Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Oral Reading In The Mainstream & ELL Classroom

I often have both English proficient and English Language Learners read texts to each other in my classroom. I’ve done it for several reasons — it promotes accountability because I can see and hear students doing it, working in partners tends to be more engaging for many, students can practice prosody (reading with feeling), and it prompts students to ask for help in pronouncing words that are new to them.

For me, at least, those are plenty enough good reasons to do oral reading in class.

However, I missed a very big obvious one that was highlighted in a post by literacy expert Timothy Shanahan this morning. I’ve long respected his work, and I would strongly encourage you to read his piece, Fluency Instruction for Older Kids, Really?

Here’s an excerpt:


Every time I think I know a lot, a reminder comes along prompting me to reflect on how much I really don’t…

A caveat: This kind of oral reading is very different from the terrible practice of having English Language Learners read loud individually to the entire class. I have an entire “Best” list devoted to why that’s so bad, The Best Posts On Students Reading Aloud Individually In ESL Class.

What’s been your experience having students read aloud to each other?

October 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Is A Great Article On The Benefits Of Reading Books & Here Is How I’m Going To Use It


Shanna Peeples, the National Teacher of the Year (you can hear her on my next BAM! Radio Show), shared a great article on Twitter this morning, How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health.

The full article is probably too complex most ninth-graders (though not, I think, for eleventh and twelfth graders). But I think a short excerpt is ideal for ninth-graders with this writing prompt (you can download a sheet I’ve created with both the excerpt and the writing prompt here):

According to Sue Wilkinson, what are the benefits of reading books regularly? Do you agree with her and the research she cites? To support your opinion, you may use examples from your own experiences, your observations of others, and anything you have read (including this excerpt).

In addition, the article ends with great guidelines on how people can become more committed readers, and I think that section could be used as its own separate excerpt with a similar writing prompt.

I also think the entire article could easily be summarized in a read aloud accessible to English Language Learners.

I’ve got to say that I continue to think that Fast Company is one of the best, if not the best, sources for accessible and high-interest articles for secondary students. I use their pieces a lot, and you can find many of them in The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

I’m also adding this post to The Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them.

October 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Quote Of The Day: Nanci Atwell On Reading

Why kids still need ‘real books’ to read — and time in school to enjoy them is the transcript of a speech Nanci Atwell recently gave – Valerie Strauss reprinted it in the Washington Post.

Here’s an excerpt:


You might also be interested in The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

October 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Zing! Lets Students Read & Annotate Tons Of Books For Free


Thanks to the great Richard Byrne, I just learned about a new site called Zing!

It has thousands of free Ebooks that students can read, and it also lets them easily annotate them — without requiring any downloads. Most of the books don’t seem to have an audio option, but it still has a nice collection of those that do. Of course, books with audio narration are ideal for English Language Learners.

Teachers can create virtual classrooms though, as Richard notes, the process is a little time-intensive. It would be nice if they didn’t require as much information on each students as they do in order for a teacher to add a student to their classroom. Even better, it would be great if they allowed students to just use a code given to them by their teacher so they can sign-up for themselves (other similar sites have that feature).

But they are new, so I assume they’ll be making those kinds of changes over time. Their selection of books really stands-out right now, and their annotation process is easy-as-pie, so it’s really worth looking into it despite my minor complaints.

I’m adding this site to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

September 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It)

I’ve published a zillion “Best” lists that are reading-related. I’ve also published quite a few posts on reading fluency, though I’ve never gathered them together.

So, first, I’ll share some of the most useful lists about reading. Then, I’ll share links to my fluency-related posts.

Here goes:

Now for posts on reading fluency:

“Webcam Research Helps Kids Improve Reading Fluency”

Measuring Reading Fluency

“FluencyTutor” Could Be A Useful Tool For Students To See Their Reading Progress

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution

Talking To Students About Their Reading (& Their Data)

Reservations About Christian Science Monitor Column On “Slow Reading Movement”

Latest Results Of Our Home Computer Project

Assessments Are In For The Home Computer Project

Latest Assessment Results From Family Literacy Project

Reading Recs is a new feature of the extraordinary site, SAS Curriculum Pathways. It’s a new tool that allows students to orally read and record passages that teachers can listen to at a later time.