Looking for a stickler?

Here’s a TEDx talk from a polyglot (a person who can speak many different languages). In other words, he is multilingual. He gives us 5 tips for how to learn to speak other languages.

You’ll understand the title of this post when you watch the video.

I agree with his points 1, 3, 4 and 5. But I disagree with his point #2. It does depend on your goal for speaking the language, I guess, but I think that most people are visual learners and should learn the alphabet of the language at the same time they’re learning the pronunciation. If your goal is just learning how to speak “travelspeak” (“Where’s the bathroom?” and “How much does this cost?”), he has a point, but if you really want to learn the language I think you shouldn’t, as he says, “scrap the foreign alphabet”.

About his point 4, I have a very similar experience with learning Japanese, although they were 風呂 conversations, and not shower conversations. 🙂

This talk is not a regular TED Talk but an independently organized “TEDx” event, so it’s not available with captions on the TED site. But if you want to practice your steps 1,3,4,5 with this talk in your language portfolios and in class, I’ll be your stickler!



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