Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes 0:01
The DIESOL podcast,

Brent Warner 0:02
Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language,

Ixchell Reyes 0:06
Episode 48 interview with Larry Ferlazzo.

Brent Warner 0:25
Welcome to DIESOL. This is Episode 48. We are your hosts, I am Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes 0:30
And I’m Ixchell Reyes. Hey, Brent. How’s it going?

Brent Warner 0:34
Good. As of this recording, I am in Washington State on vacation with my family. So I’m sure I’m doing very well.

Ixchell Reyes 0:44
Haven’t figured out how to be in two places at once.

Brent Warner 0:46
Yeah, well, you record part of it beforehand. And then when you go and do what you need to do, and unplug for the rest of the time. How are you doing?

Ixchell Reyes 0:54
I guess as of as of this recording, I might be getting ready to go teach overseas. So well, who knows?

Brent Warner 1:01
Are you allowed to say where you’re going?

Ixchell Reyes 1:04
Not yet. But moving back and forth with COVID. You never know. Things are changing day by day right now.

Brent Warner 1:10
So indeed. So this episode, we’re pretty excited about because we’re getting into the beginning of the school year. And we do have a special guest here today. Larry Ferlazzo. We’ve been working trying to get an interview with

Ixchell Reyes 1:26
Hmm.. Larry Ferlazzo. Who is that?

Brent Warner 1:30
So yeah, we’ve got Larry here. We’re happy. And it’s a great, great timing kind of beginning of the school year, as people are starting to step back into their mind space for classes and teaching and all of those things for for those of you that were lucky enough to step away from it for a little while, not all of us were but but if you if you if you have been on vacation, we’re we’re hopefully gonna help you kind of get back into the into the game and so, so yeah, we’re happy here. You shall listen to the show.

Ixchell Reyes 2:05
Yeah, but first, it’s just a vacation. Remember audiences? Teachers, we don’t get vacation?

Brent Warner 2:09
Yeah, I know. But you like to talk about it as if it’s happening

Ixchell Reyes 2:14
okay. So Larry, oh, my goodness, how do I give you a proper introduction? So for many of us, I’m sure many of our guests, Larry has been influential. I first learned about it when I was a brand new teacher and I was searching for ESL tools or ESL websites and of course up pops up Larry for laws, those websites of the day. And I think at the time, maybe it was a blog because I know it’s changed here and there. And boy, he is everywhere now. That’s the number one name I hear any place I’ve gone on list of Teacher Resources. Larry for lozells name is there. So Larry, I know that you have several books and you’ve got all sorts of projects. Your most upcoming I think you that you have a second edition of the E Ll E. ESL e Ll teacher Survival Guide, or is it the toolbox? Survival Guide? Survival Guide? Yes. And you’ve got other plenty of other books. You are a teacher yourself and you I think we’re recently back in the classroom. So can he can you What do our listeners and perhaps overseas who may not have access to some of your stuff? What what are the give us a little bit of a bio here, whatever it is you want to highlight?

Larry Ferlazzo 3:35
Sure. Well, I am will shortly I will surely be beginning my 18th year teaching English and social studies with the Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. And I teach newcomers as well as intermediate DLLs, and English proficiency, proficient students. I teach in the International Baccalaureate program as well at our school. And prior to teaching, I spent 19 years working as a community organizer. And let’s see what else that as you mentioned, I have a blog. And I also write a teacher’s teacher advice column for education. We’ve been doing that for about 10 years. So that that sort of encompasses.

Brent Warner 4:29
That’s enough! (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes 4:32
Of course, we all know Larry’s won several awards, he’s won a leadership for a changing world award from the Ford Foundation. He was the grand prize winner of the International reading Association Award for technology and reading and I know that you come up in also literacy searches for yells and we’re just, we’re just really very, very fortunate to have you here. We’re excited.

Larry Ferlazzo 4:57
I’m also thrilled to be here. The DIESOL podcast clearly… very stands out. I think it’s probably one of the few if not the only one that actually focuses on using technology with ELLs. So it’s it’s a standout and one that I think I and many other ELL teachers listen to regularly.

Brent Warner 5:24
Yeah, thank you, Larry, we, we still think we’re still the only one with with that focus. But we are, we do openly invite other people to start shows as well. People need that need more information on this. So Larry, Ixchell is going through this bio, and you’re kind of talking about some of these things. And I have to tell you, I have actually had like conversations with colleagues over coffee. And people really, really honestly wonder how you do all the things that you do, because it’s like, all these posts and all these other things going on, and it’s like, oh, yeah, and I’m a full time teacher too like, on top of all of that, it’s like,

Ixchell Reyes 6:05
Super human!

