countries express their love for Hip Hop in their own languages and styles. All profits will be donated for children’s education through UNICEF.

You can learn more about it at The Week.

April 30, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Just Updated List Of Music Sites

Over the past year I’ve posted about several sites that allow you to search for songs and then lets you play them off the Web. Most also let you create playlists you can maintain.

I have had questions about copyright issues for at least some of them, and today one of these sites, Grooveshark was closed down because of those very issues.

I took the opportunity to go back to Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Music Sites (where I also describe how I use these sites) and revise it.

December 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Google Starts Showing Song Lyrics In Search Results – Not As Good As It Sounds

I was happy to see TechCrunch’s headline this morning: Google Adds Song Lyrics To Top Of Search Results, Points Searchers To Google Play.

Great, I thought, it would be nice to be able to avoid all those ad-ridden online lyric sites.

But the article underneath the headline pointed out a number of shortcomings to the service (you type in the name of the song plus the word “lyrics”), including the fact that many songs aren’t included (it didn’t show “The Bowling Song,” “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” or “We Shall Overcome” when I tried it, though it did come up with “Little Boxes.”

Nevertheless, I’ll add this info to The Best Places To Find Lyrics On The Web, which I probably have to update.

November 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Incredibox” Gets Even Better!


Incredibox, the incredibly easy music-creating site that’s been on The Best Online Sites For Creating Music list for years, has just announced its annual update.

Version Four has even more sounds to mix, and will only make it more fun for students to use. I have my English Language Learners create their tracks and then describe — verbally and in writing — why they made their particular composition and what they want people to visualize when they listen to it.

November 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Fun Playing For Change Version Of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Many teachers of English Language Learners use the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” when they’re teaching Beginners the theme of “feelings.”

Playing For Change just came out with the most fun video version of it that you’re going to see, and I’ve embedded it below.

In addition, I’ve embedded a more tradition version showing the lyrics.

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites To Learn “Feelings” Words.

June 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Music Videos Of “What A Wonderful World”

'What A Wonderful World' photo (c) 2006, Sharat Ganapati - license:

“What A Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong is a super-popular song, and well-used by teachers of English Language Learners throughout the world.

This evening, Wendi Pillars shared a spoken version by David Attenborough that I hadn’t seen before, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the versions I’ve used with my students. I hope readers will share ones they like, too.

Here’s the version I use with my students:

Here’s the one Wendi shared:

Here’s a very unusual one I’ve share on my blog previously. It’s called “An Abridged History of Western Music in 16 Genres”:

Here’s Armstrong himself:

And here are a few others I’ve seen:

allatc offers an ELL lesson plan for the Wonderful World song.

Wonderful World is a lesson plan from All at C, that also includes a video not on this list.

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