Before I was admitted in the BEALS program, I took several English classes here in university Laval. All of these classes introduced me one at a time to a wonderful website: TED. In case you don’t already know about TED, it is a website that presents videos, as YouTube does, but not in the same way. I think the best way to describe TED would be to quote one of my former teacher’s students: “It’s like YouTube, but it is intelligent.” I have to admit, it is a smart website, since it contains speeches from some of the brightest minds. Whether you are interested in knowing more about new medical breakouts, new technologies or, interested in any clever and fascinating speech, TED is worth knowing about. I really enjoyed using it as an ESL student and now, I am looking forward to using it as an ESL teacher.
As this video explains, TED talks are actual material that a teacher can use to starts discussion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPnfK2_Bk9Y In fact, not long ago in my ESL class, I had a project where I had to choose one of the 1000 TED talks and discuss it in a small group. I thought it was a great, and more importantly new, way to have students actively participating. Moreover, suggesting a weekly visit on TED’s website can stimulate students to find out about a subject that they particularly find interesting, and improve their understanding of L2 in the meantime.
However, I acknowledge that the level of language used in TED talks is not necessarily easy enough for young students to understand, but up from the second half of high-school, I believe that it could be a useful material-provider for teachers who want to innovate. To give you an idea of how to use TED in classes, click on the following link. http://raichlefarrelly.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/102/
For an introduction to TED Talks, I recommend you this video. http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_smith_how_to_use_a_paper_towel.html
I especially liked this one since it is simple, not too long, and succeeds in opening people’s minds on how to make our world healthier.
TED was for me a great revelation since it brought me to some incredible speeches that changed my way of seeing things, or simply made me laughed while learning on a certain subject. If it becomes such a revelation for only a few of a teacher’s students, I will certainly have a positive impact on their lives.