Larry Ferlazzo 6:06
Well, I’m, I’m very lucky to have an extraordinarily supportive spouse, my wife’s been great. Kids are out of the house. And playing a lot of basketball. pickleball gives me energy, as well as teaching at a great school where I can pretty much do whatever I want, and have great students as well. So all that all that combines to creating the conditions where I get to do what I want, it’s a nice, it’s a nice world. My wife sometimes says that I live in Larry land, do what I want to do, but it’s fine. It’s good intellectual stimulation for me, because you know, the writing helps make me a better teacher, as well. Yeah.

Brent Warner 7:02
Yeah, absolutely. We, we kind of talk about, you know, people say, Why do you guys keep doing the podcast, that’s a lot of work for you guys, as well. Because, for me, one big thing is like really helps me process what we’re talking about, and see, like how I’m applying these ideas. And, you know, sometimes I’ll say something when we’re talking through, and then afterwards, I’m like, Oh, I need to actually make a, go make a change, to fix to do it better now, or to make adjustments to it next time. So it’s a good reflective process to to, to blog or to record or however, however it is, you’re thinking about your work?

Larry Ferlazzo 7:36
Yeah, and it really helps. Here’s my students, you know, one, it creates some opportunities for them to write. For an authentic audience, I’m able to I mean, they’ve, many of my students have written pieces, contributions into my edweek. And my websites today column, and I write about my students and share with them. And obviously, I just, I mean, I write a lot about my mistakes. But I only write about positive aspects of studio of what my students are doing, of course, right.

Brent Warner 8:12
So Larry, we’re thinking, we’re stepping into the beginning of the school year, now we’re kind of looking at the, you know, the beginning of 2021. semester, it’s, it’s still a tricky conversation for a lot of people as their hybrid, or as they’re still maybe online, or as they’re completely in person, but not totally comfortable. And we’re, we’re hoping to start kind of kick off the conversation just around like, some techniques, and maybe some practical techniques or some ways that you’re thinking about starting off your school year here. And, and what what are you what, how are you planning for things? How are you? What are you planning on doing with your students to get started to maybe rebuild the classroom culture or create a new classroom culture for new students? What are you looking at as we step into the 2021 22 school year?

Larry Ferlazzo 9:08
Well, it’s a great question. And as you mentioned, it’s a challenge because many of us don’t really know exactly what it’s going to be looking like. For about, you know, in Sacramento, you know, in California, clearly, we are everyone we’ve asked, we’re going to have large numbers of students who probably continue to feel comfortable coming into class, but our district is still hasn’t figured out what option there is with them, you know, you know, for those students, I mean, I’m on our local and local bargaining team and still trying and it’s, it’s, it’s pretty I’m pretty incredulous that the district is not at a point where they have a clear plan yet, but it’s, you know, we’re in In a situation where the you know, the del Delta variant is clearly very present in our Sacramento region and in the country. And our schools neighborhood has one of the lowest vaccination rates of any communities in a region. And also was one of the hardest hit by COVID. As in most communities of color, it’s, you know, we’ve got to, you know, acknowledge that, and also acknowledge that, really, except for a handful of students, who came in during our concurrent teaching time, the last two weeks, so last two months of the previous school year, where I would have like for three or four students at most, who actually came into class and everybody resume that for most will be the first time they did in a classroom and 18 months. Absolutely. And that’s going to be strange for them. And for me, it’ll be the first time I’ll be in a real classroom with a whole bunch of students. And this is based on assuming that the Delta variant doesn’t get even more out of control, and force schools to begin doing concurrent teaching or even have their school year delayed. Jerome Powell, the head of the Federal Reserve this week suggested that maybe schools would not be able to start on time. So but with all those caveats, I think clearly what we teachers need to do is spend the first few weeks at least on relationship building, community building, getting to know you. I mean, I think we’ve all all of us have, you know, spend generally spend the first few days right, that’s sort of been typical. That goes I made I think we that has to be extended far. I mean, we, I think looking at, for example, facing history, which is an online program, geared primarily for history, they have a great series of activities for beginning a new year, that are usable for online, concurrent hybrid teaching, or in person, you know, ranging from looking at what you know, what is a, what community is, do you feel a part of? What makes it a part of a community? What can we do to create a school in our community in our class? I also do, you know, typically, students do presentations, they say, at the end, this is for newcomers or intermediate or advanced English proficient students. I worry about blank, you know, I have my hope, blank, sort of an I am series of questions where students can present. And as students have an opportunity to ask questions, and newcomers who do not speak the language, which may very well be the case. For example, in Sacramento, which is a central point for for refugee resettlement. Grant is fading, getting a large, large number of Afghan Afghans, students who are being airlifted out, we have we have a large number of African students now, so we anticipate a greater number. So but that kind of activity can be done by by newcomers as well. So those are those are some of the things where where students can share what’s important to them. One of the nice activities in facing history is where people talk about a particular object that they have that if they could frame that, you know, what it would be, they’re gonna have a better frame around it, and why would it be and why is it so important? One of the other activities I do, which I learned last year, article and edit topia was the idea of having students dedicate taking turns dedicated each day to someone, a fictional character, a family member and athlete who inspires them and why despite why they are inspired by them. Beginning of that beginning, that creating opportunities for students to, to say, you know, at the end of the day, I want to, I’d like to give a compliment to, you know, because so really placing, making a high priority of doing a lot of these kind of community building activities, making them routine. So they don’t just stop here, the beginning of the year, took me away to continue that. I think that’s one of the things that I learned last year teaching remotely for most of the year. That it is a mistake that I have made a mistake in the past by just spending the first few days on community building, and then just sort of going into content and moving along.

Brent Warner 15:52
I’ve been guilty of that, too.

Ixchell Reyes 15:55
I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it, too. But Larry, I hear you, you know, mentioning all these things, and I’m over, I teach adults, as well. And I’m thinking, what a great thing to remind ourselves of that all of these opportunities for students to talk about what they’re worried, for example, it is a way to provide an outlet. And I know that Brenton has noticed that a theme throughout, you know, throughout the last year is mindfulness and understanding that we’re going through a traumatic event. And it’s a global, traumatic event. And one of the things I’ve observed as I’ve gone in the last three weeks back to face to face is, of course, you know, I don’t want to put direct blame on on on anyone, because we’re we’re shifting from what we know, one, day two, what we are learning more than x as well, things are shifting all the time. And that creates an environment of it’s hard to trust what is going to happen the next day. But I’ve seen I’ve observed that teachers are going back and going back from a asynchronous environment perhaps or a more limited teaching schedule, as we were online, to a full now teaching schedule in the classroom. And all of a sudden, we’re saying at the end of the day, man, we are so exhausted, we’re so tired. And we know we’re just we’re back to you know, what, what we wanted to be with our you know, with our materials that we can hold and show. And part of it, I realized is we’re expecting ourselves to overnight, even in one week to go back to what it used to be. And that’s not possible without also causing trauma again, because now I hear the students saying, Wow, I’m so tired or, yeah, because now all of a sudden, we’re giving them all this energy. And so it’s so important to do not just, you know, in the first few days, leave back the whole building community. And I think the first few days should just be Hey, let’s talk about what where you are how you’re feeling and then slowly transitioned. But I noticed that in my case, we were back to like, oh, lesson, this lesson, that lesson. And suddenly, part of it when I when I was talking to colleagues is that we felt we I think we imposed that expectation of ourselves. But how I guess my question here is, how do we also maybe reach out to our directors or supervisors and also help them to understand that that’s what we need a little bit extra time to do in the classroom? How do we get buy in from them? Because oftentimes, I felt like, Oh, we could have just, you know, we could have asked our supervisor, hey, we need time for this. And we just sort of ourselves went back to what we expected it should be face to face. And I’m thinking, well, at the beginning, we were understanding of students being in front of the screen all the time. And now we have to also be equally understanding of suddenly being brought back to all this energy. So any

