Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

NBA Star Russell Westbrook Supports Schools’ Literacy Programs

Have students hear athletes talk about the importance of reading can only help, and that’s why I’ve published The Best Videos & Articles Where Athletes Explain How Reading & Writing Well Has Helped Their Career.

NBA star Russell Westbrook has just financed new “reading rooms” for schools in the Los Angeles area, and has previously done the same with Oklahoma City schools.

When an NBA all-star from South L.A. comes home is an L.A. Times article.

Here’s a link to a good video at and here’s one from the L.A. Times.

July 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Do You Have Suggestions Of Sources For Free Printable Books?

Online books are great, and “regular” published books are, too. However, sometimes technology and budget constraints can reduce student access to both.

That’s why I created The Best Sources For Free & Accessible Printable Books a few years ago. It lists places where teachers can print out multiple (or single) copies of ELL accessible books.

I just did a quick clean-up of that list, and am hoping the readers can check it out and share additional suggestions….

July 19, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Three “Choose Your Own Adventure” Links

Here are three new additions to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories:

What’s In The Box is a great interactive story from The Reading Teacher.

Journey Into the Arctic – The Atlantic is a video “Choose Your Own Adventure” series about the search for the Northwest Passage. You can learn more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.

And, here, just for fun, is a new interactive that Stephen Colbert – yes, that Stephen Colbert – has created.

July 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

This Passage On The Importance Of Rereading Sounds Profound, But Help Me Figure Out If It Makes Any Sense

The Key to Rereading is the headline of a new article in The New York Review of Books.

As every educator in the United States knows, rereading a text is a hallmark of the close reading strategy emphasized by Common Core Standards.

This passage in the article sounds profound, but after rereading it several times, I’m still not sure if it really makes any sense. He suggests that reading something new creates a “lock” in the brain concealing its true meaning that can only be opened by a “key” created by rereading the text.

I’ve reread it a number of times, and still can’t figure out what the difference is between that analogy and one of looking at the text as a lock that can only be opened by a key developed by the brain a second time that it is read.

What am I missing – if anything?

“When we perceive something new for the first time we cannot really perceive it because we lack the appropriate structure that allows us to perceive it. Our brain is like a lock maker that makes a lock whenever a key is deemed interesting enough. But when a key—for example, a new poem, or a new species of animal—is first met, there is no lock yet ready for such a key. Or to be precise, the key is not even a key since it does not open anything yet. It is a potential key. However, the encounter between the brain and this potential key triggers the making of a lock. The next time we meet or perceive the object/key it will open the lock prepared for it in the brain.”

It’s an elaborate theory and in fact the reader turns out to be the philosopher and psychologist Riccardo Manzotti. Intriguing above all is the reversal of the usual key/lock analogy. The mind is not devising a key to decipher the text, it is disposing itself in such a way as to allow the text to become a key that unlocks sensation and “meaning” in the mind.