Quick Byte: Language and Listening TED Talks

While gearing up to teaching an ESOL Presentation class and a Foundations to Second Language Acquisition class, my attention gravitated to the following TED Talks.

Watch Mark Pagal’s talk entitled, How Languages Transformed Humanity. (See below) I’m not endorsing his beliefs, but he has some interesting concepts to ponder about how languages evolved, language as a “social technology” in the context of cooperation, and the notion of a one world language.   Some of these concepts relate to discussions in my courses, so I am eager to hear how my students process a talk such as this.  As always, the conversation in the comments section embedded below the video of the talk are intriguing. 

Since the beginning of my career, I have taught adult ESOL programs that offer courses in listening and speaking.  Julian Treasure’s talk entitled, 5 Ways to Listen Better caught my attention.  I liked his acronym RASA: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, and Ask.

This talk called Different Ways of Knowing by Daniel Tammet is a must see for anyone interested in perceiving language in unique ways that could influence teaching language, thinking outside the box, or learning more about how one high functioning autistic savant syndrome sees the world—amazing!

Here are some related former posts on TED Talks and RSA language videos:  Three Videos Prove Language is Fascinating and Language.  Check them out too.  Happy viewing!

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