Larry Ferlazzo 19:16
well I think any administrator, any halfway competent administrator, should should recognize that. I mean, I know during a regular school year, nice, I stay in good shape. But during the beginning of the school year, the first two weeks of every school year, I am exhausted at the end of the year, at the end of the day, totally exhausted. And I know that is going to be the case and even worse, and as you say the students are going to feel the students haven’t been at least in Sacramento and most of California, students have not been in a classroom for a full school day. You know, we had half days, right? It’s… We all need grace. And I think one of the, one of the other problems, and one of my big concerns is I have very little confidence that districts… Well, I think, put it this way, I think the pandemic has made transparent, the lack of competent leadership at many school districts, that prior to the pandemic, I think it’s easy for for districts to just sort of function barely, right. I mean, you know, they had they, I mean, they just had to do what they usually do. And, and, but this says, You can’t do that in the middle of pandemic. And it’s really made dysfunctionality transparent. So I think in a lot of districts, even though they have all this money, this needed money from the American rescue plan, I’m not confident that a lot of districts are putting the resources and time that are needed into planning to how to support student mental health needs. And which means it’s going to be on us. And I don’t think districts are taking seriously the fact that now we all teach in a one to one school where everybody has a laptop or a tablet. And, and that’s a whole different dynamic. And I think districts are going to leave, you know, it’s going to be up to us to figure this out, because districts are not going to take it seriously provide support to teachers. I mean, it’s it there’s just are many districts or not. So it’s, I mean, I think most I think we teachers, as we always do, we’ll make it work and create a caring environment for our students. But the question is, at what cost to us? And I’m not particularly hopeful, you know, I mean, I mean, I think they’re gonna be a lot of burned out teachers a lot earlier this year, than we usually do. I mean, I last, I mean, every year, whether we admit it or not, all of us begin to count down at the end of the year, it’s at a certain point, right, at a certain point, maybe it’s not public, but in our heads, right. And usually, for me, but you know, I do it, maybe maybe this six weeks left in the year, right. I mean, I don’t I do my best to not publicly convey it to students. And certainly never say it to students, right? Because you don’t want to indicate that you can’t wait to you know, you don’t want to communicate, you can’t wait to get away from them, which you can’t wait, which is not what you want, which is not what you feel anyway. But last year, man come January… I started counting down in January. I’m sure I was not alone. And I don’t know how how it’s going to be this coming year.

Brent Warner 23:38
Yeah, Larry, I… feel that in my bones, you know, and same type of thing to like, I, you know, it’s not about my students, like I love I had really great students this year that we’re really working hard, but it’s also like, I just, we just feel that like, pull right? Looks like we just need we need to be able to separate ourselves. You mentioned earlier and I was a little surprised to hear you say this, that you were doing concurrent teaching, which I know there’s different phrases for this and I’m thinking that you’re talking about the same thing and that’s also called high flex and, and different things which is teaching in the classroom and online at the same time. That is yes, I personally, I find that I would not do it I find it personally problematic or if I you know, if I if I’m given the choice like I am worried about like the lack of equity given to different students or like forgetting about one group of students as they’re online and I’m walking around the room, all those types of things. I’d be really interested to hear what your experience with that was cuz I know some some teachers are also doing the like, I’m gonna try this because it helps support more people. And I’m like, Yeah, but also it takes away from, you know, it takes away in other ways too. So I’d be really fascinated to hear your experience with that.

Larry Ferlazzo 24:56
Well, after going remote, you know, full time, you know, we didn’t go Back to in person gave students the option to come in person but having to teach simultaneously. Right. And I mean, it was not it was not a very great experience. But even so, I actually meant that you know, for me, since ION since 90% of my students stayed on zoom, it wasn’t a huge deal. If, from what I’ve read about teachers have had half and half that I can’t imagine my mind will be blown. I don’t know how you can do that. Right? There just two or three students in my room and the room? You know, it’s not that it’s not that hard. Okay, touch base with, see how they’re doing. I spend the rest of the time with the people on zoom. Right. I mean, that’s. But if you have 15 and 15. Jesus, I don’t know. And a lot of people did that. I mean, especially in predominantly white communities, who were more students, when you know, when and who, or families were not as hard hit by the epidemic. But it wasn’t a pleasant experience for anybody. You know, it’s methinks the kids on zoom? I mean, I think it worked out fine. for them. I think it worked out. I think it worked out, okay. For the students, the students who felt they needed to have that physical connection and families felt comfortable sending them to class, I think they generally liked being there. And I worked hard and making it a pleasant experience for them. But it’s not sustainable for the long term. I mean, you can’t do that.

Brent Warner 26:58
Right. Yeah, that was my kind of concern, especially as a teacher like, that’s like, your attention gets split and divided from one side to the other over and over again, right.

Larry Ferlazzo 27:09
When I also, the advantage that I have, is my students tend to be a little more motivated than other students. I know, English language learners, who generally as a rules, and I made it there, it’s much more relevant. They see what they’re learning is much more relevant to the lives. And I teach International Baccalaureate classes, which are the equivalent in advanced placement. I recruit a lot of students who don’t take any IB classes, any other IB classes to the to my my IB classes. But even so, those are students who I recruited. Right, I mean, a why they wanted to be in the in there. So I did. I had minimal classroom management issues. And, you know, for students or for teachers, who just had ninth graders, sort of at all mainstream ninth graders who came in I was not a not a pleasant experience for them.

