Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Nice Video Animation: “Scottish independence referendum 2014 explained”

The citizens of Scotland are voting on whether to be their own independent country. In fact, the voting is taking place as I’m writing these words.

I’ve previously shared a nice, short video explaining what’s going on, and here’s another good explanation — an animated video from The Guardian:

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September 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

An ESL Teacher’s Good Friend –”America’s Funniest Home Videos” — Turns 25


American’s Funniest Home Videos, whose DVD collections have been a great tool in my English Language Learner classes, is turning twenty-five years old, and The New York Times is marking the occasion with a lengthy article, A Generation of Unintended Laughs: ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Turns 25.

The program, which now also has a very popular YouTube channel is a great source of videos to use in the many language-development activities I describe in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

I do think that some of them are in poor taste and a bit cruel, but the vast majority are good clean fun.

With Thanksgiving in the not-so-distant-future here in the United States, here’s their YouTube playlist for the holiday (I still think it’s worth investing in the DVDs, though):

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September 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two New Sesame Street Videos On Social Emotional Learning

Sesame Street has been sharing a series of videos on Social Emotional Learning skills, and you can see their previous ones on self-control at The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

I think they’ve been pretty good, and my high school students enjoy watching them as a reinforcing/reminder activity after we’ve done lessons on The Marshmallow Experiment (by the way, watch for my interview with Dr. Walter Mischel, the creator of the Marshmallow Test, in Education Week Teacher on Sunday).

They just issued another one on self-control — a Star Wars parody. I don’t think it’s as good as their previous ones, but it still gets the job done:

They’ve also just released a video called “The Power Of Yet” — a message on the growth mindset idea that even if you haven’t succeeded now, it’s just a matter of “not yet.” I like this one better, and I’m not familiar with Sesame Street doing other videos on SEL skills other than self-control. Perhaps this season they will expand their content.

I’m adding this video to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

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September 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great Video: Tavis Smiley On Daily Show Talking About M.L. King’s Final Year

Tavis Smiley has a new book out titled “Death of a King: The Real Story Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.”

He did a terrific interview on the Daily Show, and I’m adding this video to The Best Resources To Remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death (& Life).

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September 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Potentially Useful TED Talk – “Why ordinary people need to understand power”

TED recently shared a TED Talk by Eric Liu titled “Why ordinary people need to understand power.”

I’ve embedded the video below, and you can access it and the interactive transcript at the TED site.

He says some good things in the video the demonstrates he has an understanding of at least a few community organizing concepts, including:


He’s creating something called Citizen University, which “works with a national array of partners to help Americans cultivate the values, systems knowledge, and skills of effective citizenship” — whatever that means.

More useful, however, is a curriculum Citizen University is creating. Here’s how they describe it:

What is power? How is it exercised in civic life? Who has it and why? Such questions go to the heart of self-government — but most people are fundamentally illiterate in power. That’s why we’ve created an accessible, free curriculum on civic power. Coming soon.

I’m not ready to add any of this to either The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change or to The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship, but I might in the future – depending on what Citizenship University comes up with in the future.

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September 11, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

New Hans Rosling Video: “How not to be ignorant about the world”

TED Talks just released a new Hans Rosling video (done with his son) called “How not to be ignorant about the world.”

You can see it on the TED Talk site with all its bells and whistles, including a transcript, but I’ve embedded the YouTube version below.

I’m, of course, adding it to The Best Hans Rosling Videos:

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August 31, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great “Animations & Explainers” From The Guardian


The British newspaper The Guardian publishes a neat series of video “animations and explainers” that you can find on their YouTube channel.

I’m adding it to The Best Online “Explainer” Tools For Current Events.

Here’s an example:

I’m adding that example to The Best Resources For Learning About World Toilet Day & The Issue Of Public Sanitation In The Third World.

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August 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Look at Life Through Autistic Eyes”

Two film-making students:

created an animated simulation of life through the eyes of a non-verbal child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) “and her constant struggle to cope with the world around her,” as they write in their artist statement.

That description comes from an article in the New York Times headlined Look At Life Through Autistic Eyes.

Here’s the video:

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes, which contains other similar resources.

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August 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Good Videos On How We Learn & How I Plan To Use Them In Class

The Khan Academy (you might want to see The Best Posts About The Khan Academy) recently unveiled three new videos that they have apparently developed with the help of Carol Dweck.

Their main new one is pretty decent and titled “You Can Learn Anything.” It’s the first video embedded below.

The one I really like, though is of John Legend. I don’t agree with his education politics, but he tells a great story of how and what he learned on his way to success. It’s called “Success Through Effort.” That’s the second video embedded below.

I’m not as thrilled with their third video, which has Sal Khan talking with Carol Dweck. You can find better videos of her explaining the growth mindset at The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

At some point during this school year, as a reinforcing activity for our lessons on how we learn and the growth mindset, I plan on showing these two short videos and have students respond to this prompt:

According to these videos, how do we learn? Do you agree with what the videos are saying? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences, your observations of others, and any of your reading.

I’m adding this post to:

My Best Posts On Writing Instruction

The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures

You might also be interested in Here’s The “Growth Mindset” Article & Prompt We’re Using As Part Of Our Semester Final

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