Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Here’s A Reflection Exercise I Did With My Student Teacher

Being a student teacher and supervising a student teacher offers unique challenges. You might be interested in a three-part series on the topic I did at Education Week Teacher.

I’ve probably had 12-15 student teachers over the year, and it’s generally been a very positive experience for me, students and, I think, the student teacher.

I thought readers might be interested in a reflection exercise I did with one of my student teachers this year (I have two). It seemed to go well, and my student teacher said it was very helpful.

To help her get a grasp on what instructional strategies I was using that were making content accessible specifically to English Language Learners, I asked to jot down notes responding to the following questions, which we then discussed:

1) We’ve done several multi-day projects with our students.  What scaffolds were done for each one?  Try to remember their sequence of all the supporting activities leading up to each culminating project and note them.

2) Which domains (listening, speaking, writing, reading) were practiced for each one and how often?

3) Higher order thinking skills include, but are obviously not limited to:

* categorizing

* transfer – applying something learned previously to a new activity in a different context

* critical thinking – making a judgment and providing evidence to support that judgment

How were these utilized in each of those activities?

4) What academic language, if any,  were taught in each of these activities?

6) Given your answers to the previous four questions, what do you think are some of the elements of good SDAIE lessons?

7)  If you add up the total amount of time these projects took up, and then add-up the amount of time students have read together using comprehension strategies (considered a best practice in SDAIE), what is your guesstimate of the percentage of class time that has been spend over these first four weeks on SDAIE instructional strategies?

Do you have suggestions of questions I could have added, or ways I could have reworded the ones I asked?

October 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s The Thematic Schedule I’m Using In My ELL Beginner’s Class

I thought readers might, or might not, be interested in seeing the schedule I use for teaching thematic units to my English Language Learner Beginner classes.

You’ll find a growing list of “Best” lists I’m developing to support each one at All My Thematic “Best” Lists For Beginning ELLs – In One Place!

This is typically the sequence I do each year (more or less):


SEPTEMBER: School, Describing People & Things (colors, clothes, numbers, size, age, weather, body)

OCTOBER: Data/Information (seasons, dates, calendars, time), Holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving)


DECEMBER: Home, Holidays again

JANUARY: Food, Friends & Fun (Hobbies, Sports)

FEBRUARY: Money, Community

MARCH: Jobs & Careers, Animals

APRIL: Feelings, Art & Music

MAY: Health, Writing A Story

October 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Slideshow For Teaching About Colors & Sizes

Two weeks ago I shared a Slideshow For ELLs: “Cline” or “Spectrum” On Temperature.

Last week, my talented student teacher Amber Kantner created and used a slideshow in class to teach colors and sizes.

She’s give me permission to share it her – thanks, Amber!

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 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

How Does Your School Support Long-Term English Language Learners?

The question of how to best support Long-Term English Language Learners is one that many schools are considering, including ours….

I’ve previously collected a number of related resources at The Best Resources On Supporting Long-Term English Language Learners, and we’re exploring those resources.

We’re discussing lots of options, including creating a special classes that LTELL’s could take along with their regular mainstream English class, which appears to be a common recommendation.

What does your school do to support Long-Term ELLs? Do you have special support classes? If so, what is your curriculum?

October 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Define American” Invites Immigrants To Tell Their Story

Thanks to the National Writing Project, today I learned about Define American.

Immigrants are invited to share “what you think makes a person a part of this country” by recording a short video or uploading an image and providing voice narration.

I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Tell Their – And/Or Their Families – Immigration Story.

October 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

iSLCollective’s Video Lessons Are A Huge Asset For Any ELL Teacher

Earlier this year I sang the praises of the iSL Collective (iSLCollective Appears To Be A Jackpot For ELL Student Hand-Outs & Interactive Videos).

I’ve continued to use the site as a wonderful resource for student hand-outs. However, for some reason, I didn’t really “bother” with their interactive videos.

Then, I read about them again at Michelle Henry’s site, and explored them further.

Boy, what a goldmine!

Yes, you can create your own, and I’ll get around to doing that. But, for now, there are an amazing number of engaging, short videos that teachers can project and, as I do, have student with mini-whiteboards respond to questions when the video stops.

The videos are searchable by lots of criteria, and there are already four hundred alone at the Beginner Level!

Registration is free, but you don’t even have to sign-in to be able to use the videos (you do in order to create ones).

Between their hand-outs and their videos, I’ve decided to move the site to an elite level – in my eyes. So I’m adding them to The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers (which now makes four).

October 1, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“ReadWorks” Adds Highlighting & Text Annotation

I’m a big fan of the “ReadWorks” site (see “ReadWorks Digital” Came Online Today & It Looks Great!).

Last week, I posted about a feature they recently added (“ReadWorks” Now Provides “Same” Texts At Different Level).

Now, they’ve added yet another new capability – to highlight and annotate.

Here’s a video showing and explaining how it works:

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