Saturday, May 26, 2007

Grammar For Beginners

I've been asked to provide a "guest" post once a month. I understand that June's focus will be on grammar. Since June is going to be a bit crazy for me, I'm getting a little bit of a head start....

There are a ton of sites that focus on grammar. Many of them are mind-numbing lists of exercises and are almost as bad as the useless grammar worksheets that many textbook publishers put out.

Today I'd like to highlight two sites that I think are the best, especially for beginner English Language Learners. They stand-out for both providing text with audio support, and also provide a variety of different activities. My high school students here in Sacramento, California, seem to like them, too.

One is Grammarman Comics, which teaches grammar through the use of attractive online.........comics.

The other is Grammar Gold, which provides a series of fun exercises that teach and provide opportunities to practice English grammar.

For more grammar sites accessible to Beginner students, you can go to the Grammar section on my website's Beginner's page.

For grammar sites appropriate for Intermediate or Advanced English Language Learners, check-out the Intermediate Grammar category on my webpage.

I hope these are helpful links.

Larry Ferlazzo

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

PROJECT: Listening Sites

This is an e-mail written by Mary Hillis suggesting a project we could develop with our students. Read her e-mail and leave your comments.

Hi LwCers!Jen made a good point that many schools don't have the necessaryequipment to do activities with online listening sites. As this is often the case, I would like to propose two assignment ideas:

Extensive Listening Journal Students choose an appropriate listening site, then create a journal about their experience. For instance, they should write a short report detailing the name of the site, the date, the topic of the listening, a summary of the listening, a list of new vocab plus meanings, and a reaction to the listening. I've done the extensive listening journal before, then had students share their reports with others, discussing listening sources, etc. It was a good way to encourage students to listen to materials of their choice outside of class.

Oral Presentation on an online listening site. Students choose an appropriate listening site, analyze it, and give an oral presentation on their findings. Analysis of a listening site can be based on criteria such as interest, difficulty level, visual appeal of the site, available exercises, links provided, etc. (In this way,evaluating a listening site is kind of like writing a movie review,which many students are already familiar with.) Another plus-- after finishing this assignment, you'll have a clear idea about which types of listening sites are useful and interesting for your students!!

Sorry for the long post! I'm looking forward to hearing other members' ideas on how to use these fabulous listening resources we've found!!



Would you like to join our Yack Pack group?

With Yack Pack, Learning with Computer members will be able to have synchronous meetings and also leave each other written or voice messages. We know there are other tools that offer the same thing but this time we´re trying Yack Pack. If you´d like to join us, post a message in the Yahoo LWC community and we´ll send you an invitation. Hope you can join us.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


We´ve barely started the topic and we already have a long list of suggested sites in our WIKI. Wow, it´s sure overwhelming! We´ll try to organize a list of special features from some of the sites in order to guide us through this discovery.

Let´s start with ELLO, my favourite. It offers interesting activities I haven´t found anywhere else, for instance:

  • Interviews : The interviews integrate image which is known to help understanding.
  • Mixer: Six different people talk about the same topic. It also offers comprehension questions at the end.
  • News game: A news programme in cartoons.Great for beginner levels!

Free online EFL listening exercises has other interesting features: is also interesting.

Breaking News English


  • Learning English through MOVIES (check out the tri-view method clicking the "How to use button") (wonderful template) (beginnners/ intermediate)

Carla Arena´s page for listening activities.

Let´s leave our impressions in the comments area.

Larry Ferlazzo´s blog is amazing. These are some of the sites I selected from his suggestions.
LISTENING DICTATION (movie sounds and clips) (really good!)
Listening to different speakers This is from Tokyo International University and has faculty members talking about themselves, followed by questions that need to be answered by students.(very good!)
ESL VIDEOS is incredible. Not only does it offer video with quizzes at various levels but also offers us the opportunity to create quizzes for videos of our choice.