Another day, another end-of-year “The Best…” list…..
I’m adding this post to All 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.
I used to publish a separate list for ELL students, but just didn’t have it in me to continue doing so a couple of years ago. You can see links to all those past posts at The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2015 – Part Two. I’ve included resources that I would ordinarily put in that list in this post, instead.
Don’t forget to look for our next book on teaching ELLs, which will be published in the Spring of 2018.
You might also be interested in:
Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2017 – Part Two:
Carol Salva has begun a new podcast for ELL teachers!
I’ve previously shared about how teachers can create music clozes (gap-fills) for students to complete while they listen to – and watch – popular music videos at LyricsGaps (see Create Customized Exercises & Monitor Student Progress At “LyricsGaps”). Now, though, you can -in seconds – assign any existing exercise on the site. All you have to do is click the “Share This Exercise” button (see screenshot at the top of this post). My students have to do five hours each week of homework from any of the sites at The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions. I’m sure that LyricsGaps will now become a very popular option.
3 Tips for Supporting ELLs Through Co-Teaching & Collaboration is from The Teaching Channel. I’m adding it to The Best Online Videos Showing ESL/EFL Teachers In The Classroom.
Does English-Language-Learner Classification Help or Hinder Students? is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs.
Here are four new additions to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites:
- I’ve previously posted about E-Learning For Kids. They’ve added many additions online activities for math, English, Science and other subjects since that time.
- EduTeach has lots of excellent video stories with closed captions.
- These next two have a zillion animated stories perfect for ELLs. And they’ve been awhile for a while. However, I’ve been somewhat reluctant to share or have my students use them because I know that similar sites have hosted the same stories after having stolen them. Most of those sites that I know about have shut down, and these two have stayed around for many years. I don’t know if that’s because they host the stories lawfully, or because they may be hosted in China, which sometimes does not enforce intellectual property rights very forcefully.So. I’m adding them now, though will remove them if I learn they are stealing the stories from elsewhere. Let me know if you have any information: News 060s and E-Yep English Stories
USA Learns is on many “Best” lists, including The Best Online Homework Sites For English Language Learners – Please Offer Your Own Suggestions. It’s an excellent – and free – resource with several interactive courses for different levels of English Language Learners. They’ve just added a new feature – a course to prepare users for the U.S. Citizenship test. Not only is it great for students who are studying for that test, but it also would be helpful to those who are in U.S. History classes. I’m adding this particular addition to The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship.
6 Things We Should Never Say to Our ELLs is by Valentina Gonzalez and appeared in Middleweb.
— Kieran Donaghy (@kierandonaghy) October 29, 2017
When ELs Make Oral Errors, What Can Teachers do? is from Tan Huynh. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On ESL/EFL/ELL Error Correction.
The Minneapolis Public School District has a nice Newcomer Toolkit. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who originally shared it on Twitter.
Anthony Schmidt has written two important posts about written corrective feedback for ELLs: Written Feedback – Does it Work? – Part 1 and Written Feedback – Does it Work? – Part 2. I’m adding them to The Best Resources On ESL/EFL/ELL Error Correction.
Second-Language Learners’ Vocabulary and Oral Language Development is from The International Literacy Association and was written by Jana Echevarria, California State University, Long Beach and Claude Goldenberg, Stanford University.
ESSA & English Language Learners is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns. In it, Margo Gottlieb, Sarah Said, Catherine Beck, Heidi Pace, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, and Lindsey Moses share their thoughts about how The Every Student Succeeds Act will affect English Language Learners.
I’ve known that helping students – both those proficient in English and English Language Learners – develop their oral reading fluency was important and had a positive impact on reading comprehension (see The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It) ). However, reading literacy expert Timothy Shanahan’s post, Round Robin by Any Other Name… Oral Reading for Older Readers, really brought home to me how important it is:
Based on those studies, many ELLs would be closer to the larger percentage. Take my advice – you’ll want to read his entire post!
Four ways to give ELL students feedback on their writing is the headline of my latest Teaching English – British Council post. You can see a list -and links – to all my previous British Council posts here. I’m adding this post to:
ELLs: Try These 5 Scaffolds in Any Subject is from Valentina Gonzalez and appeared in Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Advice To Content Teachers About Supporting English Language Learners.
Cognitive Load and Language Teaching – What Teachers Need to Know is by Anthony Schmidt.
The British Council shared this crowdsourced list of ELL class games. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.
