George Lucas Educational Foundation

Larry Ferlazzo

High School English and Social Studies Teacher

I teach English, Social Studies, and International Baccalaureate classes to English language learners and mainstream students at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California.

I’ve written eight books: Navigating the Common Core With English Language Learners (with co-author Katie Hull Sypnieski); Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies to Help Students Thrive in School and Beyond; Classroom Management Q&As: Expert Strategies for Teaching; Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation; The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide (with co-author Katie Hull Sypnieski); Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers to Classroom Challenges; English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work; and Building Parent Engagement in Schools (with co-author Lorie Hammond).

I’ve won several awards, including the Leadership for a Changing World Award from the Ford Foundation, and was the Grand Prize Winner of the International Reading Association Award for Technology and Reading.

I write a popular education blog, a weekly teacher advice column for Education Week Teacher, and a weekly post for The New York Times. My articles on education policy regularly appear in The Washington Post and In addition, my articles have appeared in publications such as ASCD Educational Leadership, Social Policy, and Language Magazine.

In addition, I host a weekly radio show on BAM! Education Radio.

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  • English-Language Learners

    Activating Prior Knowledge With English Language Learners

    Students learn better when they first access what they already know—and this plays a big role in improving English language learners’ academic literacy.
  • English-Language Learners

    Do’s & Don’ts for Teaching English-Language Learners

    In an excerpt from his book with fellow teacher Katie Hull Sypnieski, blogger Larry Ferlazzo looks at a few basic ways to reach students who are learning English as well as the subject at hand.
  • Collaborative Learning

    Peer Review, Common Core, and ELLs

    For English-language learners, simple peer review activities that are kind, specific, and helpful will better assist students in improving their writing and learning about writing.
  • Student Engagement

    Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves

    To inspire intrinsic motivation in students, schools should focus on nurturing their sense of autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance.
  • New Teachers

    Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom Management Tips

    In the first of two excerpts from his latest book, teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo offers some classroom management tips that are positive, not punitive.
  • English-Language Learners

    Using Photos With English-Language Learners

    Authors Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski share tips for using the Picture Word Inductive Model and others for teaching ELL students.
  • 5-Minute Film Festival

    5-Minute Film Festival: 7 Videos for ELL Classrooms

    Videos can be a highly effective tool for teaching and learning English when used strategically. Check out these 7 videos to use with ELLs in the classroom.
  • Student Engagement

    Creating the Conditions for Student Motivation

    Some thoughts on what schools can do to instill a strong sense of motivation to learn in students.
  • Student Engagement

    Eight Ways to Use Video With English-Language Learners

    Authors Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski share some practical tips that are aligned to Common Core State Standards for ELA K-6. They include critical pedagogy and using technology to dub new audio into existing video.
  • Student Engagement

    English-Language Learners and Academic Language

    Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski explain how English-language learners must develop academic language proficiency as well as communicative competence, and provide a lesson plan they have used successfully with their ELL students.
  • Diversity

    Fostering Relationships in the Classroom

    Blogger Larry Ferlazzo and fellow teacher Katie Hull Sypnieski, in another excerpt from their book "The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide," share six fun ways to help students develop positive, trusting and enriching classroom relationships.
  • Literacy

    Collaborative Writing, Common Core, and ELLs

    By pairing up to write narratives developing experiences, events, or characters, English-language learners can produce better texts in terms of task fulfillment, grammatical accuracy, and complexity.
  • Literacy

    Common Core Writing and ELLs

    Learn about what it means to apply three key elements of the CCSS writing standards -- argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative -- when teaching English-language learners.
  • New Teachers

    More Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom-Management Tips

    In the second of two excerpts from his latest book, teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo offers some more classroom-management tips that are positive, not punitive.
  • Assessment

    7 Tips for Building Positive Relationships with English-Language Learners

    Teachers Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski share seven suggestions for reaching out to and gaining the confidence of English-language learners in the classroom.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation