Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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I Don’t Know If “Clay Yourself” Is A Good Sales Tool, But For ELL’s, It’s The Best Example Of Viral Marketing I’ve Seen

Clay Yourself is a site publicizing a hotel chain. Users get to create a clay-like avatar, choose a name for it, complete a “mad-lib”-like travel script, record themselves speaking the script they’ve helped create, and then place it in a virtual gallery. You can post the link to Facebook or Twitter, or email it to yourself.

It hits all four domains — reading, writing, speaking and listening. You can’t beat that!

It will certainly be in my next edition of The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly.

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December 1, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Make A “Joy To My Small World” Video

Disneyland offers you the opportunity to create your own virtual dolls and place them in a music video with your own personal messages. You can then email the link or embed it in a blog or website.

English Language Learners could have a great time making it (no registration is required and it only takes a few minutes), posting it on a student/teacher blog or website, and describing what they’ve created. The music in the video is “It’s A Small World After All,” which is also easy for ELL’s to understand.

Too bad it’s annoying to so many of the rest of us :)

I’m adding the link to The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa.

By the way, I’m also adding to that list a series of photos showing White House Christmas decorations. It’s from MSNBC.

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November 30, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Part Fifty-Four Of The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly

The first part of this post is my usual introduction to this series. If you’re familiar with it already, just skip down to the listing of new sites…

Here’s the latest installment in my series on The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly. As you may remember, in order to make it on this list, the web tool has to:

* be easily accessible to English Language Learners and/or non-tech savvy computer users.

* allow people to create engaging content within minutes.

* host the user’s creation on the site itself indefinitely, and allow a direct link to be able to be posted on a student or teacher’s website/blog to it (or let it be embedded). If it just provides the url address of the student creation, you can either just post the address or use Embedit.in , a free web tool that makes pretty much any url address embeddable.

* provide some language-learning opportunity (for example, students can write about their creations).

* not require any registration.

You can find previous installments of this series with the rest of my “The Best…” lists at Websites Of The Year. Several hundred sites have been highlighted in these past lists. You might also want to take a look at the first list I posted in this series — The Best Ways For Students (And Anyone Else!) To Create Online Content Easily, Quickly, and Painlessly.

You might also want to look at The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2010.

I’ll also be publishing an “all-time best” list next year.

Here are the newest additions:

APPRECIATE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING: At Appreciate It, you can say what you appreciate it and add your thoughts to a long list of others. Students can get a direct link to what they’ve written to post on a student blog or website.

“ANIMATE TEXT WITH STYLE”: At Wondersay, you can animate any text and embed or link to it.

MAKE YOUR OWN MONKEY: You can create your design for the famous “Julius” the monkey at Paul Frank’s Planned Pines site. Click “enter” and, after it’s complete, the url address of the student’s creation can be posted on a student/teacher blog or website, and students can describe and discuss it.

SEND AN eCARD: Worldwide Health has a large variety of free eCards to write and send. Students can write to an imaginary friend or family member, or describe the image, send it to themselves or to a teacher, and place the link on a student/teacher blog or website.

Additional suggestions are always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the nearly 500 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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February 8, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Part Forty-Five Of The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly

The first part of this post is my usual introduction to this series. If you’re familiar with it already, just skip down to the listing of new sites…

Here’s the latest installment in my series on The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly. As you may remember, in order to make it on this list, the web tool has to:

* be easily accessible to English Language Learners and/or non-tech savvy computer users.

* allow people to create engaging content within minutes.

* host the user’s creation on the site itself indefinitely, and allow a direct link to be able to be posted on a student or teacher’s website/blog to it (or let it be embedded). If it just provides the url address of the student creation, you can either just post the address or use Embedit.in , a free web tool that makes pretty much any url address embeddable.

* provide some language-learning opportunity (for example, students can write about their creations).

* not require any registration.

You can find previous installments of this series with the rest of my “The Best…” lists at Websites Of The Year. Several hundred sites have been highlighted in these past lists. You might also want to take a look at the first list I posted in this series — The Best Ways For Students (And Anyone Else!) To Create Online Content Easily, Quickly, and Painlessly.

You might also want to look at The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2009.

Here are the newest additions:

DESIGN A DONUT: Dunkin Donuts lets you create your very own virtual donut and share it with others. Students can describe what they made and explain why they made it that way.

COMPOSE LYRICS FOR A BEAVER ON A FIDDLE: You can compose lyrics to a song being played by a beaver that fiddles, and see them displayed as captions while the music plays. You can then post your creation on a student/teacher website or blog for all the world to see — lucky them….

