TED Talk of the Day #004: The secrets of learning a new language

Event: TED Salon: Brightline Initiative
Speaker: Lýdia Machová
Bio: Teaches people how they can learn any language by themselves.

In the previous TED Talk of this series, we talked about creativity and innovation. How can we become more creative? Here is a report from Guardian (see reference at end):

“We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than monolinguals. Canadian studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease and the onset of dementia are diagnosed later for bilinguals than for monolinguals, meaning that knowing a second language can help us to stay cognitively healthy well into our later years.”

So, why not use this forced Covid-10 sabbatical to learn new languages? Lýdia Machová, in her talk, shares:

“The best place to meet a lot of polyglots is an event where hundreds of language lovers meet in one place to practice their languages. There are several such polyglot events organized all around the world, and so I decided to go there and ask polyglots about the methods that they use.

After listing a few tips from polyglots, she shares:

“We are no geniuses and we have no shortcut to learning languages. We simply found ways how to enjoy the process, how to turn language learning from a boring school subject into a pleasant activity which you don’t mind doing every day. If you don’t like writing words down on paper, you can always type them in an app. If you don’t like listening to boring textbook material, find interesting content on YouTube or in podcasts for any language.”

However, she cautions:

*If you want to achieve fluency in a foreign language, you’ll also need to apply three more principles. First of all, you’ll need effective methods. If you try to memorize a list of words for a test tomorrow, the words will be stored in your short-term memory and you’ll forget them after a few days.”

She concludes:

So this is the whole polyglot secret. Find effective methods which you can use systematically over the period of some time in a way which you enjoy, and this is how polyglots learn languages within months, not years.

I am an amateur Polyglot – I think most Indians are. I have been trying my hand at many languages – Indian and foreign – but I stop because could not find a community.

Here is a proposal, let us make a POLYGLOT CLUB, beginning with a Whatsapp group, where we teach and support each other in multiple languages. By the time, this Coronavirus disappears, I promise that you would have picked-up a reasonable command over at least ONE NEW LANGUAGE! (if you demonstrate daily discipline).

Game?

Here is Group Invite: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GBIenK0tf1uChk8JxcjuFX

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/04/what-happens-to-the-brain-language-learning….

List of previous videos at https://sharebooks.org/category/videos/

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