Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 19, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

All Student Hand-Outs From Our First Book On Teaching ELLs Are Available For Free Again!


All the student hand-outs from the first book Katie Hull and I wrote have been available for free download to everyone ever since the book was published.

However, due to a technical fluke, they disappeared for awhile.

They are now all back up, and there are a lot of them!  Just go to our book’s site and click on “Downloads.”

Our third book is coming out soon.  The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students will be published in April, 2018 and can be pre-ordered now.

February 17, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

English Language Learners Tell Us What Helps Them Learn


Last month, I posted Do You Want To Use This Survey With Your Intermediate & Advanced ELLs?

It shared a hand-out I was giving to several of my classes in preparation for a training I’m giving to teachers at my school. The workshop will include twelve ELLs participating in student panels.

I thought readers might be interested in some of the responses (about forty-five in total) I received to the questions on the survey. If you give it to your students, I”d love to hear their responses, too!

By the way, the student who wrote the comment at the top of this post was talking about Pam Buric, one of my talented colleagues….

1. What do teacher do that helps you understand what they are teaching, even though you may not know English that well? For example, do they show pictures that help you understand the content?

Please try to write about specific lessons and experiences.

Show me pictures and subtitles in the videos.

She lets me use Google Translate on my phone.

Explain something with clear examples and pictures that help us understand what they are.

When you do not understand English, the teacher uses action to help me understand.

He will let people who understand your language help you.

What teachers have done that helped me was giving me a Spanish translating partner.

She talk very slowly to help me understand.  If I don’t understand, she show me a picture or use Translate.

He helped me to understand what he teach me when he speak Spanish and show pictures and act.

It helps when we fact our classmates and share what we stand about the lesson.

Teachers help me learn better to understand English is having a connection towards the students, making them feel comfortable.

2. What are specific actions teachers have taken to help you become motivated to learn different subjects and the English language? Please try to write about specific lessons and experiences.

I remember was to tell me, “You can do it, do not give up.” That motivated me.

I have one teacher that motivated me every day telling me that his expectations of me are very high.  He motivated me because I can believe in me.  I think that I am very smart and can do all things.

Learning on the computer and phone helps me want to learn more English.

The teacher helps because he is not yelling at me.

They motivated me by actually teaching me stuff that I am interested in.

She not just works to teach us but she also show some love to us.

They show that they are proud of us.  My teacher went to my home and tell my sisters about my progress.

She don’t let me give up on my class and she never tell me I can’t do something.

They tell me “You’re smart. I know you can do this.”

3. What have teachers done to help you not feel bad about making mistakes and, instead, learn from them? In other words, what are the best actions teachers have taken to correct English errors you have made in writing or in speaking?

I remember my teacher will always say “Everyone make mistakes even me and I’m the teacher.”

My teacher tell me, “You can do it. Don’t feel bad. You can do it right the next time.”

He motivate me and tells me to try again and don’t give up.

They tell us that what we learn from the mistakes is more important to us, especially when I pronounced something wrong. They always say its okay.

He will read aloud my writing to me and will take every word seriously to teach you how to correct it.

What teachers have done to make me feel better was even though it was a mistake she explained it to me more clearly.  She also said it was okay and always gave me this quote that said, “An expert was once a beginner.”

She will read my text and edit my mistakes.

They don’t make fun of me.

They talk to me and help me to improve and correct me in a calm way.

One of the things I like about the teachers in U.S.A. is that they never make fun of the student who makes mistakes. All my teachers told me that it’s okay to make mistakes because we learn from mistakes.

February 15, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Free Webinar On “Equitably Grading ELs” – March 19th


Though I might have more questions than I have answers, I’ll still be helping Diane Staehr Fenner in a free Webinar on March 19th 4:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) on “Equitably Grading ELs.”

You can sign-up here.

I’ll certainly be doing as much listening as I will be talking…

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On “Differentiated Grading” For English Language Learners.

February 15, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Community Organizer Turned Teacher Aims for Social Change”


Community Organizer Turned Teacher Aims for Social Change is the headline of a video interview Dr. Rod Berger recently did with me.

You might, or might not, find it interesting or useful.

You also might want to check out an interview KQED Mindshift did with me a couple of years ago, Books Teachers Share: Larry Ferlazzo and Rules for Radicals.

February 15, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Can You Suggest Video Clips – Real Or From Movies – Showing People Accepting Personal Responsibility


I have a The Best Resources For Helping Students (& The Rest Of Us) Learn The Concept Of Not Blaming Others which includes elements of a lesson I teach.

I’m looking to beef-up both my lesson and that list with more videos showing people taking responsibility for their actions and/or mistakes.

Any suggestions?

February 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Wow, The National Writing Project Offers Wonderful Online Writing Opportunity To Students


The extraordinary National Writing Project has done it again and is offering a too-good-to-pass-up online writing opportunity to students.

Here’s an excerpt from their site, WRITING OUR FUTURE: AMERICAN CREED AND A NEW YOUTH PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITY (you’ll want to go there to get all the other additional information):

NWP is getting ready to launch a new youth publishing opportunity connected to the PBS documentary American Creed (broadcast nationally February 27 and streaming free of charge starting February 28 at Through stories set in big cities, small towns, and rural areas around the country, American Creed wrestles with key challenges facing American youth today, including creating economic opportunity and finding ways to meaningfully participate in civic life. The film encourages youth to explore questions like “What should America’s national ideals be?” and “How do we close the gap between ideals and reality?” American Creed is co-produced by Citizen Film and WTTW.

You and the youth you work with are invited to add your voice to the conversation about American Creed. Bring the film to your classroom or learning center, and support young people in responding through writing, art, and media. Teens (13+) and young adults are invited to share their responses on the National Writing Project’s American Creed youth publishing site (also coming February 27).

Here’s a trailer for the documentary:

I’m adding this info to The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

February 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Amazon-Day One” Offers An Exceptional Collection Of Useful Videos


Amazon-Day One is a really extraordinary collection of less-than-two-minute videos from some of the most brilliant thinkers out there.

You can see their video playlist here, and I suspect you’ll be as impressed as I was…

Many are directly applicable to education.

I haven’t gone through many of them, but I really like this one from Angela Duckworth:


So, I’m adding info on the channel itself to The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations).

And I’m adding that particular Angela Duckworth video to:

Best Posts On Students Setting Goals

The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit”

February 14, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Many Of Us Teachers Will Feel Like Steve Kerr In A Month Or Two


The NBA regular season will end in a couple of months, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr is having some issues with player motivation.

So, earlier this week he had the players work together to act as “player-coaches” during a game (see Steve Kerr right to let players coach, but Warriors’ motivational challenges remain) . That strategy is not unlike one that many teachers use as school reaches its final months and we have students prepare their own lessons to teach and/or do “Genius” projects (see The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong and The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” To Schools).

The Chronicle article about what he did is an interesting one and, with some modifications, echoes the concerns and challenges teachers face as the year winds down, and raises helpful questions and ideas we should be considering.

This isn’t the first time the Warriors have brought up issues relevant to teaching.  Check out more at The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills.


Skip to toolbar