MAKE A BABY TALK: etrade’s “Talking Baby” commercials during the Super Bowl are famous annual events. Now you and your students can create their own talking babies by either using the text-to-speech feature or recording their own voices. Their creations can be posted on a student/teacher website.

CREATE MORE MUSIC: The American Heart Association has unveiled a web application that lets you create a “hand symphony” and send the link of your creation to a friend or yourself. It can then be posted on a teacher website or blog. It’s designed to promote the Association’s new hands-only CPR, and the site also has a one minute video demonstrating it.

Feedback is always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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February 2, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Send A “Talking Baby”

etrade’s “Talking Baby” commercials during the Super Bowl are famous annual events. Now you and your students can create their own talking babies by either using the text-to-speech feature or recording their own voices. Their creations can be posted on a student/teacher website.

I’ll be adding this application to my next edition of “The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily and Quickly.” Because of the Super Bowl connection, I’ll also be adding it to The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn About The Super Bowl.

I’ll certainly be using it in my Intermediate English class. It’s great speaking practice, and students will have a lot of fun with it.

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December 24, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Part Two Of The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

I’ve already posted The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009, but I’ve collected enough new sites to warrant posting a Part Two.

These are websites that were not designed with education in mind, but which can easily be used for learning purposes — particularly, though not exclusively, for English language development. I only hope that creators of “educational” content can learn from the qualities that make these sites so engaging.

I’m not listing these sites in any order of preference.

Here are my picks for Part Two Of The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009:

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS

In my classes I help students learn academic vocabulary. One new word has been “interpretation” and its various forms. I usually show students several optical illusions that can be found at various sites. Then, they have short conversations with other students about what they see:

“What is your interpretation of what’s in the picture?”

“It seems to me that there’s a ……”

Here is a new resource for illusions that can be used in this way:

The British newspaper The Telegraph has fifteen video and audio illusions.

PHOTOS:

Students can pick some of these photos to write about or describe, or they can be used in class as part of the  Picture Word Inductive Model teaching strategy:

See 15 Of The World’s Strangest Animals.

VIDEOS:

Fun videos are always useful. If you have a computer projector, students can watch them using the “Back-To-The-Screen” activity (read how to do it at The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL). Or, if you don’t have a projector, you can do a similar activity if you’re at a computer lab. Or you can just have everybody watch the same video and write about it as a class.

Most of these videos are from YouTube (which is likely blocked by school content filters), but some of them are worth using a converter to download into your laptop or a service like EdublogsTV or Watch Now to show to students. They’re great for English Language Learners – short, engaging videos that students can then write about and discuss.

Here are my video suggestions:

This chainsaw (it’s not bloody) illusion is the most amazing illusion I’ve ever seen.

This is an amazing video of 3D Projections on buildings.

You probably want to turn-off the music on this video of people using the trampoline. I had never imagined this sort of stuff could be done.

Here are videos of some amazing basketball shots.

Speaking of sports, here are videos of incredible “shots” from ones other than baseketball.

In addition to the ideas I’ve mentioned on how to use videos, I had my Theory of Knowledge students watch the Ted Talk “The Raspyni Brothers juggle and jest” and have them first identify how the jugglers made what they did and the objects they used look “new” to viewers  and, secondly, discuss how mathematicians, historians, artists and scientists use those same techniques to study the world. Students shared some brilliant stuff!

VIRAL MARKETING:

I’ve written how I use viral marketing tools with my English Language Learner students. Here are some new ones that students have enjoyed:

With Animal Mix-Up you can create a bizarre creature, email the link and post it. English Language Learners can not only use it as an opportunity to describe their creation, but the design process itself provides an excellent opportunity for vocabulary development. There are a lot of choices for creature modifications, and their accompanied with visual and text descriptions.

You can choreograph a dance for a piece of chocolate, choose the accompanying music, and write a message using this piece of viral marketing. The link can be posted a student/teacher blog or website.

You can send a Critter Carol — dogs singing a Christmas song, with a message you write included. Students can create on, and then post the url of their card on a website or blog.

ONLINE VIDEO GAMES:

I’ve written about how I use online video games as language-development activities with my students.

Here are some of particularly good ones that came out recently:

The Ballad of Ketinetto is an online video game series excellent for English Language development. Here are the most recent games in the series, along with links to their “walkthroughs” (instructions on how students can win — see my article for how to use them):

The Ballad of Ketinetto 3 (Walkthrough)

The Ballad of Ketinetto 4 (Walkthrough)

The Ballad of Ketinetto 5 (Walkthrough)

The Ballad of Ketinetto 6 (Walkthrough)

Finwick is another useful game, even without a Walkthrough.

The Company of Myself (Walkthrough)

The Water Well (Walkthrough)

Feedback is always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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