“Hacking” Language Learning

In this brief TedxWarsaw talk (the theme of the conference being “Poke the Comfort Zone”) Benny Lewis of Ireland  talks about how he “hacked” the process of learning a language… and in the process developed his conversational abilities in not one but many languages.

I chose to showcase this video here because I think it summarizes and allays  a lot of the anxieties that college students and other adult language learners have when learning  a language and wanting to speak a language well.  Among others those concerns tend to be:

  • the fear that you need to master a lot of vocabulary and  grammatical forms before you can speak coherently,
  • the concern that native speakers will be frustrated or  annoyed  by  you if you can’t speak perfectly,
  • If you can’t  travel abroad  you will never master a language, and
  • that there is a”language gene” : some of us are born with it and others are not.

Benny Lewis offers some very simple, practical, and do-able suggestions for learning a language…based upon his own experience and out of his passion to learn.

Watch the video and let us know your thoughts!



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