Brent Warner 28:16
Yeah, certainly. That can be. Yeah, I guess we are kind of lucky. A lot of times I talked about that, you know, with with my students that are motivated, and it’s like they are here, because they want to learn something and get to their goal, which is much more obvious. I can I can certainly follow along with that. So, you know, Larry, we were, we were trying to think about different things. As we’re like, again, silver stepping into this new school year, you’ve got a lot of different techniques and tools for you know, getting students started, we talked about the idea of building the community, and we’re all my technique. All my techniques always work. 100% fail proof. That’s amazing, Larry, how do you do?

Ixchell Reyes 29:04
They work.

Brent Warner 29:07
So one of the things I was thinking about too, is, you know, I think I think it’s really important at the beginning of the school year to talk about like this idea of activating background knowledge for students, right, as we got language learning, and we’ve got like, we’re trying to get connected with everybody. And so I thought we might talk about that for a little bit. I know you’ve got a unit in, in, in your book in the E Ll teachers toolbook here that talks about just activating background knowledge and I thought it might be useful to just share a little bit about some of the ways that you help your students do that to turn turn on activate the background knowledge, build the schema, right, like, what are some of the things that you find useful or productive in in connecting with their students that way.

Larry Ferlazzo 29:55
Well, in my classes with English language learners, I feel cery lucky that I can I can teach English pretty, you know, basically using any content they want. So, asking students, what they’re interested in is a great entry point. Pride. I mean, after all interested in sports this Okay, well, who are your favorite sports folks? Right? I mean, yeah, okay. Massey great, that’s great. That’s, that’s, that’s, you know, talk about that. What are… so it’s a great way to, you know, to be able to start with that there’s both high interest and a ton of background knowledge that they can just convert into, you know, into English into communicating about English babies is needed to teach English doesn’t really matter. I mean, especially newcomers, obviously, as students get more proficient needs to teach more academic English, but even then, you know, I mean, students can write argument essays about their favorite Mexican football team. Right, which is the best one. Right? The prize, the focus is writing about the argument is writing argument essay and developing the argument writing techniques, who cares what the, you know, what they’re arguing about what there is, right? I mean, that’s not as critical. So I think that’s, you know, that’s one critical. I think that’s a great advantage that e Ll teachers have. I mean, unless you’re teaching in a district or a school that is unwilling to change from some dogma of a curriculum, then you know, you’ve got that flexibility. I think the idea, you know, the K wl chart is, you know, it’s tried and true. And works great. And being very expansive. About what what qualifies as background knowledge about a topic. If we’re teaching about New Orleans, or Mardi Gras. What do they know? They may not know about New Orleans or Mardi Gras. They know about festivals. Right? What are the qualities what happens in the festivals in there? When I teach, you know, last year, when I was teaching us history to TL ELLs, and we began to we were going to go into the American Civil War, students researched and wrote and talked to their families, and made presentations about the civil wars, that affected all of their families and their and their home countries, which now was certainly very insightful. And ironically, the first day of the presentations was the day it was attacked the January 6 insurrection. And they you know, to see the picture of the guy carrying the Confederate flag and the Capitol certainly created some opportunities for discussions. So I mean, I think looking in so many topics, there is so much background knowledge people have one year when I was teaching us history, and there was, we were talking about Native Americans resisting the Spaniards who were creating missions in California. And, you know, we had a couple of people were talking about, okay, when we was you flee, was you fight? And it was really it was, it was fascinating. Part of a lot of students said, Oh, I’d fight them. You know, if I was a Native American, I would fight them. Then we had a lot of among students, whose families and who they I mean, they had just fled to the jungle. I mean, the ones who stayed got slaughtered. And you know, and and they said, Well, you know, listen, the only reason I’m alive today is because my family fled. Right, right. And it was really interesting in that conversation. Was able I mean, you couldn’t have that conversation any other environment and the students who had said they were going to fight started changing their minds. Oh, these are students who actually face that question. You see the Hmong community? Go our Olympian, first Hmong Olympian.

Brent Warner 35:25
Oh, Suni Lee.

Larry Ferlazzo 35:28
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Brent Warner 35:30
That was amazing,

Larry Ferlazzo 35:32
I can certainly be teaching that in classes this this fall. Yeah.

