TED.com is a much-loved website for learning about everything from the wonders of the ocean to how the internet is so powerful. Because of its vast amount of videos on many subjects, its transcripts, and its subtitles in many languages, TED is also a great place to learn English!
Want to learn a little more about the English language? Check out these fascinating videos! Remember to use the subtitles or transcripts if you find the language too difficult. Enjoy these lessons and the new vocabulary you will learn!
The Best of TED: 5 Great Videos for English Learners
TED Video #1: “A brief history of plural words” By John McWhorter
We say one book and two books . . . but why do we say one man and two men? Or one foot and two feet? Learn all about these remnants of Old English that still remain in today’s modern English. Check out the University of Victoria lesson on plurals for a full list of irregular plural nouns in English.
TED Video #2: “Where did English come from?” By Claire Bowern
Like all other languages, English has evolved. But from what? A language called Proto-Germanic! Learn all about the origins of English in this interesting history lesson and understand why German, French, and Latin words are often found in English. To understand more about how Latin works in English, read our grammar lesson on Latin Words in English.
TED Video #3: “10 ways to have a better conversation” By Celeste Headlee
Having a meaningful conversation can be difficult . . . especially when it’s not in your native language! Headlee’s advice is great for native speakers and English learners and will help you as you navigate your life as an international student in California.
TED Video #4: “What we learned from 5 million books” by Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden
Have you used Google’s Ngram? It’s a fascinating tool that searches millions of books to see how often words are used. These Harvard researchers explain how Ngram works and what it means for language.
TED Video #5: “Your body language shapes who are you are” by Amy Cuddy
When speaking about language, we can’t forget an important one: body language! Cuddy’s inspiring TED Talk about how your body language changes your mental state is an excellent reminder of the many ways in which we communicate. The talk is also great for anyone who has an interview coming up: watch the video and hear her story to understand! Afterwards, read our article on Interview Tips for Career English students.