Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 16, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Videos For Learning Why It’s Important To Study History


A few days ago, in anticipation of Semester Finals next week, I shared The Best Videos For Learning Why It’s Important To Study Geography.

In addition to videos, it included a description, other links, and a prompt I’m going to use for my ELL Geography Final.

In looking over previous Finals I’ve done for my ELL History classes, I realized they contained some dead links, so I thought it would be worth preparing a new similar list for those classes.

For them, I’m expecting to share the materials from these two sites:


Top 10 Reasons to Study History

Then, have students watch one or more of the videos on this list.

Next, they’ll respond to this writing prompt:

Watch the videos, and read the two lists. In your own words, please share some (at least three) of the reasons they say it’s important to study history. To what extent do you agree with what they are saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

Feedback is welcome!

January 13, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Videos For Learning Why It’s Important To Study Geography


It’s getting close to semester finals and in my ELL Geography class, I usually have this read this short piece, 9 Reasons to Study Geography, from Brainscape.  Then, they watch the first video in this collection and, lastly, answer this writing prompt:

According to the writers and/or the video, what are reasons why it is important to study geography (you only have to pick four of them)? Do you agree with what they are saying? To support your opinion you may use examples from your own experiences (including what has taken place in our class this year), your observations of others, and any of your reading.

This year, though, I took some time to search for other related videos that they might watch, also. I wasn’t too impressed with what I found, but I think they’re serviceable…

Here’s what I found:

January 9, 2018
by Larry Ferlazzo

Love Ed Week & The PBS NewsHour. Their Episode On Teachers Pay Teachers – Not So Much

The PBS NewsHour and Ed Week regularly produce great segments on education and regularly share them here. However, I watched their piece tonight on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), and was less than impressed.

Listen, I understand that they only have a few minutes to cover a story, but this is not the first time a media piece on Teachers Pay Teachers, in my humble opinion, missed several key issues (some of my critiques are similar to the ones I voiced when The New York Times published a profile on the business – see Disappointing NY Times Article On Teachers & “A Sharing Economy”.

Instead of having someone complain that TPT was somehow going to discourage teachers from working together, I wish they had highlighted both all the absolutely free resources that teachers share through non-TPT connections and made a much bigger deal of how teachers need to be paid more so they don’t have to moonlight for extra money by selling their lessons (see Statistic Of The Day: Teachers Are Under-Paid and The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?).

Instead of highlighting one particularly bad lesson plan that is on TPT, I wish they highlighted the fact that so many schools don’t provide high-quality materials, lessons or professional development to their teachers (that could assist them to develop better judgment). And, as an aside, I’ve certainly see a lot of terrible school district-approved lesson materials.

If they were going to portray a problem with TPT, I wish they had mentioned the rampant sale by some on the platform of materials illegally taken from resources under copyright:

I’ve got no problem with educators who want to earn some extra money by offering their lessons for sale – jeez, I’ve written nine books for which I earn (minimal) royalty payments.

I just wish in this case and, in so many reports and discussions on education, we could all recognize a lot more nuance in what’s going on….

Here’s tonight’s segment:

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