Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

What Books Will You Be Reading This Summer?

I always publish a year-end list of the best books readers of this blog have read during the previous twelve months.

I thought I’d try an additional project now and invite readers to share the books they plan on reading this summer, along with a one sentence description of each one they list.

Leave a comment or send a tweet by June 23rd, and I’ll publish them all on the 24th.

Looking forward to learning about some new books I should read!

June 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Now THIS Is An Example Of Writing For An Authentic Audience: Writing For History

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl sharing a fascinating article today from the Chronicle of Higher Education titled Why Historians Want You to Journal in the Age of Trump.

In it, an archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recommends that people begin to journal about current events to create a resource for future historians. She mainly is targeting present historians, but the advice can easily be applied to non- professional historians, also – like our students!

I could easily see this idea as being a “hook” to have students begin to blog about current events.

The article shares several pieces of advice. Here’s one:

Doing something like this semi-regularly on a class blog would be easy to do and easy to archive.

I’m adding this info to The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

June 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: Great Free Online Professional Development For ELL Teachers On Sat. Morning, June 17th!

I’ll be one of the speakers at this excellent professional development opportunity. Carol Salva has published a great description on her blog and has given me permission to reprint it here.

VirtuEL17 – An EL Conference Delivered Straight to Your Device

#VirtuEL17 is almost here!
Make plans to “attend” this virtual ESL conference!

It takes place on Saturday June 17, 2017 from 9:00am – 12:00pm Eastern Time (7:00 t- 10:00 AM Pacific)

Like many conferences, #VirtuEL17 will feature top ESL educators and specialists who will share their passion and effective techniques for working with English Learners. The difference is that this conference will come right to your home, right to your device! For all the details, see the conference program here.


VirtuEL is staff development by teachers, FOR teachers.  It is the brainchild of Tan Huynh, a master educator who blogs on the popular site, His site is a resource center that contains articles about instructional practices that support ELs’ language development.  Tan and I had been planning VirtuEL when we were asked to participate in the the virtual conference,#MADPD.  The day of learning inspired us and propelled us toward realizing Tan’s vision of a virtual conference for ESL educators.   His idea is taking shape now that we have so many sessions lined up that can be watched live and then re-watched on demand.  Most will be live sessions but some will be pre-recorded with the opportunity for a live Q&A with the presenters.

Opening Keynote by Nancy Motley 9:00 am ET

Author and Seidlitz Education Consultant, Nancy Motley is delivering the first Keynote session 9:00 am Eastern.  This 5 minute video is a sneak peek of her talk and will give you an idea of the insight that Nancy will share with us that morning:

A Flipped Keynote by Larry Ferlazzo 10:45 am ET

We have another incredible keynote speaker at 10:45 am Eastern.  Educator, Author and Ed Week teacher advice columnist, Larry Ferlazzo, will be answering our questions and chatting with us about his talk on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  To participate fully, please watch this 15 minute video by Larry entitled “Social Emotional Learning & Common Core.”


FLIPPED PD: Bring your comments and questions to the conference at 10:45 Eastern and tune in to Larry’s YoutubeLive event which will be posted here soon: (YouTube Live Link Coming Soon).  Larry will answer our questions and hear our comments about this important tool for working with English Learners.  The video will have a chat feature or you may log in to Twitter and post your comments using the hashtag #VirtuEL17.  I will be monitoring the feed along with Tan and Larry.

Thought Provoking Breakout Sessions 10:00 am & 11:00 am ET

The breakout sessions will feature several leaders in ESL instruction. Those sessions will take place at 10:00 and 11:00 am Eastern.  Presenters include Tan Huynh,  Cassandra  Chapa, Carlotta Holder, Valentina Gonzalez, Bret Gosselin, Andrea Honigsfeld, Katie Toppel, Ed.D and Carol Salva

You can find the lineup and all the links by visiting the conference flyer page here.

We hope you will participate in our first #VirtuEL conference.  I am inspired by what educators are doing on their own time to make this possible.   Thank you, Tan Huynh, Nancy Motley, Larry Ferlazzo, and all who are reading this.  We are delighted to deliver this innovative day of learning.  You deserve it!

