HOW TO LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE ABROAD - TED TALKS
There are many myths and theories about how to learn a second language. Most people quit trying because they think it is too difficult as an adult or because they don't have enough talent. Nevertheless, several linguistic studies have shown the opposite. Here there is a list of the top TED talks on the topic, plus several methods for the acquisition of a second language tested by the authors.
BREAKING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER
Tim Doner is a polyglot teenager who has become famous on Youtube for speaking 20 different languages. Tim tells us the best way to learn a foreign language, and the only secret is to have true passion. Going to class and learning the basic rules isn't everything since a language is more than a subject, it's a culture and a different way of thinking. Tim gives us examples of how translations or simple grammar rules aren't enough to truly speak another language due to the cultural influence.
HACKING LANGUAGE LEARNING
Benny Lewis explains in this talk how he started to learn Spanish when he was 21 years old and how hard this was for him. Lewis, as many people, used to think that he wasn't capable of learning Spanish because he believed in many myths about learning languages, such as not having enough talent, being too old, not being able to travel, bad memory, etc. Nevertheless, all these factors are just myths that Lewis explains one by one. He truly believes everything is possible when we have enough motivation.
THE LINGUISTIC GENIUS OF ADULTS
Deborah Fallows, writer and linguist, denies that language acquisition is only easy for children. Fallows cites some studies realized by neurologists and linguists, in addition to her own experience learning Chinese as an adult.
5 TECHNIQUES TO SPEAK ANY LANGUAGE
The polyglot Sid Efromovich shows us his method of learning languages, based on 5 simple techniques which are very different from what we are used to doing while learning a second language. He strongly believes that making mistakes is not a bad thing, but the best way to learn faster and track our progress.
ONE SIMPLE METHOD TO LEARN ANY LANGUAGE
Scott Young and Vat Jaiswal conducted an experiment based on this method to learn any language. They visited four different countries (China, Korea, Spain and Brazil) in just one year in order to learn the language spoken in each country. Their main rule was not to speak English at any time, not even between themselves, which was a very difficult task since they did not speak any other language. In just a few weeks, they improved their level until they were able to speak the language in a couple months. They also explain that there is a phase of fear in which we feel frustrated and which stops us from learning the language, and we just need to get through it.
CAN YOU LEARN THE HARDEST LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD?
Irina Pravet give us examples based on her personal experience learning Finnish, which is considered the most difficult language in the world to learn. Pravet explains how fear directly affects in the learning of everything, including language, causing frustration and both physical and mental limitations.
HOW TO LEARN ANY LANGUAGE IN SIX MONTHS
Chris Lonsdale explains his theory on how to learn a foreign language in just 6 months, based on his experience learning Chinese. His method consists in 5 principles and 7 actions and its purpose is to learn a second language in an effective, quick and easy way just applying the characteristics found in the people who speak the language we want to learn.
This method can be applied to other subjects such as drawing. Lonsdale strongly defends that everything is based on imitation and practice, not the talent. The most interesting thing about his conclusions is that he believes language has a physiological connection, so facial expression and body language can directly affect learning.