Ixchell Reyes 35:36
You know, Larry, and I love that you mentioned giving students to the option of you know, your or that teachers have the option of using any content that students want in order to teach that, that kind of confirms something of teaching a TOEFL class that Brent knows, man had the beginning, I decided we are teaching TOEFL as you know, a prep clause. And as you know, it takes some extra work to do to make it a little bit more interesting. But one of the things that I’ve noticed as we’re going back to face to face right now with the same class at the same students still. I initially asked him, What do you like? And some of us said, I like cooking, and these are all men, male students. I like cooking. I like psychology. I like murder mystery. I like leadership. And so of course, I thought, all right, well, I’m going to find a podcast because there’s a podcast for any of this. And then we’re gonna listen to them in class. And of course, now, you know, as we’re in class, face to face. Now we can have the like the better group discussions. And what I find is, yes, we found something on cooking, we found something. Of course, it wasn’t necessarily how to cook or it was like maybe there’s an essay that we read, it’s called let them eat dog. And it’s about the the recipes for dog Comm. It’s an argumentative essay on dog consumption and finding the logical fallacies and what we in the West tend to have for not consuming certain animals. And we read it in class. And I told him the day before I said, we’re going to read an essay called Well, I asked him first, would you eat the hot? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? Or what’s the thing, the weirdest thing you’ve eaten in America? And so of course, now, you know, the the conversation generates, and I tell all right, well, would you eat dog and all of them? No, no, no, no. I said, All right. Well, tomorrow, we’re gonna read something called let them eat dog. And I’m not telling you anything else. And so why. But it’s really neat to see that and that, as you say that, what a better way to connect those ideas to the background knowledge that they already bring with them. And I think sometimes we’ve we’ve, I don’t want to say everyone forgets that. But our students come with a wealth of knowledge already. It’s just, you know, in their own language. So my next question is maybe what what are your go to resources? Are there any tech favorites? That through tech tool favorites, that I mean, I know you you’ve reported in your, you know, in Edutopia on everything under the sun, because that’s where I go to, but anything that pops into your mind that, hey, this is what I would use, that I tend to go to or return to, or that has had a that you’ve been quite successful, or your students love, what are some of those resources? Or you might suggest?

Larry Ferlazzo 38:30
Ah, well, there are several, certainly, you know, Google classroom and Google jam boards are very helpful. And I like Padlet as well. Padlet is allows students to record to draw, it’s very, very intuitive to use. In turn, that’s in terms of, I think, you know, creation. For consumption Duolingo. Brainpop, though it’s some students, sometimes they’re not as interested in not as engaged by the ELL part of brainpop as I would have thought they are but they have they are able to access brainpop Jr. Which is provides really good content. And the great thing about brainpop as they have a assuming your school has an account has a great the easiest animation tool to use. Raz kids, which is? Again, I think, you know, you’ve got to think pay if you have a classroom subscription, maybe $90 for a year, has a lot of books, lessons can access and read Have a read to them. lingo hut is really good because it has so many engaging resources for so many different languages.

Brent Warner 40:13
What’s Lingo Hut? I’ve never heard of this.

Ixchell Reyes 40:15
I’ve never heard of it

Brent Warner 40:16
Yeah. Or Raz Kids these are new to me

Ixchell Reyes 40:18
Yeah!

Larry Ferlazzo 40:19
yeah. So that lingo hut, you know, it’s free, you just go in there. And it is pretty much I mean for a ton of different languages… It has. It’s a graduated language development program. It has a bunch of questions, and then followed up by a bunch of different games. So students like it a lot. And it’s free. It’s easy. I say you don’t have to register. You just go in and do it.

Brent Warner 40:54
That’s just an open website, then.

Larry Ferlazzo 40:56
Yeah, yeah, for, for a whole bunch of you know, Raz kids, you have to purchase a class to subscription. And as soon as they get epic, which is another great place to read sort of like Raz kids. You know, those are, those are some of the ones that I found particularly useful.

Brent Warner 41:25
Larry, you also mentioned Duolingo. I know a lot of people kind of think of that. You know, it’s like a casual way to study another language. Maybe I’m going to go traveling or something. How are you introducing that to your students? Like what are you doing with?

Larry Ferlazzo 41:40
Oh, students love it. I mean, it’s just, I mean, ever since Duolingo began, students just really enjoy. It’s gamified. Kids, they have good now they have Duolingo classroom, so that you can actually assign things. Okay, I don’t do that. But I mean, but you can do that.

