When you are learning a new language, you might feel bored with grammar and sick of learning vocabulary. But don’t worry, because with the resources available online, improving your skills can be more stimulating than you think!
TEDTalks is a global series of video conferences run by a non-profit organisation, where speakers from all over the world spread their ideas about almost every conceivable topic, in more than 100 languages. From technology to world cultures and more, you can learn English by watching videos on TEDTalks. You can learn interesting new words and listen to native (and non-native) speakers with a wide variety of accents. But on top of this, you are learning fascinating new things from experts from all over the world – so you won’t be bored! One of the most popular videos is the enlightening speech, “The surprising science of happiness”, giving us surprising insights into happiness.
Two great tools that you can use on the website are:
- Interactive scripts. Click this button to read along as you listen to the talk. You can then see the words, write down new vocabulary and hear how words should be pronounced.
- Subtitles. The talks have usually been translated into between 20 and 40 languages. So if some of the expressions are difficult, you won’t be lost!
Here are my Top 5 TED Talks for English Learners.
1) “The world’s English mania” explained by Jay Walker. He explains why a lot of people around the world are trying to learn English.
2) Anne Curzan talks about “What makes a word ‘real’”. When does a new or slang word become a real word and earn a place in the dictionary?
3) Be amazed by the power of Google with “What we learned from 5 million books”. Two Harvard professors explain how Google has digitalized millions of books, allowing you to find out about the popularity of words over the last two centuries! If you want to know if an English word is used a lot – you have a database of billions of words at your fingertips!
4) Have you considered the importance of the word "yet". How many times have you had a bad score in English, and you felt so stressed about that you thought you should just give up? Never give up guys, believe in yourself and watch “The power of believing that you can improve.”
5) This video was recorded in Edinburgh, during the TedGlobal 2011 Convention. The evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel talks about “How a language has transformed humanity”, and it can be the key for human cooperation.
Have fun learning English with TedTalks!
Some interesting vocabulary: