Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 21, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists For Sites Where ELL’s Can Create Art

Today is a day of my making “collection” sites, and this one is related to art. Though I have a whole bunch of art related “The Best….” lists, I just have a few that are specifically related to students creating art.

So, here is A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists For Sites Where ELL’s Can Create Art:

The Best Art Websites For Learning English

The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations

The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online

The Best New Sites Students Should Use With Supervision

Hope you find this post useful!

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October 21, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Easily Create Animations With “Disapainted”

Disapainted may be just about the easiest tools out there to make simple “stickman” animations. Registration takes less than twenty seconds, and you are given a link to your creation.

ELL’s can make an animation and then share — in writing and/or verbally — a story about it.

I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.

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September 26, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Two New Online Drawing Apps

Here are the newest additions to The Best Art Websites For Learning English:

Draw It Live lets you create virtual “rooms” where you can collaborate with people of your choices to draw. It also includes a chat window. You can save the image to your desktop, but it doesn’t appear to let you save it on the web. Thanks to The Center For Applied Second Language Studies for the tip.

AWW lets you draw with others or on your own, and does let you save the creation on the web. It doesn’t have a chatboard, however. You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.

I’m also adding both to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

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September 9, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Songboard For Karaoke

You still need to get an invitation to use Songboard, but it seems to have a pretty clean interface to show music videos with highlighted words as they are sung. It doesn’t have a way to record your singing, and you have to sign in using Facebook (though you can get access to a number of them without signing-in), but it still might be worth checking-out.

I’ve added it to The Best Online Karaoke Sites For English Language Learners.

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August 3, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Art & Music Sites Of 2011 — So Far

I usually just do a year-end list of The Best Art & Music Sites and many other topics, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to start publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a site appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…

You might also be interested in:

The Best Art & Music Sites — 2010

The Best Art & Music Sites — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Art & Music Sites Of 2011 — So Far:

ART:

Artpad is a great simple application that lets you paint and draw, and then save your creation (not to mention letting you replay your creative process). It’s been on The Best Art Websites For Learning English list. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been functioning for the past year or two. I should rephrase that — you have been able to draw and paint with it for that time, but it hasn’t been able to save your creation. However, I recently checked it, and it all seems to be working again, and paintings are saved — each one is given a unique url address. With luck, it will continue to work….

ArtFinder is a new web tool that lets you discover new art and build your own virtual collections. You can take a survey identifying pieces of art you like and it will help you discover more like them.

The Google Art Project puts some of the most important art museums, and their collections, online with amazing features, including being able to create your own art collection. I’ve embedded a very short video from the site that shows what it can do — I can’t do justice to it just with words. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Their Own Online Art Collections.

MUSIC:

There probably aren’t many people out there not familiar with Google’s famous Les Paul “Doodle” that let you compose music, record it, and then gave you a link to your composition. It was pretty darn neat (though, I also have to say, pretty distracting to students in the computer lab :) ) Even though Google has pulled it from its home page, you can still access it here. With luck, Google will keep it alive for a long time. If you want inspiration, you can check out 7 Les Paul Google Doodle Tunes From Mashable Readers.

American Sabor is a neat new site from The Smithsonian that’s designed to celebrate Latino music heritage. It has tons of multimedia features and a nice interactive.

Lyrics Gaps lets you choose a song and the language you want it sung in and then gives you the option of seeing/hearing it in different modes — karaoke, beginner, intermediate, expert. Apart from karaoke mode, you’re then shown a YouTube video of the singer, along with the lyrics on the side including blanks (fill-in-the-gap). I especially like the beginner mode, which provides several options to chose to complete the sentences. The higher levels don’t give any hints.

Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it.

John Lewis Harmony lets you either choose your favorite song, or create your own with your keyboard, and watch different parts of a virtual house light-up to its beat. If you choose to create your own song, you’re given a link to share. No registration is required. English Language Learners could have fun by creating their own tune and then writing words that go along with it. Or they students could post their creations on a blog, and other students could comment on what they like about them.

LyricsNMusic is a nice site that lets you easily search for lyrics and you can a very clean and accessible copy. It also finds music videos of the song. What I particularly like about it, though, is that is shows the lyrics at the top and the video at the bottom, so you can play the music and show the lyrics without students getting distracted by the video. Other sites show the lyrics right next to the video.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 700 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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July 28, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Sites (& Videos) For Learning About Jazz Chants

'Moruya Jazz Festival 2006' photo (c) 2006, Ruth Ellison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Many teachers of English Language Learners have used “jazz chants” (originally developed by Carolyn Graham) in the classroom, and I thought I’d put together a quick list of useful related resources:

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto has written an excellent blog post, including a video, sharing the process Graham uses to develop these chants.

Celebrating Twenty-Five Years Of Jazz Chants is an article from New York TESOL.

Here’s a video of Graham explaining jazz chants:

This comes from TEFL Videos:

Using Jazz Chants for Teaching Language Functions comes from The University of Delaware.

Chants for Enhancement Activities is a blog with…chants for ELLs.

Play It Again And Again, Sam is from NPR and, I think, may help explain why jazz chants are effective in language instruction.

Aeon Magazine has a similar piece on that research.

Additional suggestions are welcome.

If you’ve found this list helpful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might want to also view the over seven hundred other “The Best…” lists.