Brent Warner 42:01
So are you mostly just telling them hey, this is this is a great resource, go use it? Or are you working together with them through activities? Or?

Larry Ferlazzo 42:09
No, pretty much for Duolingo, It’s like, okay, you know, we generally all have a time in class where, okay, you can choose to do you got 20 minutes to do Duolingo. brainpop raz kids, whatever.

Brent Warner 42:23
Oh cool, So like, a choice board on the little… on these free games, right?

Larry Ferlazzo 42:27
Right, and I’ll get a report. I know, the lingo had I don’t get a report, but I made students. I generally students been pretty respectful of, of doing it playing go ahead is primarily for students whose languages are not covered in some of the other tools. So yeah, yeah, like you said, it’s a choice board. It’s it’s individually it’s reading, right? I mean, I mean, many, many classes across the board, students get 15 to 20 minutes to read, to get 1520 minutes to do you know, any of these. And I asked students share what they learned with the class that sort of teach the class something that they learned during that time.

Brent Warner 43:19
Awesome. That’s that I love that, because that’s one of the things that I try and do with my students, too, is to encourage them to be autonomous with their learning, right? And so if you can add a little bit of that into class, but it’s like, hey, choose what you’re going to do, and work on it for yourself, report back to me, but really, it’s your responsibility. Then, you know, what, what the thing that makes me the happiest is when my students leave my class. And then the next semester, they come back in and they’re like, I’m still using this. I’m like, yeah, wonderful. That’s exactly what we want. Yeah, and students use Duolingo more than any other program outside of my class. And that’s, that’s been consistent since Duolingo. began. Yeah. That’s, I’m gonna start introducing it a little bit. myself. I just haven’t thought about it. You know, for whatever reason, in my head, I’m like, Duolingo is awesome. But like, I kind of think of it as like a hobby. You know, like, I’m gonna go go to Spain, so I’m gonna practice my Spanish for a few weeks before they go. But yeah,

Ixchell Reyes 44:26
They have that Duolingo English proficiency test now. All right, yeah. Yeah. Like the it’s the TOEFL kind of equivalent.

Brent Warner 44:38
I haven’t been in a while I’ll have to go check them out. Alright, so Larry, there’s so much here to think about today. And we’re and we’re really grateful to have you. We do want to say we are going to give away a copy of your book. So the ELL teachers tool book. For someone who’s listening. If you go into The show notes on this episode. So it’ll be DIESOL.org/47, then we’ll have a way for you to sign up to, to get a copy. Larry, we’re not going to, we’re not we’ve done this before, it is like get someone to sign it and then ship it back. We’re not going to do all that stuff. So sorry, sorry, no signature from Larry this time around. But you know, you can you can get his his virtual smile, I suppose. And also, we do have to be clear, too, that we’re going to ship it to the US because we had tried trying these games of like, hey, let’s give stuff away. And then it’s like, okay, we have to get this shipped off to the Ukraine, somehow, it’s gonna cost us $200. (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes 45:43
And during the pandemic, they were also not shipping

Brent Warner 45:46
Yeah, countries are closed down is like, we can’t get anything out there. So I do apologize. I hate to be so US centric. And I know we’ve got more and more listeners growing overseas, but for now, until we get like a significant I don’t know, some something we’re going to keep it to the United States for now. But go check that out. DIESOL.org/48.

Ixchell Reyes 46:14
All right, it is time for our fun finds. And again, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Instagram because I took a social media hiatus. But this time is another I found another cool Instagram account. And also it belongs to my niece. So the native Spanish, she is Primavera galore, lemon, and I’ll have to you know, I have to check the show notes for this spelling. But she started up this little through the pandemic, she started up a little home, kind of out of the corner of her heart little business to help people heal with plants. And it’s stuff that she’s used. So I think she she says she sells little bundles of different types of plants to you know, aromatic plants to help you cope with stress. And so that’s kind of a labor of love for her. And right now she’s just looking for support. So, Primavera kolodny mourn and that means spring, the color of lemon or lemon colored spring is what what it means to crap.

Brent Warner 47:25
Okay. Mine is a new podcast called spectacular vernacular, by Ben Zimmer. So I don’t know if you’re familiar. I’m like a Ben Zimmer nerd. he’s a he’s a linguist who does a linguist and a lexicographer who contributes for like Wall Street Journal in the Atlantic. And he does just all these cool like, digging into language stuff. But now he’s got this podcast on slate, together with another, excuse me with another co host. And the only the first episode has come out so far, maybe the second one will be out by the time this comes. But it’s called spectacular vernacular. The first episode they interviewed john lanell from They Might Be Giants, which also kind of captured my heart a bit. And they talked about his his project of basically putting together a pop album in Latin. And how he how he did that with language and all those things. So. So a lot of fun, new podcasts, spectacular vernacular. And if you’re a language nerd, it might be a good find for you. Larry, what do you got?

Larry Ferlazzo 48:31
Well, I have something entirely unconnected to education. Perfect. It says finery that I have begun reading this, just this week, called Hail Mary by Andy Weir. He wrote a book The Martian. Oh, yeah. It’s his new book. very entertaining. So it’s if you need some, I mean, a lot of hard science. I did always skip over that part, because I understand it. But it’s very engaging.

Brent Warner 49:08
Yeah. The Martian was a lot of fun for me, too. So that’s I didn’t know that was our recent. Yeah, I think it’s pretty it’s pretty recent. Okay, cool. Awesome. So check those things out. We’ll have links to all of them in the show notes.

Ixchell Reyes 49:29
Thank you so much for listening to the show. You could win a one of a kind DIESOL pin by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. If you’re giving us a shout out any other way, tag us so that we know guide us on social media.

Brent Warner 49:43
Of course, we do have the Patreon if you’re looking to support we’ve got the $1 the $3 in the $6 tier. We’re still sorting that out a bit but we are going to have the little bonus episode with Larry. Just quick fun questions. So go ahead and check that out if you want to hear if you want to hear Larry’s answers. Some of these wild questions that we come up with over there for show notes and other episodes, please check out DIESOL.org/48 47 48 or 48 48. Sorry, I think I said 47 before so. So 48 DIESOL.org slash 48. And of course you can listen to us on voice at Canada voicED.ca. You can find the show we are @DIESOLpod and I am @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes 50:33
You can find me show at @Ixy_Pixy that’s I x y underscore p i x y and for Larry, you can find him at @LarryFerlazzo that’s it right Larry? Your Twitter?

Yeah, yes, @LarryFerlazzo, sorry!

No underscores no any extra anything. It’s just at Larry ferlazzo double z.

Brent Warner 50:56
Larry, in addition to that, are there any places that people can find you?

Larry Ferlazzo 51:03
Well, I have a blog, just search Larry Ferlazzo. And websites today. And you can see that the classroom q&a, the blog for Education Week teacher advice blog. And I too have a podcast. There’s only it’s 10 minutes, a show that accompanies my, my Edweek columns.

Brent Warner 51:25
We’ll have links to all of those things. And then finally, Larry, you also you mentioned that you’re, it’s gonna be a few months away, but you do have the new version of your book. Can you let people know what’s coming up?

Larry Ferlazzo 51:40
Sure. My colleague Katie Hull Sypnieski and I are writing the second edition of the ESL ELL teacher Survival Guide. And it’ll be twice the length of your first edition with guest chapters from nine other ELL teachers including Carol Salva, Tan Huyhn. Oh, Tina Gonzales and Antoinette Perez… a bunch. So that’ll be pretty good. It is pretty good.

Brent Warner 52:14
Awesome. Yeah, definitely going to be looking forward to that one coming out. So Larry, thank you so much for joining us today. We’re really grateful for your time and we appreciate having you.

Larry Ferlazzo 52:27
Well, thank you for the invitation. As I said at the beginning, you have a great show. One of a kind stands out so it’s very helpful to hear all teachers everywhere. Thank you.

In Espanol, thank you is Gracias, Gracias for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast.

Brent Warner 52:52
Thanks, everybody.

Ixchell Reyes 52:54
Thank you

In this episode we get to ask Larry Ferlazzo himself his thoughts on getting ready for a new school year amidst the aftermath of a pandemic year. Larry  teaches English, Social Studies and International Baccalaureate classes to ELs and mainstream students at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. He is a prolific writer in the world of ESOL with eight books and over 130 articles written. He is also active on EdWeek and on the BAM! Network with a Podcast. He runs a blog and MORE! Join us for some wisdom on starting up a new year.

Larry’s Resources

  1. Facing History
  2. Edutopia
  3. Google Classroom, Jamboard, Padlet
  4. Raz-kids, Lingohut, Duolingo, GetEpic, BrainPop

Fun Finds

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