Resources for applied linguistics and language teaching

Videos for discussion

Lately I’ve been viewing a lot of TED videos, and finding a lot that could be really useful for provoking discussion in the classroom.  I’ve used a few of them (see below), and I’ve bookmarked a lot more that I might want to use in the future.

For the most part they’re most appropriate for intermediate to advanced classes.  Subtitles are usually available in both English and Korean (as well as a lot of other languages), so these can be used to aid students with comprehension.  There’s a lot of potential for using these in a web-based course as well.

The first video I used is this one:

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

This video was great for provoking discussion in my small class.  I think the thing that made it so useful was the relevance to the students.  Korean students have been through a education system that kills their creativity, and they could see that it’s the same all over the world.  We were able to talk about their experiences, their ideas for a better education, and a lot more.  Although I don’t agree with everything Ken Robinson says about education, in particular in some of his other appearances on Ted.com, he has a lot of important things to say, and makes a great case.

The next video I showed was a bit of a flop:

Carl Honore: In praise of slowness

I don’t think the topic was nearly as interesting, and the speaker’s pace was at complete odds with the topic of his discussion: incredibly frantic and fast.

Recently I showed this video to my mentee students:

Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success

It’s a nice short video, the main points are made visually as well as orally, and can lead to a lot of discussion.  Unlike most of the videos, I think you could use this video even with low level students.

Some other videos I’m hoping to use some time:

Susan Cain: The power of introverts – A great talk arguing the important role that introverts have to play.

Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree – The importance of not just having “yes men”.

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? -Nice short talk about thinking in more than one way.

Boaz Almog “levitates” a superconductor – I think this might be really interesting for kids, though parts will be a bit difficult.



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