I obviously believe using resources found on the Internet can be a very useful tool for student learning. However, the financial crisis now occurring in the United States (and which affects the entire world), I believe, is an exception.

None of the sites on The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners list and none of the other links on my website under News have even attempted to explain what”s going on in the financial markets in any kind of accessible way or, even any way at all.

This may be because it’s too complicated for them to explain, or this week’s events have just happened to quickly for them to respond. If it’s the second reason, perhaps this week we’ll see some new resources out there.

So I’ve been looking for some resources that are accessible to me so I can develop an accessible classroom lesson for my English Language Learner students.  And, even with that change, I haven’t been able to find much.

The best ones I’ve found are:

MSNBC has several good, short online videos, particularly one on What Brought The U.S. Economy To The Brink. You can also see and play other good video clips on the same page.

The New York Times has a series of interactive features on The Debt Trap. On the lower right of the screen you’ll see “Series Index.” When you click on that, links to all the different parts of the series show-up.

The N.Y. Times also has a nice infographic called A Year of Heavy Losses that shows that magnitude of money lost by lenders, though it doesn’t explain why.

In addition, the same paper has an online timeline called How A Market Crisis Unfolded.

Time Magazine has a good article entitled How Financial Madness Overtook Wall Street. Again, it’s not accessible to ELL’s, but it does have good background information for teachers preparing lessons.

Please let me know when you find other good sites for teachers or students to learn what in the world is going on with our economy these days.

I might have found a good explanation that might be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.  However, I can’t figure out how I can make it legible to students. What’s Next: Innovations In Newspapers highlighted a one page comic strip developed by the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper.

However, I can’t figure out how I can easily enlarge it so students can see the words clearly. Any suggestions out there?

CBBC Newsround has “delivered” with a short and simple article entitled World Caught In Huge Cash Crisis.

How To Explain The 2008 Financial Crisis To Your Kids (And Most Adults) is a short video from “Say It Visually.” A closed-caption version, which the link in this post leads to, is available on Dotsub.com.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a good infographic called Anatomy Of A Meltdown.

All of the resources I have listed here so far do just that — try to explain why we’re in our financial crisis.

I’m adding a new web tool into that mix that’s a little different (and California-centric).  It’s an online interactive from the Sacramento Bee that, with very little teacher guidance, English Language Learners can see how the downturn is affecting different regions in the Central Valley — including our own.

It’s called The Economy At A Glance.

Our students don’t really need help in seeing how it’s affecting their lives since they experience added financial hardships everyday. However, this kind of graphic begins to provide them with a slightly bigger picture.

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