Making Curriculum Pop

Modern Languages & ELL


Modern Languages & ELL

French, German, Mandarin, Arabic, ELL - this is the group for you if your teaching teaching folks second languages. The photo is of Larry and Balki from the 80s sitcom "Perfect Strangers"

Members: 119
Latest Activity: Dec 12, 2018

Discussion Forum

RESEARCH: Studying other cultures may help us better understand collectivism and pro-sociality

Studying other cultures may help us better understand collectivism and pro-sociality— Psychology Today (@PsychToday)…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Dec 12, 2018.

APP: Helps you Conect with Native Speakers

From Wordoor Technology comes Pop On, a free app for iOS and Androidthat allows students to learn a language by connecting directly with native speakers from more than 100 different countries and…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Nov 14, 2018.

ARTICLE: Making Student Assets Our Top Teaching Priority.

NEW: Making Student Assets Our Top Teaching Priority. @ValentinaESL…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Oct 8, 2018.

DOWNLOADS: Free World Language Posters!

Brighten your classroom walls and inspire your students with these free world language posters. via…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble Aug 30, 2018.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ryan Goble on January 20, 2010 at 2:44pm
I have no ideas on this one - hopefully someone will have some cool ideas - BTW - don't be afraid to post these up in the discussion forum - that allows me to direct traffic to your question in a "week in review" e-mail because it has a specific location people can click and respond do.

Let's home one of the wise ELL teachers have AN idea for THE issue you're facing :)
Comment by Lindsay Lombardi on January 20, 2010 at 10:09am
I'm having trouble helping a student understand when to use "a" and "the." He usually neglects to use either, or mixes the two up. Any ideas of how to help him. We've done some practice worksheets and it consistently comes up in his writing. But he is still confused when to use the articles.


Comment by Bill Zimmerman on January 18, 2010 at 3:38pm Unveils New Features
to Help ESL, Literacy Students Write, Read and Tell Stories

Dear reader,

Some good news to share with you! has launched a new version of its educational comics web site with added features to enrich the experience of students as they write, read and tell comic strip stories online.

.We have increased the number of diverse fun comic characters to 20. Each character has four different emotions – happy, sad, angry, worried --that can be deployed in stories, for a total of 80 different faces and expressions. Users can select the ones they want and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make characters talk and think.

.We have added a new function that displays 25 objects and environments that can go with the characters as stories are created. These objects include foods, hobbies, toys and sports equipment. In addition, there are trees, flowers, buildings, sun and moon. By adding these objects to the comic panels, students can create more complex, interesting stories and in so doing, practice new words. Seven languages, including English and Spanish, can be used on the site, and a teacher’s guide is provided.

.We have linked to our other web site,, which features many free activities and idea prompts from my books to help reluctant writers express themselves. The activities range from providing subject prompts to encourage story and personal writing, to keeping a diary, to recording family oral histories, to creating paper memory quilts that depict students’ lives and achievements. Also featured are a writer’s prompt blog and many printables and templates for creating comic stories.

Since we launched three years ago, more than 1.6 million people from 180 countries have visited. We were selected by Google and UNESCO as among the world’s most innovative web sites that encourage reading and literacy and won Parents’ Choice Foundation Recommended Award.

Our site is used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English as a Second Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy. Some educational therapists use the online comics with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends. 

Our site is free.

Please try the new features with your students and children and send us your feedback. We want to be the best educational web site we can be for you. We hope you will share what we are doing with your colleagues.

Bill Zimmerman
Comment by SpellingCity Mayor on October 1, 2009 at 10:15am
here's a funny foreign language story. I was a good student in school for everything except languages. I studied French and after a few years of Cs and Ds, I dropped in early in high school and ignored it in college.
As luck and irony would have it, my first job post-college was as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa where I lived and worked in....French. Later, I got a job in Paris and lived for two more years in French.
BTW, I'm getting involved in Peace Corps again, this time helping to send books to Cameroon.
Comment by Ryan Goble on September 11, 2009 at 1:39pm
That's ok - did I ever tell you how bad I was at my foreign language - I took German because all the strange kids took it - the grammar is a beast - perhaps in my next life?

My wife is fluent in French - I have crazy jealously of you bi/tri/multi lingual folks :)

Thanks for sending invites - hope your finding useful things here (not HERE yet, but you know, on the Ning as a whole).
Comment by Anne Gaspers on September 11, 2009 at 1:25pm
Not to worry...I've been inviting other teachers!
Comment by Ryan Goble on September 11, 2009 at 1:22pm
Ohh, we are a crowd you and I Anne :)

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