Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Interesting Study On Teaching Vocabulary


Thanks to Nicole Howard, I learned about a pretty ambitious review of vocabulary-teaching studies titled Vocabulary Instruction in Fifth Grade and Beyond.

In one way, I’m not sure exactly how helpful it will be to teachers, since the studies it reviews don’t appear to narrow down effective teaching strategies very much. On the other hand, though, its conclusion that doing lots of different kinds seems to be best could also be used by many of us to support what we’re already doing.

It does come down firmly on the side of teaching context clues, and specifically mentions using clozes (which is one of my favorite instructional strategies (see The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills) ). It also supports explicit instruction of words that students will encounter in a specific text, though it doesn’t seem to specify if it’s better to pre-teach them or teach them as they come-up (I do both).

I also noted that it highlighted the effectiveness of teaching up to twelve new academic words each week to English Language Learners, which is what I do but which is in conflict with Robert Marzano’s recommendation of a substantially smaller number.

I’d say it’s worth a look. I also was impressed with its ample bibliography, which includes easy-to-access links.

I’m adding this post to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

January 14, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Great Student Video Vocabulary Contest At NY Times Learning Network


Each year, The New York Times Learning Network invites students to create a fifteen second video using one of the 1,500 words the Network has featured in their posts.

They’ve just announced the opening of their 2016 contest. The deadline is February 23rd.

I think it’s an excellent learning activity, particularly for English Language Learners. In fact, the Network used a video created by one of my students as a model when they began the first year of the contest.

You can see many examples at The Best Resources For Learning To Use The Video Apps “Vine” & Instagram.

November 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Three New & Good Vocabulary Resources


I’ve recently read some good posts on vocabulary instruction. I’m adding these to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary:

ROOT MAP: A Vocabulary Instruction Model is from Literacy SENse.

March 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Ten Principles For Vocabulary Instruction”

Ten Principles For Vocabulary Instruction is the last post of a three-part series I’ve published in Education Week Teacher.

In this segment, Laura Robb and Amy Benjamin share their thoughts, and I also include readers’ comments.

Here are some excerpts:




I’m adding a link to my series to A Collection Of “Best…” Lists On Vocabulary Development.

March 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Five strategies for ELL vocabulary instruction” Is My Latest British Council Post

The same day Education Week Teacher published Part Two in my series there on teaching vocabulary, the British Council published my column titled Five strategies for ELL vocabulary instruction.

You can see all my previous posts for the British Council here.

I’m adding this post to A Collection Of “Best…” Lists On Vocabulary Development.

February 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Strategies For Vocabulary Instruction – Part One”

Strategies For Vocabulary Instruction – Part One is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

This three-part series will be sharing a wide-range of instructional strategies to help our students acquire the vocabulary necessary to become successful in school and in life. We’ll start off with suggestions from Katie Brown, Jane Fung, Marilee Sprenger and Karen Bromley.

Here are some excerpts:





February 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

No Surprise In This Study: Language Learners Retain Vocabulary Better When Connected To Gestures & Images

A new study has come to a conclusion that will be no surprise to just about every ESL and second-language teacher in, let’s say, the world: Incorporating physical movement and/or the use of images helps in learning new vocabulary.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m adding this info to:

The Best Resources On Students Using Gestures & Physical Movement To Help With Learning

The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary

December 5, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Neat Contests From The NY Times Learning Network

The New York Times Learning Network has just announced the student winners of one neat contest and unveiled the beginning of another one.

The one just completed was the Second Annual 15-Second Vocabulary Video Contest, which is a great idea for English Language Learners and, in fact, all students. My ELLs have been doing this kind of project for awhile and you can see lots of their examples at The Best Resources For Learning To Use The Video Apps “Vine” & Instagram (in fact, the Learning Network used one of them as a model when they first began the contest).

Here’s one of The Times’ winners from this year:

The contest they’re just beginning is their fourth annual Our Year in Rap Student Contest. It’s probably not that feasible for ELLs to participate — other than those who are Advanced — but it’s fun one for everybody else. You can learn more about it at the link.