7 TED Talk: Learning How to Learn New Languages

learn, learning, language

¡Hola amigos y amigas!

¿Cómo están?

Every time I listen to these TED talks, they make me want to learn a new language again. Although these speakers’ native language is not necessarily English, all of their talks are in this language so they can share their experiences and points of view about what it means to learn a new language with even more people.

I recommend you watch them learn how to learn, even if they are not in Spanish, they are always a great starting point for conversations. Here is a suggestion for using these videos in your conversations in Spanish: once you have watched and understood the main point of the speaker try to write in Spanish phrases related to the topic. You will have to look up the vocabulary, so keep your dictionary handy. It will be a task that may take you a few hours but believe me, it will be worth it.

Here’s a list, that encourages me to keep on studying more and more.
let’s get started!


1. Creating bilingual minds | Naja Ferjan Ramirez | TEDxLjubljana

Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez is a researcher studying the brain processing of language in infants and young children. In her talk, she showcases the latest techniques to study the infant’s brain and explains why all babies have the full potential to learn two languages at the same time. She discusses the benefits of bilingual environments for learning language and brain development and describes what it takes to create bilingual minds. 

2. How language shapes the way we think | Lera Boroditsky

There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world and they all have different sounds, vocabularies, and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian suggesting the answer is a resounding yes.

“The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,”

Boroditsky says.

3. The secrets of learning a new language | Lýdia Machová

Want to learn a new language but feel daunted or unsure where to begin? You don’t need some special talent or a “language gene,” says Lýdia Machová. In an upbeat, inspiring talk, she reveals the secrets of polyglots (people who have learned several languages) and shares four principles to help unlock your own hidden language talent and have fun while doing it.

4. The Absolute Best Way to Learn a Language

Italian polyglot Luca Lampariello is going to dispel the myths about magical ways to learn foreign languages and share with you how you can tailor your own best way to learn a language. 

5. Mind hack: 7 secrets to learn any new language | Steve Kaufmann

Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann has learned parts of 20 languages. He’s come up with seven tips to help anyone attempting to learn a new language in their spare time. First, you must commit the time and keep motivated. If you don’t enjoy the process of learning a language, you probably won’t get very far.

Maintaining a positive attitude is key. The sense of achievement in mastering a language is a profoundly positive experience. Focusing, at first, on vocabulary rather than grammar will help you in the long run.

Kaufmann says.

6. Five techniques to speak any language | Sid Efromovich

Sid grew up in Brazil and after some journeying around the world, he now lives an exciting life in New York where he works as a Sugar Trader. Teaching has always been one of his passions and he has led groups of young leaders since 2006. He has given workshops, talks, and classes on 3 different continents and is currently a Master Teacher in Skillshare where he teaches classes on nurturing happiness and learning foreign languages. 

7. The advantages of a bilingual brain – Mia Nacamulli

It goes without saying that knowing more than one language can make some things easier, such as traveling or watching a film without subtitles. But does having a bilingual or multilingual brain have other advantages? Mia Nacamulli talks in detail about the three types of bilingual brains and shows us how knowing more than one language keeps the brain healthy, complex, and active.

Learning new languages

Every time I listen to these talks I learn about new techniques and methods for studying and teaching languages, and what better way to learn new tips than from the experience of these polyglots? Some of them have definitely helped me with my Spanish classes and I must say, I do use some of their techniques with my students.

Which of these talks was the one that surprised you the most?

Did you know some of these language learning techniques?

Had you heard about the differences in the brain after learning languages?

I would love to hear your opinion
See you in the next post.


About The Author


Giane was born and raised in Chile, except for the time she moved to Spain and attended university there. She studied Education and Psychology at the University of Barcelona. She started teaching Spanish when she decided to travel around Europe, since then she has not stopped teaching languages.

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