Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Al Jazeera Has Great Audio Reading Of Text Feature On Its News Site

I’m not sure how long they’ve had it, but the Al Jazeera news site has a very impressive tool for providing audio support for text – perfect for English Language Learners.

It’s called “Read To Me,” and can be found at the top left of many, if not all, of its news stories.

What makes it even more impressive is that each word is highlighted when its spoken, which makes it even more valuable.

Yes, I know there are some concerns about Al Jazeera’s objectivity. However, I’ve never seen any issues with the articles I’ve used and shared. Teaching students how to be a savvy news consumer, of course, is another skill we have to teach (see The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More).

I’m adding it to The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners.

October 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded Today – Here Are Related Resources


The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Here are some resources on the organization, and I’m adding them to The Best Sites To Learn About The Nobel Peace Prize  (you might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About Nuclear Weapons):

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is from The New York Times.

Nobel peace prize 2017: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins award – as it happened is from The Guardian.

Anti-nuclear weapons group wins 2017 Nobel Peace Prize is from Al Jazeera.

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to anti-nuclear weapons campaigners is from CNN.

October 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Video Documentary: “Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up”

Thanks to Renee Moore, I learned about this new Fannie Lou Hamer documentary.

Here’s how Mississippi Public Television describes it:

Civil rights legend Fannie Lou Hamer is remembered by those who worked side by side with her in the struggle for voting rights. An African-American sharecropper from the Mississippi Delta, Hamer’s difficulty registering to vote in 1962 led to her career as an outspoken activist, congressional candidate, and fierce fighter for the rights of all.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.  You might also be interested in All My “Best” Lists On Race, Racism & The Civil Rights Movement – In One Place.

October 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Videos Explaining “Intersectionality”

Here’s how Merriam Website defines “intersectionality”:

It’s been around since the late 1980’s but intersectionality is a word that’s new to many of us. It’s used to refer to the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.

I’ve shared resources on this before, I thought a “Best” list would be useful. I’m adding this post to All My “Best” Lists On Race, Racism & The Civil Rights Movement – In One Place:

October 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Four Useful Resources About…Trees


Here are four new additions to a surprisingly (at least, to me) lengthy and interesting collection at The Best Sites To Learn About Trees:

Life of a Tree is from the Arbor Day Foundation.

A different interactive from PBS is also called Life of a Tree.

A Walk in the Woods: A Photo Appreciation of Trees is from The Atlantic.

Telling the Tales of Trees Around the World is from The New York Times.

September 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Woolly Mammoths & Inductive Learning


As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of inductive learning (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching).

Today, I did a simple inductive lesson in my English Language Learner World History class that I thought readers might find useful – not necessarily for the particular lesson itself, but because it provides a pretty good example of how inductive learning can work.

We’re studying prehistoric times, and the chapter in our textbook briefly mentioned the woolly mammoths and showed an artist’s drawing of one.

We took a break from the book and I showed this video:


Then, I said that scientists are trying to bring a mammoth back to life.  I asked if anyone had seen a Jurassic Park movie (many had).  We talked about “genes” (as well as “jeans”), and how scientists could take some from a frozen mammoth like the one in the video and use them to create a new one.

I then showed this video:

Next, we read this cloze, also known as a gap-fill (see The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills) ).  You can download the cloze here.

I first read it aloud, saying “ummmm” where the blanks were located, and then students completed it. We went over it, and then I asked students to work on their own to use the cloze to figure out the rule about when to use “they” and when to use “them.”

All of them came up with something like “they comes before the verb and them comes after the verb” or “they comes at the beginning of a sentence and them later.”

It went well, and is a textbook example of how to merge content knowledge with language instruction, and to have students “create” their own knowledge.

September 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Bad Statistic Of The Day: U.S. Reduces Number Of Refugees To Lowest Level In Years

The Trump Administration announced their plan for refugees on Wednesday.

Here’s an excerpt from NPR’s article on the news, headlined Trump Administration To Drop Refugee Cap To 45,000, Lowest In Years:

For a “counter-narrative,” you can check out:

America’s Duty to Take In Refugees from the NY Times.

Five Reasons Refugees Are Good for U.S. Security in The Huffington Post.

Trump Administration To Reduce Refugee Admissions The Same Year World-Wide Numbers Hit Record High

Statistic Of The Day: Refugees Help U.S. Economy

I’m adding this info (with some irony) to The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day.

September 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Robert De Niro’s New Film On Ellis Island Looks Like It Might Be Terrific

Robert De Niro and the artist JR have collaborated on a new short film called “Ellis” that looks really intriguing.

You can read more about it at the film’s website and at The New Yorker.

Here’s how JR describes the film:

“Walking around the abandoned hospital on Ellis Island, I could feel the presence of the hundreds of thousands of people who passed through, and of the countless ones who didn’t make it and got turned back. I look for what’s often missing in today’s media coverage. I want to find the story behind each person who left his or her country. I want to know what made them leave everything and everyone behind, even when they knew they’d never be able to come back. It takes so much courage. There were immigrants in Ellis a hundred years ago, there are migrants now, and there will be some in a hundred years, so we have to do what we can to try to relate to each individual story.”

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States.

ELLIS – trailer from SOCIAL ANIMALS on Vimeo.

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