Larry Ferlazzo has spent 12 years teaching English and social studies to both native speakers and English language learners (ELL) at Luther Burbank High School. Before that, he worked another 19 years as a community organizer in areas with large immigrant populations. In both roles, he tries to help people by giving them the tools they need to achieve their goals.
Part of that desire to spread knowledge and empower the people around him led Larry to write for teachers as well. He’s been featured in the New York Times and writes a popular education blog. So when we looked for an ELL teacher to discuss the best way to incorporate technology into the ELL classroom, he was at the top of our list. Take a look at what he had to say:
Though Larry doesn’t use technology as much in his non-ELL classes, his classes for English language learners always integrate some form of technology. “There’s lots of research to show that technology can be very effective with English language learners in particular; it provides the audio/visual support for text, and certainly helps English language development.”
We asked him what he looks for when determining the best web tools for his ELL classes. He gave us five easy tips to help guide you:
Keep it simple. Choose tools that both you and your students can learn quickly. Tools like Animoto, which are intuitive for both teachers and students, save class time and make it easier to avoid confusion. “It’s just something that’s so quick and easy to use. Students love the way it looks, and they enjoy showing it to their friends and their family members.” For example, Larry used it in the video below to share a project his class did with the help one of the school’s art teachers:
What web tools are you using in your ELL classroom? Let us know in the comments below.