Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

StoryCorps Kicks-Off “Great Thanksgiving Listen” Again

thanksgiving-listen

I posted a lot about last year’s StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen, and they’re doing it again this year.

You can find out lots of information – along with downloading resources – at their website, and here’s how they describe the event:

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national education project that empowers high school students to create an oral history of the contemporary United States by recording an interview with an elder over Thanksgiving weekend using the StoryCorps App.

Interviews are entered into the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and on StoryCorps.me where they become an invaluable resource for future historians and provide families with a priceless piece of personal history.

In its pilot year of 2015, thousands of high schools from all 50 states participated and preserved over 50,500 individual recordings at the Library of Congress. In 2016, StoryCorps will continue to work with educators around the country to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend.

August 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Would Be Great For ELLs: Play – Or Create – A “Listening & Speaking” Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story

echo

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of both having students create and read (or, in the case of videos, watch-and-play) choose your own adventure stories (see The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories). Many students find them very engaging to read, they can be quite accessible, and even low-Intermediate ELLs can create simple ones.

I’ve been a fan of them for quite awhile, and thought I was aware of all their different permutations.

Once again, however, I was wrong.

You might be aware of Amazon’s popular home voice assistant called Echo, which uses the Alexa voice software. I don’t have it, but do have the Amazon Fire TV plugin, which I like a lot (I used to be a fan of Google Chromecast, but now favor Fire).

Apparently, a few months ago, they created a listening choose-your-own-adventure game connected to the terrible Batman vs. Superman movie. In it, Alexa describes physical surrounds, provides choices, and assists players in making them. The game received a much better critical reception than the film.

Today, Amazon released software to developers so that they could more easily create these kinds of games.

So, one, this means that there will be many more of these kinds of professionally-produced “listening-and-speaking” choose your own adventure games, which would seem to me to offer exceptionally engaging opportunities for English Language Learners to practice listening and speaking. All we’d have to do is bring an Amazon Fire TV plugin to the classroom.

But, more importantly, I think, is the idea of a listening & speaking Choose Your Own Adventure story!

Teacher can create simple or more complex ones by just writing them out and saying it like this (it’s a sample from Amazon’s software instructions):

sample

On top of that, English Language Learner can also create their own. It would seem to me that these versions would need to be more simple than ones that are typically written so that players don’t have to remember as much, which should make them even easier for ELLs.

I have plenty of templates like this one at my previously-mentioned “Best” list.

Do you think this kind of thing could have as much potential as I do?

December 22, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting Is A Treasure Trove Of Public Radio & TV Shows

archive

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a joint project of the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston. It has tens of thousands of hours of programming from local public radio and TV stations across the country.

It has a few organized sections, including one on the Civil Rights Movement (which includes interviews with major Civil Rights leaders) and also a very friendly search function. I was excited to see it contained several interviews and lectures by Saul Alinsky that I’m looking forward to exploring (see The Best Sites To Learn About Saul Alinsky).

It also contains a number of interviews with Cesar Chavez.

The sound quality of the shows I’ve listened to are excellent, too.

It’s definitely worth a visit….

Thanks to Slate for the tip.

July 9, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Malcolm Gladwell’s New Story On The Importance Of Being A Good Listener

dual-head-mounted-listening-device
Photo Credit: James Vaughan via Compfight

In my books, I have useful classroom lessons on helping students become better listeners, and I also have The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners here on this blog.

The newest addition to that list is the transcript of a talk journalist Malcolm Gladwell gave on BBC radio. The BBC just published it, and its title is Viewpoint: Could one man have shortened the Vietnam War?

The story is about Konrad Kellen, who, among other things, did interviews with captured Viet Cong guerrillas for the United States to try to figure out what the “enemy” was thinking. It’s a short enough piece that students could read.

Here’s an excerpt:

he would say that his rethinking began with one memorable interview with a senior Vietcong captain. He was asked very early in the interview if he thought the Vietcong could win the war, and he said no.

But pages later, he was asked if he thought that the US could win the war, and he said no.

The second answer profoundly changes the meaning of the first. He didn’t think in terms of winning or losing at all, which is a very different proposition. An enemy who is indifferent to the outcome of a battle is the most dangerous enemy of all.

Now why did Kellen see this and Goure did not? Because Goure didn’t have the gift [of being a good listener].

Goure was someone who filtered what he heard through his own biases.

March 19, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Excellent Post On The Different “Levels” Of Listening

For Real Influence, Listen Past Your Blind Spots is an excellent post at the Harvard Business Review and discusses research related to different “levels” of listening.

I’ll definitely be adding it to the lesson on listening that’s in my new book, and I’m certainly adding it to The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners.

Here’s a quote from the article:

March 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Great StoryCorps Video Animations

The wonderful StoryCorps stories on NPR are great pieces to read and listen to on the radio. They also have converted a number of them into short video animations, and many of them (though not the one I’ve embedded below) are closed-captioned.

Here is one of my favorites — with the late, great Studs Terkel:

February 5, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Video: “The Chinese New Year: From Fear to Festivity”

The Chinese New Year: From Fear to Festivity is the title of this video from English Central that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Chinese New Year.

More importantly, though, it’s the first English Central video that I’m embedding in my blog. It’s easy to do, and I just learned it was possible through David Deubelbeiss’ blog — check out his post with screenshots.

Skip to toolbar