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July 27, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

Research On Music & ELL’s

Many ESL/EFL teachers use music with their students, and I’ve shared many related resources and ideas at The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

I’m making some new additions to that list focused on research that supports using music in the classroom:

Effectiveness of Music on Vocabulary Acquisition, Language Usage, and Meaning for Mainland Chinese ESL Learner

Using Music in the Adult ESL Classroom. ERIC Digest.

ESL Through Music

I’d love to hear additional suggestions from readers….

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July 8, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“The Greatest Music Video Ever Made”

Five thousand people from Grand Rapids, Michigan came together to create what Roger Ebert has called “the greatest music video ever made.”

And it is, indeed, pretty amazing. It was shot in one take.

I thought it might be particularly timely, given the tragic events in that city this past week. Even though I’ve never been there, I suspect this video give a more accurate portrayal of the essence of Grand Rapids than yesterday’s tragedy.

Even though the song’s lyrics are probably not the best for English Language Learners, the video itself would make a great one for students to use in any of the video activities I describe in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

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June 22, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Great News! Artpad Is Back Online

Artpad is a great simple application that lets you paint and draw, and then save your creation (not to mention letting you replay your creative process). It’s been on The Best Art Websites For Learning English list.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been functioning for the past year or two. I should rephrase that — you have been able to draw and paint with it for that time, but it hasn’t been able to save your creation. However, I recently checked it, and it all seems to be working again, and paintings are saved — each one is given a unique url address.

With luck, it will continue to work….

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June 11, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You Can Continue To Make Music With Les Paul’s Google Doodle Beyond Yesterday…

There probably aren’t many people out there not familiar with Google’s famous Les Paul “Doodle” yesterday that let you compose music, record it, and then gave you a link to your composition. It was pretty darn neat (though, I also have to say, pretty distracting to students in the computer lab :) )

Even though Google has pulled it from its home page, you can still access it here. With luck, Google will keep it alive for a long time.

If you want inspiration, you can check out 7 Les Paul Google Doodle Tunes From Mashable Readers.

I’m adding this Google Doodle to The Best Online Sites For Creating Music.

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May 29, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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ArtFinder Helps You Discover Art You Like & Build Virtual Collections

ArtFinder is a new web tool that lets you discover new art and build your own virtual collections. You can take a survey identifying pieces of art you like and it will help you discover more like them. You can read more about the site at Read Write Web.

I’m adding it to both The Best Collections Of “The Best” Pieces Of Art Ever Created and to The Best Ways For Students To Create Their Own Online Art Collections.

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May 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Art Through Time: A Global View”

Art Through Time: A Global View looks like a pretty amazing site from WNET. This is how the multimedia site describes itself:

Art Through Time: A Global View examines themes connecting works of art created around the world in different eras. The thirteen-part series explores diverse cultural perspectives on shared human experiences.

It would definitely be challenging to English Language Learners, but the site looks so good I’m still going to add it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

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May 4, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Lyrics Gaps” Is A Good Tool For ELL’s

Lyrics Gaps lets you choose a song and the language you want it sung in and then gives you the option of seeing/hearing it in different modes — karaoke, beginner, intermediate, expert. Apart from karaoke mode, you’re then shown a YouTube video of the singer, along with the lyrics on the side including blanks (fill-in-the-gap).

I especially like the beginner mode, which provides several options to chose to complete the sentences. The higher levels don’t give any hints.

I’m adding it to The Best — And Easiest — Ways To Use YouTube If, Like Us, Only Teachers Have Access To It.

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April 9, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Tunefort

Tunefort
is a new service that lets you search for pretty much any song and then plays it for you online. You can also create a playlist. It meets my “Raffi Test” of having most of Raffi’s songs available. In my experience, that usually means you can find lots of useful songs for English Language Learners.

It joins many other similar sites on Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Music Sites list.

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March 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

YouTube Announces Super-Easy “Create” Feature

I certainly wouldn’t place any bets on YouTube getting through most school district content filters anytime soon, if ever. But they’ve just announced a great new ability to make videos and animations on the YouTube site itself using GoAnimate, Stupeflix, or Xtranormal and then posting it there.

The YouTube feature is called YouTube/create.

I can see myself using it sometimes to illustrate a concept for a lesson, or pointing out the idiocy of the latest school reform fad. But I suspect that it’s a super-cool tool that, outside of the two ideas I mentioned and potential use in adult ESL classes, won’t have much K-12 impact.

But, because it’s so cool, I’m still adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations (for adult students) and to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Videos (Using Someone Else’s Content).

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

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March 22, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

I Like Instalyrics

Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it. The lay-out is very “clean” and it replaces Batlyrics as my favorite place for music videos and lyrics.

I’m adding it to:

The Best Places To Find Lyrics On The Web

The Best Websites For Learning About Bob Marley

The Best — And Easiest — Ways To Use YouTube If, Like Us, Only Teachers Have Access To It

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March 19, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Love Project Lives!

Last year, I posted about the Starbucks Love Project. Starbucks was raising money to combat AIDS in Africa by having people from around the world sing “All You Need Is Love” and post it on the site (maybe they were contributing money everytime somebody sang it on the site? It wasn’t quite clear to me how that fundraising part worked). It was a fun excuse to get English Language Learners and other to sing.

Then they took the site off-line. However, I just discovered that it has a new web address where you can see a fun mash-up of people singing (sort of like the videos at Playing For Change), plus, you can still contribute your own performance.

It’s worth a visit just to see the mash-up, and it’s still a good opportunity to sing in English for an authentic audience.

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