Exploring the Impact of ESSA on English Language Learners is the topic of one of my eight-minute BAM! Radio Shows. I’m joined by Heather Wolpert-Gawron; Margo Gottlieb, Ph.D.; Cathy Beck; and Sarah Said.
Using tasks in a Communicative Language Teaching classroom is from The English Teaching Professional, and I think it’s pretty interesting.
I’m adding this tweet to The Best Resources On The Idea Of “Wait Time”:
— 🌍valentina gonzalez (@ValentinaESL) October 1, 2017
Authentic Shared Revising & Editing is from Valentina Gonzalez.
I’m not sure how long they’ve had it, but the Al Jazeera news site has a very impressive tool for providing audio support for text – perfect for English Language Learners. It’s called “Read To Me,” and can be found at the top left of many, if not all, of its news stories. What makes it even more impressive is that each word is highlighted when its spoken, which makes it even more valuable. Yes, I know there are some concerns about Al Jazeera’s objectivity. However, I’ve never seen any issues with the articles I’ve used and shared. Teaching students how to be a savvy news consumer, of course, is another skill we have to teach (see The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More). I’m adding it to The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners.
The question of how to best support Long-Term English Language Learners is one that many schools are considering, including ours….I’ve previously collected a number of related resources at The Best Resources On Supporting Long-Term English Language Learners,and we’re exploring those resources. We’re discussing lots of options, including creating a special classes that LTELL’s could take along with their regular mainstream English class, which appears to be a common recommendation. What does your school do to support Long-Term ELLs? Do you have special support classes? If so, what is your curriculum?
Thanks to the National Writing Project, today I learned about Define American. Immigrants are invited to share “what you think makes a person a part of this country” by recording a short video or uploading an image and providing voice narration. I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Tell Their – And/Or Their Families – Immigration Story.
Earlier this year I sang the praises of the iSL Collective (iSLCollective Appears To Be A Jackpot For ELL Student Hand-Outs & Interactive Videos). I’ve continued to use the site as a wonderful resource for student hand-outs. However, for some reason, I didn’t really “bother” with their interactive videos. Then, I read about them again at Michelle Henry’s site, and explored them further. Boy, what a goldmine! Yes, you can create your own, and I’ll get around to doing that. But, for now, there are an amazing number of engaging, short videos that teachers can project and, as I do, have student with mini-whiteboards respond to questions when the video stops. The videos are searchable by lots of criteria, and there are already four hundred alone at the Beginner Level! Registration is free, but you don’t even have to sign-in to be able to use the videos (you do in order to create ones). Between their hand-outs and their videos, I’ve decided to move the site to an elite level – in my eyes. So I’m adding them to The Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers (which now makes four).
Still images and language learning is a very interesting post by Nick Bilbrough. I think his ideas are very creative. They are a nice complement to a project we did last year: The Mannequin Challenge, ELLs & A Frozen Tableau.
Here’s a new video from Education Week.
I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research.
I’m a big fan of the “ReadWorks” site (see “ReadWorks Digital” Came Online Today & It Looks Great!). They’ve now gotten even better. Now, many of their texts have “StepReads” versions, which they describe as:
Less complex versions of our nonfiction and literary Articles [that are]Lovingly handwritten by our authors, who preserve all of the important knowledge of the original article, as well as the key academic vocabulary, rich syntax, word count, and beauty of writing.
I’m adding the info to The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels”
Boys Are Not Defective is about boy and girl students in the Middle East, and it’s also very useful for those of us who are teaching refugees here.
The New Kahoot App – You’ve been Challenged! is from Carol Salva.
Using a Strengths-Based Approach with ELs: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress is from Colorin Colorado. I’m adding it The Best Ways For Responding To Student Trauma – Help Me Find More.
Thanks to Nik Peachey, I learned about an excellent free site called Apps 4 EFL. The site has a huge variety of ready-to-use interactives and games for English Language Learners. In addition, teachers can use the site’s tools to create their own. Even better, teachers can create free virtual classrooms where students can enroll. You can read more about it in Nik’s post. I’m adding this info to:
I’ve completed updated and revised The Best Sites For Learning How To Tell Time. I’m adding it to All My Thematic “Best” Lists For Beginning ELLs – In One Place!
How to Create Culturally Responsive Classrooms is by Valentina Gonzalez and appeared at Middleweb. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About “Culturally Responsive Teaching” & “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy” – Please Share More!
