Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 13, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

“PixiClip” Is A Neat Drawing Tool For English Language Learners


PixiClip is a neat drawing tool I just learned about at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’d strongly encourage you to go there and read more details about the site and see his example but, basically, it lets you make a drawing and record either audio-only or a video to go along with it. It also lets you upload an image from the web and “mark it up,” but I think there are plenty of other web tools that let you do that easily enough — and let you grab images off the web with photo url addresses (PixiClip just lets you upload one from your computer) — so I don’t think that feature particularly stands out (you can see those other tools at The Best Online Tools For Using Photos In Lessons).

But the audio-plus-drawing capability could really come in handy for English Language Learners.

For example, my Beginners are studying the theme of “Home” right now. After doing some pre-planning for a rough “script,” I could see them doing something like the recording I’ve embedded below as a novel summative assessment and may try that out next week. If we do, I’ll post examples on this blog.

Here’s my model:

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

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November 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Using The Amazing New Bob Dylan Video With English Language Learners (& Make Your Own!)


As you might have heard, Bob Dylan released an amazing interactive video of his song, Like A Rolling Stone, today.

You can see it here, and read about it here.

It has sixteen different tracks, like television channels (including a cooking channel as the above image shows), synchronized with different people in different locations mouthing words to the song. It’s got to be seen and heard to be believed.

I’m trying to figure out if and how it could be used with English Language Learners. I’ve never used the song before — the lyrics, I think, would generally be too confusing. However, the chorus is usable. I wonder if students could learn the chorus, sing it at appropriate times, and use the different tracks for Venn Diagrams and compare/contrast paragraphs?

Even more interesting, though, is that Interlude, the actual creator of the video, lets people use their site — for free — to create their own interactive videos. Here’s what I’ve previously posted about them:

Interlude lets you create sort of a “Create Your Own Adventure” video. It’s a little too complicated for me, but you can read more about it at TechCrunch.

Let me know your ideas about using the video in class — and if you’ve used the site to create your own…

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November 4, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

My NY Times Post On Using Music With ELLs


My latest New York Times post for English Language Learners focuses on using music for language development and includes a student interactive, video, and teaching ideas. One of those ideas relates to using West Side Story to initiate a discussion of gangs.

I’m adding it to:

The Best Music Websites For Learning English

The Best Sites To Learn About Street Gangs

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October 29, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Easiest & Most Fun Tool On The Web For Creating Music Got Even Better — Again!


I’ve previously posted about Incredibox, and I continue to think it’s the easiest and most fun tool on the web for creating music. You can save your creation, give it a title, and share it.

Today, they announced that they completely updated the site (again), including giving it a new url address.

Of course, it continues to be on The Best Online Sites For Creating Music.

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October 9, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

“LSO Play” Is A Mind-Blowing Way For Students To Learn About Orchestras & Musical Instruments


LSO Play is an interactive experience with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Students can learn about orchestras and musical instruments, but it’s hard to explain the many different aspects of the site.

Just check it out — you won’t be disappointed!

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September 25, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Lyrics Videos” On YouTube & English Language Learners

An article in today’s New York Times titled On YouTube, ‘Lyrics Videos’ Mark a New Genre highlights an excellent resource for English Language Learners and their teachers — creative music videos that emphasize displaying the lyrics as they are sung. Of course, there are many karaoke sites that ELL teachers use, as well as other tools specifically designed for ELLs (you can see lots of them at The Best Music Websites For Learning English) but, apparently, releasing videos that are more than just the lyrics scrolling down the screen is becoming a genre of its own. And that’s good news for ELL classrooms — not only does it mean that up-to-date songs will have their lyrics displayed, but that they will also show a little creativity to make it more interesting to students.

Also, one piece of new information for me was that if you searched “lyrics video” on YouTube, you’ll find a greater number of these than if you use some of the search terms I’ve been using to find them.

Here are a few examples from the NY Times article:

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August 14, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Getty Museum Makes Nearly 5,000 Public Domain Images Available Online — Will Increase In Future


The Getty Museum just made an announcement:

The initial focus of the Open Content Program is to make available all images of public domain artworks in the Getty’s collections. Today we’ve taken a first step toward this goal by making roughly 4,600 high-resolution images of the Museum’s collection free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose.

I’m adding this info to The Best Online Sources For Images.

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