Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Postal Service Issues Jaime Escalante Stamp Today


The United States Postal Service issued a stamp today honoring the late educator Jaime Escalante.

You can read more about it, and him, at:

Postage Stamp for ‘Stand and Deliver’ Teacher Jaime Escalante Is Unveiled from NBC News.

7 Times Jaime Escalante Taught His Students About the Importance of ‘Ganas’ is from the U.S. Department of Education.

Here are two scenes from the movie about his teaching, Stand and Deliver (note the end of the second one has a word that may be considered inappropriate for the classroom):

July 12, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Good Classroom Management Advice For Everybody

Teaching Traumatized Kids is an article in The Atlantic that discusses how a school is dealing with “toxic stress” among its student body.

The description of what they’re doing, however, is good and what should be basic advice for every school and teacher:


Here’s the trailer for the film on the high school, along with some “bonus content”

Paper Tigers Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

July 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

California Teachers Summit – 2016


The California Teacher Summit, a day for professional development at many of the California State University campuses, will be taking place on July 29th this year.

You can learn more about it here (as well as registering to attend for free) and by watching the short video embedded in this post.

For what it’s worth, I’ll be giving an “Ed Talk” at the Sacramento event on Social Emotional Learning and the Common Core.

July 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Check Out My British Council Posts On Teaching ELLs


Reads might, or might not, know that I’ve been writing several posts a year for the British Council, which is probably the largest organization in the world promoting teaching English.

They’re pretty practical, including my latest one which shares my choices for the “All-Time” best online tools for English Language Learners.

Most of them, however, are not tech-related; they typically focus on issues like ELL assessment, vocabulary instruction, etc.

You can find all them here.

July 7, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Resources From All My Blogs

In addition to this blog, I regularly post at several other sites:

Engaging Parents In School:

Larry Ferlazzo's Engaging Parents in School Site

Weekly Posts At Classroom Q & A With Larry Ferlazzo:

Weekly Posts At The New York Times Learning Network on Teaching English Language Learners:

New York Times Learning Network

Periodic Posts at Edutopia:


Monthly Posts At The British Council – Teaching English

MY CLASS BLOGS (the World History, U.S. History and Beginner & Intermediate ones are very current)

July 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Pairprep” Lets Students Compete Against A Friend (Or Themselves) & Lets Teachers Monitor Progress


Pairprep is a free site that has a number of “courses” (a series of multiple choice questions on a particular topic – like “ESL”) where students can compete against a friend, a random opponent, or themselves as they choose answers. Teachers can monitor student progress through a virtual classroom.

Teachers can create that classroom by choosing an existing courses through first clicking on the course name and then clicking the big read “Contribute” button on the upper right of the page. Or teachers can create their own course from scratch.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

In addition, I’m adding it to The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms.” Even though the other sites on that list let students compete against all their classmates instead of just one, Pairprep is close enough to fit.

July 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: Review Of “American English” Website


Last week, I wrote a short post headlined “American English” Site From U.S. Department Of State Has Developed Into Great Resource For ELL Teachers.

Over the week, Jennie Farnell, who is the assistant director of The English Language Institute at the University of Bridgeport, sent me useful more-depth review of the site.

Here it is:

American English (app download)

Platform: Internet; formatted for mobile devices; Android app available

Cost: free

Age: middle school and up

Proficiency: beginner and up

American English is a website designed and maintained by the US Department of State. It’s a difficult website to categorize, since it has resources for both teachers and learners. It contains a sea of information and, although it has been redesigned and seems easier to use, it still can be challenging to locate all of the resources available. For teachers, there is a vast selection of resources, including lesson plans, some specifically developed for teen learners, professional development webinars and MOOCs, and research articles. There is an app available for mobile devices that run Android or Java (that excludes iOS devices and Windows phones). There’s also a Youtube channel and a Facebook page with as of the time of writing had garnered over three million likes (neither of which are easy to locate on the site – you need to go to the bottom of the page and click on the tiny link icons; both were much easier to locate by googling).

Currently, the Youtube channel seems to have slightly more resources for teachers than learners. The video content for both learners and teachers is high quality. For learners, videos offered include basic grammar, error correction, pronunciation practice, tips for learning English, and a grab bag of videos offering resources, instructions on using the app, business English, etc. For teachers, the videos mostly focus on professional development and include a plethora of information, from assessment practices to classroom management to methodology. The Facebook page is geared toward learners and includes quizzes, songs, grammar tips, etc. Finally, the app is designed for learners and includes e-books, audiobooks, songs, and a language game.

Pros: free; huge collection of resources for teachers and students; multiple methods of access (Youtube, Facebook, apps, and website);  downloadable resources for offline use;

Cons: resources are difficult to locate; apps not available for iOS devices; strong focus on American culture;

Takeaway: American English is a an incredibly rich resource, although probably most useful for EFL teachers and learners. There is a strong slant toward American culture, which is logical considering the website is through the United States Department of State. The website can be accessed in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish as well as English. The Facebook page is probably most useful for overseas learners, while the cultural resources could be used for newcomers to the United States as well as for learners overseas. The YouTube channel is useful for all learners, regardless of location. The app is clearly designed with overseas users in mind, where Android devices are much cheaper and ubiquitous than iOS devices. The biggest challenge with this website is locating the various resources; it was much easier to google search for the app link and the Facebook / YouTube page than it was to find on the site. While American English can be a very useful resource, it is not one that is particularly user friendly. Students (and teachers!) may need support to access the multimedia resources, as they are not particularly obvious. However, if one has the time to dig through the resources, there is a lot to be found, and it does contain a wealth of easily accessed professional development content, which could be useful to teacher trainers and new practitioners.

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