"Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day..." - 9 new articles

  1. Audioboo Looks Good
  2. How I’ll Use Part Of The President’s Kalamazoo Speech
  3. “10 Ways to Support English Language Learning With The New York Times”
  4. Twiducate
  5. Decorate Any House Or Building — Virtually — For The World Cup
  6. PowerPoint Collections
  7. Site Jabber
  8. Today’s World Cup Additions
  9. Mother Goose Club
  10. Search Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...

Audioboo Looks Good

Audioboo lets you easily create what is basically a voice blog. After signing-up (which is quite easy), you can make recordings of up to five minutes in length.

Not only can your messages appear together on one public page, but you can also choose to embed them.

People can leave text comments on the messages, but one negative is that they are not moderated. However, you do have to be registered on the site in order to leave a comment.

I’m adding Audioboo to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

How I’ll Use Part Of The President’s Kalamazoo Speech

President Obama gave the commencement address today at Kalamazoo Central High School today.

It didn’t seem especially great (you can read the entire transcript here and see videos here and here), but there was a portion that I’ll be using in a lesson next year.

I’m planning a lesson on the problem of blaming others, and have written about it a couple of times already — see Creating A Lesson On “Blaming Others” & Need Your Help and Looking For Movie/TV Scenes Showing People Taking Personal Responsibility).

The President made some comments related to that topic that I’ll use as part of it:

That brings me to my second piece of advice, and it’s a very simple one: Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility not just for your successes, but for your failures as well.

The truth is, no matter how hard you work, you won’t necessarily ace every class or succeed in every job. There will be times when you screw up, when you hurt the people you love, when you stray from your most deeply held values.

And when that happens, it’s the easiest thing in the world to start looking around for someone to blame. Your professor was too hard; your boss was a jerk; the coach was playing favorites; your friend just didn’t understand.

Showing students this short video clip, and asking them to first think of times when they have blamed someone else for their mistake and, then, asking them to think of times when they’ve taken responsibility for them, might be a good piece to include in that lesson.

And, speaking of blaming others, here are two recent articles on this subject that I might have students read or, at least, use in my lesson plan:

How To Stop the Blame Game

Blame is Contagious, Except When People Have High Self-Worth

“10 Ways to Support English Language Learning With The New York Times”

10 Ways to Support English Language Learning With The New York Times is an excellent resource that has just been published on the New York Times website. It’s a must-read for teachers of ELL’s.

The same site will be publishing a guest post from me on Thursday sharing the teaching strategies I write about in my book, English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work.


Twiducate is a new web application that says it was designed by teachers. It provides a private social network where teachers and students can communicate, with messages not visible unless users register and sign-in.

I could see this being useful for classes of younger learners where teachers or schools are concerned about their web content being public. For older students, I think Edublogs or other tools I have listed in The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online would work just as well, if not better.

One feature I do like about the site is that images can be directly copied and pasted without using their url address or uploading them.

Decorate Any House Or Building — Virtually — For The World Cup

Type in an address into this Google “Street View” web app and then decorate it with the colors of your favorite team in the World Cup. You can type in a headline, and then share the url address of your creation.

After a student copies and pastes the address in a student/teacher website, he/she can describe it — always a good language learning activity.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World Cup.

PowerPoint Collections

I’ve just updated The Best Online Collections Of PowerPoints For Teachers.

Feel free to make additional suggestions.

Site Jabber

At Site Jabber, users can write reviews of websites. It appears to be primarily aimed at online businesses, but there are lots of other websites reviewed, too.

Students can write reviews of their favorite online sites, including (but not limited to) the ones we use for English learning.

I’m adding the site to The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience.”

Thanks to Tran Templeton for the tip.

Today’s World Cup Additions

Here are several resources from The Guardian:

Nelson Mandela meets South Africa’s World Cup squad is an online video.

World Cup 2010: The worst merchandise is a slideshow.

World Cup feast – South Africa’s half-time snack is an audio slideshow.

I’ve added the links to The Best Sites For Learning About The World Cup.

Mother Goose Club

The Mother Goose Club has a number of rhymes and songs that provide audio support for the text.

Younger children might find it engaging, and it’s certainly accessible to English Language Learners.

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