Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Statistic Of The Day: Are Most High School Students Not Engaged At School?

Our high school kids: tired, stressed and bored is the headline of an article at USA Today about the results of a new survey on student engagement.

The conclusions aren’t pretty, as this excerpt says:


The article says 22,000 students participated. However, apart from this article, I can’t find anything else out about the survey. So it’s unclear if it it was a scientifically done random one, or a self-selected “opt-in” process. That’s similar to Gallup’s questionable past surveys on student engagement (see Intriguing Gallup Student Poll Results, But Not Something I’d Quote A Lot).

I’m not saying that a majority of our students are super-enthusiastic about their high school experience. I’m just not convinced that it’s as bad as some of these surveys suggest.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On Student Engagement.

October 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – Part Two


It’s that time of year again – one that I look forward to and dread at that same time.

It’s time for my end-of-year “Best” lists!

You can see all my mid-year lists at All My 2015 Mid-Year “Best” Lists In One Place! and all my 1,500 “Best” lists here.

My first end-of-year list is on research studies that have come out over the past six months.

I write many posts about recent research studies and how they can relate practically to the classroom. In fact, I post a regular feature called Research Studies of the Week. In addition, I write individual posts about studies I feel are particularly relevant to my work as a teacher.

You might also be interested in:

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2014 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 – Part Two

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2013 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2012 — So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2011

Hare are My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2015 – Part Two:

“The Science Of Reading” Is A Must-Read (& An Accessible One) For Teachers

New Study: With Grit, You Need To “Know When To Fold ‘Em”

New Study Finds Interesting Twist: Repeating Words Helps, & Repeating Them To Someone Is Better

New Survey On High School Drop-Outs Is Depressing, If Accurate

This Is Interesting: “8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On”

Instead Of High School Exit Exams For Civics, Study Suggests SEL Programs Would Be Better Way To Go

An Interesting “Take” On Research “Reproducibility”

Surprise, Surprise – New Research Finds Lectures Aren’t The Best Way To Teach

Very Interesting Study: Students Seeing Teachers Drawing Diagrams Is Better Than Showing Pre-Made Ones

New Study Finds Value In Looking At Mistakes As Positive Learning Experiences

Research Study On Humility Perfect For Students (& Useful For All Of Us)

Surprise, Surprise – Punishment May Not Be The Best Parenting (Or Teaching) Strategy

Study: Remember A Couple of Past Instances Of Self-Control To Increase The Odds Of Repeating In Future

You Don’t Say! Researchers Find That It’s Easier To Learn Something New If You Can Connect It To Something Familiar

New Studies Show, Unsurprisingly, That Stress Reduces Self-Control & Metacognition

Statistic Of The Day: How Long Does It Take To Learn English?

Statistic Of The Day: The Benefits Of Reading

Do You Know Of Research Showing That Writing For An “Authentic Audience” Helps Students Feel Motivated?

This New Report May Provide The Best Overview Available On Social Emotional Learning

Does This Big New Study On The Importance Of Social Skills Become A New “Marshmallow Test”?

New Study Says Being Bilingual Equal More “Gray Matter”

New Study Shows Goal-Setting – With Some Twists – Can Have Big Impact On Student Achievement

Study: Inductive Learning Promotes “Transfer Of Knowledge” Better Than Direct Instruction

The Best Summaries/Reviews Of Research On Social Emotional Learning – Let Me Know What I’ve Missed

Quote Of The Day: Nicholas Kristof On “It’s Not Just About Bad Choices”

Study: “Authoritative,” Not “Authoritarian,” Classroom Management Works Best For Boys

October 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“The Science Of Learning” Is A Must-Read (& An Accessible One) For Teachers


The Science of Learning, a publication from Deans for Impact, was recently unveiled, and it’s an important document for all teachers to read. You may have already seen it – writing a post about it has been on my “to do” list for a few weeks.

The report provides an excellent short and sweet summary of the most recent research on learning, and is very well documented.

It also contains many useful suggestions for the classroom.

The American Psychological Association came out with their own version of this kind of report (see Nothing New In New “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Teaching,” But Still Very Useful), but the Science of Learning is about a zillion times more accessible and practical for educators. In fact, it took respected UK educator David Didau twenty (yes, twenty) posts to make the APA study relevant to teachers.

The Science Of Learning report is a quick read. However, if you need an even quicker one, Paul Bruno published a good summary in Edutopia.

October 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study: With Grit, You Need To “Know When To Fold ‘Em”

I’ve just finished my three-part series on grit over at Education Week Teacher, and a new study has come out highlighting the need to be strategic when we use it.

Give Up: New research shows that grit can be costly and unnecessary is from The Atlantic, and provides a good summary of the new study.

Here are a couple of excerpts:



I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

And here’s a good song to go along with it:

October 6, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Study Finds Interesting Twist: Repeating Words Helps, & Repeating Them To Someone Is Better


It’s no surprise to teachers of English Language Learners – and to those of us who have learned a second language – that a new study has found that repeating new words/phrases aloud helps with retention.

Interestingly, that same research has found that it’s much better to repeat them to someone else instead of just to a screen or in your head:

Previous studies conducted at Professor Boucher’s Phonetic Sciences Laboratory have shown that when we articulate a sound, we create a sensory and motor reference in our brain, by moving our mouth and feeling our vocal chords vibrate. “The production of one or more sensory aspects allows for more efficient recall of the verbal element. But the added effect of talking to someone shows that in addition to the sensorimotor aspects related to verbal expression, the brain refers to the multisensory information associated with the communication episode,” Boucher explained. “The result is that the information is better retained in memory.”

I’m assuming that repeating them aloud chorally to a teacher in the classroom would qualify as repeating them to someone else, but don’t know that for sure…

I love sites like English Central and others that let students repeat into a microphone and have their pronunciation automatically evaluated, but I guess we teachers should consider this kind of research (if replicated) in thinking about online tools…

October 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Survey On High School Drop-Outs Is Depressing, If Accurate


Thanks to Kelly Gallagher, I learned about a brand-new report from America’s Promise Alliance on the reasons why students drop-out of high school. They surveyed 2,000 students who took at least one semester off from school.

Tech Insider took the information and created a chart of the results (their chart is more accessible than the one in the report itself). You can see the entire chart here, and I’ve done a screenshot of the reasons that were at the top.

This is Kelly’s analysis of it:

I would add that it actually seems like schools are the primary influence on five of the top seven reasons.

I’m no statistician, and would love to hear from someone who is and who can comment on the methodology used in this survey.

In a quick Internet search, it appears that a study done in 1993 is often quoted as a source for listing the reasons behind dropping out of school. In that study, four of the top nine reasons were school related.

A lot of food for thought here, especially for those of us who teach in high school….

October 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Mindset Scholars Network Website Is Key New Resource For Social Emotional Learning


The Mindset Scholars Network has just unveiled a new website. Here’s how they describe it:

The website features summaries of the scientific literature for broader audiences, a blog that reports on the latest findings and news from the mindset field, a searchable library of 30+ years of mindset research, links to research-based resources for practitioners, and nearly two dozen FAQs that provide the latest answers from research to common questions about mindsets.

“How do they define ‘mindset’? you might wonder (I did). Here’s how they define it:

Growth Mindset: The belief that intelligence can be developed

Belonging: The belief that one is respected and valued by teachers and peers, and fits in culturally in one’s learning environment

Purpose & Relevance: The belief that one’s schoolwork is valuable because it is personally relevant and/or connected to a larger purpose

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” and to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.