Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Another Study Finds That Learning Second Language Helps Our Brains

EEG recordings prove learning foreign languages can sharpen our minds is the headline of a Eureka Alert summary of a recently announced study.

Here’s an excerpt:



I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Learning The Advantages To Being Bilingual, which contains lots of resources I use in classroom lessons to encourage English Language Learners.

You might also be interested in The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual Or Multilingual — Part One, which I just updated and revised.

August 31, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

LinkedIn Finds Employers Are Looking For “Soft Skills”



The Best Info On Skills Employers Are Looking For In Job-Seekers is filled with the results of employer surveys finding that they are looking for employees with higher-level thinking skills and “soft skills” (Social Emotional Learning skills).

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Wall Street Journal article about the study, The ‘Soft Skills’ Employers Are Looking For:


August 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Silence Can Be Golden – Sometimes


No one would characterize my classroom as a quiet one. However, there are times when I do ask for silence, particularly during independent reading time and when students are writing.

I explained my reasons at a previous post titled When & Why Is It Important To Have Silence In The Classroom? (that post also resulted in several good comments).

Today, Daniel Pink tweeted a good article from Lifehack on the subject titled Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think.

I think I’m finally going to get around to creating a short lesson to help students see the advantages of occasional silence.

Here’s an excerpt from the Lifehack article:


August 26, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

So Many Textbooks, So Many Useless Ones

For new teachers, textbooks can provide a hugely helpful source of support. But, as many of us know, a huge number of them are next-to-useless.

Here’s a new excerpt from a summary of recent research on the topic (Do Textbooks Matter?):


I wish we could instead spend the millions wasted on textbooks towards more useful materials like high-interest books. Unfortunately, here in California, this unfortunate laser-like focus on textbooks has led to the well-intentioned but flawed Williams Act, which requires every student to have an up-to-date textbook but which doesn’t allow those funds to be spent on more useful materials. In fact, apart from our Theory of Knowledge textbook, all the useful texts I’ve in my classes have come out of our school’s funds. Fortunately, our school’s leaders understand what our students need.

To be fair, however, there’s no guarantee that districts and schools would spend the money saved on textbooks towards better materials or effective professional development (see The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More).

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Adapting Your Textbook So It Doesn’t Bore Students To Death.

August 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Study Reinforces That Prior Knowledge Is Important – As Well As Critical Thinking Skills

As all teachers understand, it’s critical for students to have – and be able to access – prior knowledge in order to learn something new (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Prior Knowledge (& How To Activate It) ).

We’re all also supposed to know how important it is for our students to develop critical thinking skills (see The Best Resources On Teaching & Learning Critical Thinking In The Classroom).

A new study has been released today that I suspect most IB Theory of Knowledge classes around the world will be incorporating in their discussions of memory’s role in acquiring knowledge.  It found that, as the headline of an article about the study says, The more we know, the easier we are to deceive.

Here’s an excerpt:


This is one reason we spend a fair amount of time on the concept of false memories in TOK classes. It sounds like it might be worth discussing in other classes, too.

August 22, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Researchers Find – Once Again – That Extrinsic Motivation Doesn’t Work


A new study has found that a “rewards for attendance” scheme initially improved school attendance, but after it was removed both attendance and motivation was reduced among the original target population.


How many times do researchers need to find the same conclusion before they stop studying it? Just about every study on motivation has found the same thing already – see Study Finds That Rewards For School Attendance Make Things Worse, The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students and Won’t Researcher Roland Fryer Ever Give Up On Trying To Prove Extrinsic Motivation Works Better Than The Intrinsic Kind?

Here’s an excerpt from the study’s abstract:



I’m adding the info to The Best Resources On Student Absenteeism.

Thanks to Paul Tough for the tip.

August 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

If You Read Today’s NY Times Column On Supporting College Freshmen, You’ll Also Want To Read This

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Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure is the headline of a column by David Kirp in today’s New York Times about a recent study.

It’s a good piece, though I think it’s missing a point that may be less important to the general public, but very important to educators.

I wrote about it in my original post when the study came out, Hopeful Study On Academic Success, But I Have A Question.

David Yeager, one of the study’s authors, was gracious enough to answer that question in Guest Post: Response From David Yeager To My Question About SEL, Race & Class.

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