Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 9, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

What Would Your Ideal Classroom For English Language Learners Look Like?

Though I have appropriately realistic expectations about what might happen, I’ve been asked to describe what my ideal classroom for teaching Beginning & Intermediate English Language Learners would look like.

I’ve obviously got a lot of ideas, which I’ll share here when they are finalized. However, I thought I’d invite readers to share their thoughts, too.

What would your ideal ELL classroom look like? What kind of furniture? What kind of equipment? How large?

Of course, just as good ELL teaching is good teaching for everybody, many of these design issues would relate to all students. However, there are probably some things that might be particularly unique to an ELL classroom.

I’m all ears!

October 8, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The National Day Of Writing Is On Oct. 20th – Here Are 36 Related “Best” Lists


“Every October 20, the National Council of Teachers of English celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and events hosted by thousands of educators across the country.”

Here are thirty-six “Best” lists related to writing. I need to revised and update some of them, but many are up-to-date. The first two in particular are my “go-to” lists:

The Best Posts On Writing Instruction

The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement

The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online

The Best Sites For Grammar Practice

Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers

The Best Resources For Researching & Writing Biographies

The Best Resources For Learning How To Write Response To Literature Essays

The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

The Best Places Where Students Can Create Online Learning/Teaching Objects For An “Authentic Audience”

The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

The Best Sites To Learn About Advertising

The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary

The Best Online Interactive Exercises For Writing That Are Not Related To Literary Analysis

The Best Online Resources To Teach About Plagiarism

The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills

The Best Sites For Students To Create & Participate In Online Debates

The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays

The Best Spelling Sites

The Best Sites For Gaining A Basic Understanding Of Adjectives

The “Best” Sites For Helping Students Write Autobiographical Incident Essays

The Best Sites To Learn “Feelings” Words

The Best Sites For ELL’s To Learn About Punctuation

The Best Resources To Help Students Write Research Essays

The Best Sites For Learning To Write A Story

The Best Writing Advice From Famous Authors

The Best Resources On Punctuation

The Best Resources On Getting Student Writers To “Buy-Into” Revision – Help Me Find More

The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling

The Best Online Tools That Can Help Students Write An Essay

The Best Videos & Articles Where Athletes Explain How Reading & Writing Well Has Helped Their Career – Help Me Find More

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Ways To Use Mistakes When Teaching Writing

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Video Clips On The Benefits Of Writing Well — Help Me Find More

The Best Resources For Teaching/Learning About How To Write Compare/Contrast Essays

The Best Links For Helping Students Learn How To Write “Leads” or “Ledes”

The Best Resources For Writing In Social Studies Classes

The Best Resources For Writing In Science Class

The Best Resources For Writing In Math Class

October 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Here’s A Reflection Exercise I Did With My Student Teacher

Being a student teacher and supervising a student teacher offers unique challenges. You might be interested in a three-part series on the topic I did at Education Week Teacher.

I’ve probably had 12-15 student teachers over the year, and it’s generally been a very positive experience for me, students and, I think, the student teacher.

I thought readers might be interested in a reflection exercise I did with one of my student teachers this year (I have two). It seemed to go well, and my student teacher said it was very helpful.

To help her get a grasp on what instructional strategies I was using that were making content accessible specifically to English Language Learners, I asked to jot down notes responding to the following questions, which we then discussed:

1) We’ve done several multi-day projects with our students.  What scaffolds were done for each one?  Try to remember their sequence of all the supporting activities leading up to each culminating project and note them.

2) Which domains (listening, speaking, writing, reading) were practiced for each one and how often?

3) Higher order thinking skills include, but are obviously not limited to:

* categorizing

* transfer – applying something learned previously to a new activity in a different context

* critical thinking – making a judgment and providing evidence to support that judgment

How were these utilized in each of those activities?

4) What academic language, if any,  were taught in each of these activities?

6) Given your answers to the previous four questions, what do you think are some of the elements of good SDAIE lessons?

7)  If you add up the total amount of time these projects took up, and then add-up the amount of time students have read together using comprehension strategies (considered a best practice in SDAIE), what is your guesstimate of the percentage of class time that has been spend over these first four weeks on SDAIE instructional strategies?

Do you have suggestions of questions I could have added, or ways I could have reworded the ones I asked?

October 7, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s The Thematic Schedule I’m Using In My ELL Beginner’s Class

I thought readers might, or might not, be interested in seeing the schedule I use for teaching thematic units to my English Language Learner Beginner classes.

You’ll find a growing list of “Best” lists I’m developing to support each one at All My Thematic “Best” Lists For Beginning ELLs – In One Place!

This is typically the sequence I do each year (more or less):


SEPTEMBER: School, Describing People & Things (colors, clothes, numbers, size, age, weather, body)

OCTOBER: Data/Information (seasons, dates, calendars, time), Holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving)


DECEMBER: Home, Holidays again

JANUARY: Food, Friends & Fun (Hobbies, Sports)

FEBRUARY: Money, Community

MARCH: Jobs & Careers, Animals

APRIL: Feelings, Art & Music

MAY: Health, Writing A Story

October 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Slideshow For Teaching About Colors & Sizes

Two weeks ago I shared a Slideshow For ELLs: “Cline” or “Spectrum” On Temperature.

Last week, my talented student teacher Amber Kantner created and used a slideshow in class to teach colors and sizes.

She’s give me permission to share it her – thanks, Amber!

October 6, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Al Jazeera Has Great Audio Reading Of Text Feature On Its News Site

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.

October 5, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

How Does Your School Support Long-Term 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?

October 4, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Define American” Invites Immigrants To Tell Their Story

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.

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