Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Jimmy Fallon Models Good Game For ELLs

I’ve posted about several games Jimmy Fallon plays regularly on The Tonight Show and how I’ve adapted them for language-learning games in my ELL classroom.

Last year, I posted about Catchphase and how I modify it for class.

Last night, Fallon played it again in his show. Here’s a fun video of it in action:

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March 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Google Feud” Would Be An Incredibly Useful Game For ELLs IF You Could Be Sure Of Classroom Appropriate Responses


Google Feud would be a super-helpful and fun game for high school English Language Learners if you could be guaranteed of classroom appropriate responses, but that’s never going to happen so it will only be usable in adult classes.

You pick a category in the game (culture, people, etc.) and then it gives you a phrase, like “wrestling is.” Then you have to guess the top ten responses that would come up in a Google autocomplete box.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

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March 6, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Unusual “Choose Your Own Adventure” Games

I’ve shared a lot of online “choose your own adventure games” that are engaging for English Language Learners and others (see The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories).

Here are two that have recently been created and, even though I suspect students won’t be enthralled by them, nevertheless provide models for teachers to show for student assignments:

Play this game to see what it’s like to be John Boehner is from Vox.

How To Win An Oscar is from The Los Angeles Times.

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February 21, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Jimmy Fallon Plays Pictionary, Another Great Game For ELLs


A regular feature on this blog has been highlighting all the games that Jimmy Fallon plays on his show that are great ones for English Language Learners.

Last night, he played another one that most teachers are familiar with — Pictionary.

Show him playing it with several other stars could be a fun model for students prior to playing the game. When I do it, I model a game in front, and then divide the class into groups of three. Then, in the small groups, everyone gets a chance to be the decider/drawer of the word while they play it three times.

I’m adding this post to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

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February 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Thoughtful & Important Critique Of Slave Simulation Game


I’ve previously shared online history games created by Mission U.S. I really liked the first one they created about the American Revolution, For Crown Or Colony, and posted about their subsequent simulations on Native Americans and on slavery. However, since I wasn’t teaching U.S. History at the time, I didn’t bother to try-out those next two simulations first and just assumed they’d be as good as the first one.

Big mistake.

Reading a post today by Rafranz Davis showed me I made a an inexcusable error in not exploring the slavery interactive further prior to blogging about it. Trust me, you definitely want to read her post. Here’s just one sentence from it:

The problem here is that IT’S ABOUT SLAVERY…one of the darkest times in American history that STILL holds deep wounds…irresponsibly presented as a “too easy fix” on the part of the slaves themselves through decision making.

Renee Moore left this comment on the post:

I agree with Sabrina, attempts to create simulations or even role playing around these issues requires serious forethought and extensive communication with those affected.

In the meantime, if the goal is to give students (or adults) some idea of what the life of a slave was like, trying reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

I had learned about Rafranz’s post through this tweet by Renee:

Based on Rafranz’s critique (and the following tweet), I’m also going to revisit their Native American simulation.


Coincidentally, today Richard Byrne posted about a new Mission U.S. simulation on immigration.

I’ll have to explore this new one further, and hope it’s not similar to the iCivics fiasco a couple of years ago when they featured a game on a similar topic. Based on Richard’s description, it sounds like they may not have made the same mistakes, but I will still be exploring it thoroughly before posting about it.

This should be a lesson to the creators of these kinds of simulations AND there are important lessons I need to learn, too.

Also, see John Spencer’s post, Injustice Isn’t A Game and Ed Week’s Digital ‘Slavery Simulation’ Game for Schools Draws Ire, Praise.

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February 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Connect Fours”


This post is the sixth in a lengthy series where I will be sharing the Web 2.0 tools that I’m using with my Beginning English Language Learners, along with explaining how we’re using and sharing student examples of each one.

Previous posts in this series have been:

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Phrase.It”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Szoter”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “”

This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students

Today’s post is highlighting a brand-new online game from Russel Tarr’s ClassTools site — in fact, he just unveiled it today!

It’s called Connect Fours and is based on a BBC game show that I’ve posted about previously in “Only Connect” Is A Great Game For The Classroom. As I wrote then, the concept of the game was great was for English Language Learners, but the online BBC game itself was too advanced for them. I had suggested, though, that it would be easy for students and teachers to create their own versions with paper and pencil, and I’ve done that numerous times in my classes.

Thankfully, though, Russel has now created a super-easy version that teachers and students can use to make their own online without having to register.

In the game, there are sixteen squares with words on each one. The player needs to use the words to create four categories of four words each. It’s a great game that helps develop the higher-order thinking skill of categorization.

Usually in this series I’ve been sharing student-created examples. However, since this game has just come online today, my students won’t be using it until later this week — but they will be using it and I’m sure will be enjoying playing and creating!

Here’s the model game I’ve created since we’re just finishing our “home” thematic unit:

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February 5, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Jimmy Fallon Models Yet Another Game Useful For English Language Learners


I’ve published several posts describing games Jimmy Fallon plays on his late-night show that are all very useful for English Language Learners in the classroom.

Last night, he modeled yet another one. This time it was Password, and many people are probably already familiar with how it’s played.

Basically, players are divided into pairs, and one person in the pair is given a word. The other partner is allowed to give a one word clue to help his/her partner guess the word.

To ensure 100% participation in the classroom, I might have one student up in front giving the clue and all the other students have small whiteboards where they would write their guesses and show them.

Let me know if you have other versions that you use.

Here’s a video of how Jimmy Fallon and his guest played it last night:

I’m adding this post to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

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January 11, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Magical Moments” Lets You Be A Norwegian Elementary Student


Magical Moments is a really interesting sort of “choose your own adventure” interactive where you experience a day of school through the eyes of a young student, including making various choices along the way.

The audio is in Norwegian, but it has English subtitles.

I’m adding it to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories and to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

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