Hope to see you here!


June 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2017 – So Far


I do a lot of writing – eight books, a teacher advice column in Education Week Teacher, NY Times posts on teaching English Language Learners, and five-or-six posts a day here.

I also regularly write other articles/columns for different publications, including Edutopia, The Washington Post and ASCD Educational Leadership.

You can find links to all of those pieces (there are probably over two-hundred of them) here.  I’ve chosen these sixteen as the best of the bunch.

Here are the ones I’ve written in 2017 – so far (I haven’t written many this year – any “free” time was devoted to our next book on teaching ELLs). I’m adding this post to All Mid-Year 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place:

Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning appeared in ASCD Educational Leadership.

Ideas for E.L.L.s: Finding Reliable Sources in a World of ‘Fake News’ is the headline of a fairly lengthy post at The New York Times Learning Network.

Four ways to encourage speaking in the ELL classroom was published by the British Council.

Putting Teacher Action Research Into Action was also published by the British Council.

June 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Lots Of Lessons In These Two Articles About How To Teach – & How Not To Teach – About Controversial Issues

This weekend, both The Washington Post and the New York Times published articles about how high school teachers were handling the topic of climate change in areas where parents tended to be supporters of President Trump.

Both articles are worth reading, and important lessons can be gleaned from both.

The New York Times piece is headlined Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students, and makes pretty clear the mistakes made by an inexperienced teacher.

The Washington Post’s piece, How to teach kids about climate change where most parents are skeptics, highlights the successful work of an Idaho Teacher of the Year. Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding this info to:

The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change

The Best Posts & Articles On How To Teach “Controversial” Topics

June 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Using “Google Story Builder” To Encourage Students To Study English Over The Summer


I’ve previously posted some of the activities I’ll be doing with my class of Beginning ELLs over the last two weeks of school:

Here’s What I’m Doing As A Final With Beginning ELLs,

Here’s What I’m Doing As “Part Two” For My ELL Beginner Finals

Today, I thought I’d share a third activity…

The last time I tried Google Story Builder, it was off-line.  That was a bummer – it’s always been a great tool.  Fortunately, however, it apparently was just a momentary blip because it’s back up and working!

This week, I’ll be asking students to use the app to create a dialogue between two or three people.  The purpose is to convince one of them to study English over the summer.

Here’s the model I created for students to watch.

I’m adding this post to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.

June 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Three New Resources On “Fake News” & Information Literacy


Here are three new additions to The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More:

Fake news – a lesson plan is from The Teacher James, and is for ELLs.

9 lessons to boost media literacy is by Frank Baker.

Storyzy is an interesting new tool that lets you verify quotes. Unfortunately, it only goes back to 2015, but is continually updated. You can read more about it at TechCrunch. I’m also adding it to The Best Places To Find Quotations On The Web.

May 31, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s What I’m Doing As “Part Two” For My ELL Beginner Finals


Earlier this week I posted Here’s What I’m Doing As A Final With Beginning ELLs, which turned out to be fairly popular.

I thought I’d share what they’ll be doing as their final activity – a “year-in-review.”

I believe I originally got the idea of  a timeline like the crudely-drawn one at the top of this post from Jim Burke many years ago, and have often used it – ranging from having students plot important points in Nelson Mandela’s life to documenting several important events in their life in preparation for an Autobiographical Incident essay.

Students use the positive-and-negative numbers to gauge if the events were…positive or negative.  They then describe event, why they rated it as they did, and illustrate it.  Finally, students present their timeline.

Students in my ELL Beginners class will be identify seven important things that happened during this school year – a particular lesson, meeting a new friend, doing a project, etc., and laying it out on a poster using this kind of timeline.  You can download the instructions here.

I believe colleagues who teach more advanced ELLs might be using this same timeline with their students.  The difference is that they are going to have their students follow-up with writing a narrative reflection.

I’ve always found this activity to be a nice way to wrap up the year.  I might publish some of my students’ timelines this year after they’re completed.

I’m adding this post to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.


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