The case for translation in foreign language instruction is by Gianfranco Conti. Some of my previously posts that are peripherally related to this topic are The Promise & Peril Of Using Google Translate In The ELL Classroom – Share Your Ideas and The Best Resources Explaining Why We Need To Support The Home Language Of ELLs.
A Guide for Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders is from Colorin Colorado. I’m adding it to The Best Parent Engagement Resources For Immigrant Families.
3 Indicators of Effective Co-Teaching is by Tan Huynh. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Co-Teaching With ELLs – Please Suggest More.
ADDING A PARAMETER TO COLD CALL is by Doug Lemov. He shares a simple suggestion that could help ELLs, and all students, respond to teachers’ questions better. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English (and I have to rename that list one of these days, since it includes recommendations for classroom practice as well as websites).
A Quick-Start Guide for Teaching English-Language Learners is an excellent piece by Wendi Pillars.
Internet Polyglot is a simple site that is very good for Beginning English Language Learners. It teaches vocabulary in many different languages. It’s particularly helpful for the many Farsi-speaking refugees coming into my classes – Duolingo doesn’t have a Farsi course, and the Voice of American shut-down the excellent Farsi/English online site they used to have… I’m adding it to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites.
It was nice to see this sign greeting students at our school earlier this year. It’s part of our district’s “safe haven” effort (see Sacramento City Unified School District Launches Campaign To Assist Undocumented Students). Good timing, considering that it was the same day Trump Makes Terrible Decision To End DACA.
Four Surefire Techniques for Engaging English Language Learners is an excellent article by Valentina Gonzalez.
Make Back-to-School A Positive Experience for English Learners is by Jana Echevarria. I’m adding it to Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”
Twinkl looks like a fantastic site to find and/or create learning resources. I learned about it from Monika ‘Mona’ Kisala. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets.
Eight listening-research findings every teacher should be aware of and their implications for teaching and learning is by Gianfranco Conti. I’m adding it to The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners.
10-step guide to teaching effective conversation classes is from Teach English Spain. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English. You might also be interested in Here’s A Plan For An Oral Skills Class Next Year – Please Help Make It Better!
Can I Still Rely on the National Reading Panel Report? is an excellent post from literacy expert Timothy Shanahan. I certainly still rely on it, and it was great to read that follow-up studies have found that its recommendations work for English Language Learners, too. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!
Advocating For ELLs is a relatively new Facebook Group you might be interested in exploring and/or joining (I’m a member!). Here’s how Valentina Gonzalez describes it:
This group serves as a resource for educators who work with English Language Learners. It is a place for the members to collaborate and share information.
Is a New English-Proficiency Test Too Hard? Educators and Experts Debate. is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.
The Backseat Linguist has speaks some truth about a new study: Academic Vocabulary Instruction: Does Word Generation Really Teach You Two Years’ Worth of Words in 22 Weeks? I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.
Gianfranco Conti, one of the sharpest minds around in the language teaching world (I’ve previously shared many of his posts) has just begun a Facebook group called Global Innovative Language Teachers that includes teachers of all languages, including ELL/ESL/ELT educators. He was kind enough to write this description:
Global Innovative Language Teachers is a support group whose mission is to bring together language teachers from all over the world in the hope to go beyond insular views of language teaching pedagogy created by national curricula, imposed methods and theories and individual school policies and micro-cultures.
Speaking of Gianfranco, check out his post, Eight narrow reading techniques that will enhance your students’ vocabulary and reading skills.
Ana Cristina wrote a post about an intriguing site called Word Booster. Paste in the url address of any online article and it will immediately provide you with several free PDFs of the article that has been displayed in a reader-friendly way, a word list, and a vocabulary test. I’m generally skeptical of sites that automatically create learner materials. I’ve got to say, though, that my experiments with Word Booster have resulted in some decent sheets. I still wouldn’t generally use them in my lessons. However, I think I will try it out next year by having students pick any article of their choice online and create their own sheets to complete. It might be interesting to see how it goes. I’m adding this info to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary.
I’ve previously sung the praises of CommonLit (see “CommonLit” Now Lets Teachers Create Free Virtual Classrooms). They’ve now made their site even more accessible to English Language Learners. Read about it at their article that has a somewhat over-reaching headline: Transformative Tools for ELLs and Struggling Readers
Thanks to Carol Salva, I learned about a NY Times column headlined What Is America to Me? In it, writer Margaret Renkl tells about her experience working in an ELL classroom in Nashville, and the challenges facing students – especially after the election of President Trump.