Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 10, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two More Christmas E-Cards

Thanks to the Scientific Shamrock blog, here are two more Christmas E-Cards I’m adding to The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa.

One is the Merry Message from Better Homes and Gardens. Have Santa Claus deliver an audio message either by recording your own voice or by using the text-to-speech feature. Students can then post the link to their message on a blog or website.

The Gingerbread Man With Everything
lets you create your own virtual…gingerbread man and send or post the link.

November 22, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Decorate Your House (Virtually) For Christmas

With Your Coca Cola Christmas Decoration you can virtually decorate your house, school, or any other building in the world.

You enter the address of the structure you want to decorate and then a satellite image comes on the screen. Next, you choose various Christmas lights in different forms (reindeer, etc.) or design your own on it. Email your creation to yourself or a friend, post the link on a teacher/student blog or website, and then describe it as a language-learning activity. The address itself of the building is not shown in the link — only the decorated building.

It does seem to take a few hours for an email containing the link to reach your mailbox, but other than that slight delay it seems to work pretty easily.

I’m adding this site to The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa.

August 20, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Feel Like Singing?

In another example of the ability to use viral marketing in English-language development, English Language Learners can go to the Nokia Musical Mighty site.

There, they can “plug-in” the kind of music they like, then upload their image or choose one on the site, and then, finally, using the text-to-speech feature, they develop their own lyrics to the song that will then be sung by a computer-generated voice. The link to the final result can be emailed or embedded.

April 29, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Create Your Own Yard

Lowes lets you create your own yard. Users develop and maintain their virtual backyard, and can add all sorts of stuff to it (coincidentally, Lowes sells all this “stuff.”).

It’s nice interactive that provides a number of opportunities to English Language Learners for vocabulary development. You can save your creation, but you don’t get a unique url address that you can post. Instead, you have to input your email address to access it. Of course, it would be pretty easy just to have students make one up and post the link to the Yard Creator along with the pseudo email address so others can access it. Students could then write about their yard, too.

You can read here about how I use viral marketing applications like this one to help teach English Language Learners.

I’ll be placing the link somewhere on my Examples of Student Work page.

April 19, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Part Thirteen Of The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly

Here’s the latest in my series of The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly. You might want to review Part One to get some background on this series of posts.

You might also want to check all my other “The Best…” lists. In fact, this one is somewhat of a milestone — it’s the fiftieth one I’ve done.

Here are some additional sites where English Language Learners, and others, can create engaging online content easily and quickly — without any registration needed:

CREATE YOUR OWN WORLD WAR II PROPAGANDA FILM: You can use the Propaganda Film Maker to combine images and audio to try convincing the public to support World War II. It’s a good site to us as part of a history lesson.

DESIGN A TALKING POSTCARD FROM A VACATION SPOT: Using this viral marketing campaign, you can take advantage of something called the Bluegreen Vacation Time Machine to pick a geographical location, use the text-to-speech feature, and email a url address talking about your make-believe trip. It’s a good language-development activity, as well as serving to reinforce some geographical info.

BE A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Choose your candidate and pretend that you are him or her. You can record your message with a computer microphone or call a toll-free number (or they can call you). Then email your impersonation to a friend or teacher and post the url.

CREATE THE END TO AN “APPRENTICE” EPISODE: You can watch a short version of the ridiculous television show The Apprentice and then make your own ending. Then email your creation to a friend or teacher and post its url address on a blog or online journal. This seems to work well with Firefox, but it may have some problems with Internet Explorer.

SEND SOME BEAUTIFUL CHINESE E-CARDS: The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has some great Asian artwork you can easily write about and then send to a friend or teacher for posting.

SEND AN E-CARD FOR MOTHER’S DAY: With Mother’s Day coming up in a few weeks, students could send some nice ones from Fun Punch, Up To Ten, Kidlink, and/or Toons Canada. You can post the url address of all the cards you create.

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February 16, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

One More Site For The Best Ways To Create Online Content

I forgot to include one other site in my three-part series “The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily, Quickly, & Painlessly.”

This last one is a viral marketing ad from an athletic shoe manufacturer.  You write a message, and a founder of the “free-running” sport runs over the letters of your message.  You can then email the link to a teacher or friend.

You can find it at K Swiss Free Running.  It was a little buggy when I tried it, so you probably want to be patient until it completely loads.

I’ll be placing the link somewhere on my Examples of Student Work page.

February 1, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo

Get Munked

Get Munked is the latest weird example of viral marketing that might be useful to English Language Learners (see my TechLearning article from last year about viral marketing in the ESL classroom).

As a marketing gimmick for the new Chipmunks movie, you can record your voice or use a text-to-speech feature to have one of the singing Chipmunks speak your words.  You can then email its url for posting on a website or blog.

I suspect it won’t do much to help English Language Learners with their pronunciation to hear a Chipmunk version of what they say or write,  but it might be a fun little activity to do at the end of a Friday class.  And anything that promotes speaking or writing in English is certainly an asset.

I’ve placed the link on my Examples of Student Work page under Student E-Cards.  It’s not really an E-Card, but a strange-sounding chipmunk didn’t deserve its own section on my website.