Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 13, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Pins Of The Week


I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated nearly 11,000 resources there that I haven’t shared on this blog.

I thought readers might find it useful if I began sharing a handful of my most recent “pins” each week (I’m not sure if you can see them through an RSS Reader – you might have to click through to the original post):

January 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post: New ELL Teacher Online Book Club

NOTE: I invited Katie Toppel to write a guest post about a neat idea I heard about on Twitter:

Katie Toppel, Ed.D (@Toppel_ELD) is a K-5 English Language Development Specialist in Oregon and an adjunct professor at Portland State University.

If there remains any doubt about the impact of educational technology, let’s take a look at the power of an educators’ book club when transformed via the world of social media. What started as my simple tweet featuring a photo of a book cover and the words “Starting a new book tonight,” has evolved into a virtual book club bringing together educators from around the world who are passionate about enhancing instruction for English learners and excitedly talking about co-teaching, collaboration, and technology!

At some point early this school year, I discovered what a powerful resource Twitter is for professional development and despite feeling like an uniformed newbie in certain respects, I dove right in and started accumulating connections with other educators who are passionate about teaching English language learners. I began to notice different education hash tags including the word “chat” and was excited to discover opportunities to become part of these real-time discussions. Despite the draw of these Twitter chats, I came to realize that as a busy working mom with two young children, it was hard to remember the specific hour of the day on the specific day of the week that the various chats were to take place. And, even when I happened to remember a chat was happening, it was often during a time of day when I needed to get dinner ready or when I really needed to be present with my children rather than tweeting on my phone.

Consequently, when I tweeted about the book I was going to start and my Twitter pal, Tan, in Laos, responded by saying “Let’s read it together and start our own EAL (English as Another Language) book club” the seeds were planted for this virtual book club that we now call ELL Chat Book Club (#EllChat_BkClub). In my opinion, the greatest appeal of this book club is that we decided to make it a slow chat, meaning participants can post at any time using the group hash tag and a wonderful conversation gradually ensues. Another terrific feature is that after choosing our first book, Collaboration and Co-teaching: Strategies for English Learners, which is co-authored by Andrea Honigsfeld, @AndreaHonigsfel, and Maria Dove, @MariaGDove, we were able to get Andrea to chat along with us as we discussed her book! We could directly ask her questions or get her opinions and she was very active in responding to our #EllChat_BkClub tweets.

We structured the book club by posting a suggested reading schedule and then questions to go along with the content. The flexibility inherent in this virtual format is terrific because participants can truly read at their own pace and interact with the hash tag however they find valuable. Participants post photos of highlighted text, share related tweets such as articles, images, and info graphics, and also post photos from our own classrooms to illustrate how the book/discussion has influenced our instruction.  Participants can easily access all of the book club tweets by searching #EllChat_BkClub and are welcome to join in or just read what has been posted.

Gradually, as we continued tweeting with our newly minted hash tag, more participants joined in and we now have quite a large group reading and tweeting about our second book, ELL Frontiers: Using Technology to Enhance Instruction for English Learners. It’s very valuable to interact with educators who teach in different instructional contexts as well as different districts, states, and even in different countries! I am constantly learning new ideas and broadening my perspective. Please consider checking out our #EllChat_BkClub tweets and joining in!

January 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Local Lingual” Lets You Click On Map To Hear Languages Spoken There

Local Lingual is a cool interactive language map. Click on any location in the world, and it plays recordings of the local language, along with the national anthem and other info.

You can read more about it at Google Maps Mania.

I’m adding it to The Best “Language Maps”

ADDENDUM: Here is a comment left by a reader: “Neat idea, unfortunately, many have used it for making inappropriate recordings. Use with caution — many of the records contain language that is not appropriate for children/schools.”

January 12, 2017
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 1,600 words the Network has featured in their posts.

They’ve just announced the opening of their 2017 contest. The deadline is February 28th.

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.

January 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Look Back: “Ideas for ‘Close Reading’ with ELL Students”

In February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.

You might also be interested in:

 A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009 

 A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2011’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2012’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2013’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2014’s Best Posts From This Blog

A Look Back: 2015’s Best Posts From This Blog

Our book, Navigating The Common Core With English Language Learners, was published in 2016, and quite a few excerpts were published in various places.

MiddleWeb published a section on close reading, along with a bonus piece on reading for pleasure.  They headlined it Ideas for “Close Reading” with ELL Students.

Here’s an excerpt:

January 11, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Four New – & Important – Resources For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Here are four new addition to The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King, Jr.:

The Unmet Dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement (includes Lesson Plan) is from KQED.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: 50 Years Worth of Lessons From a Giant is from Facing History.

Going the Extra Mile for MLK Day is from Teaching Tolerance.

Multiple related teaching resources from the PBS News Hour.

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