This TED Talk deals with the topic of learning English around the world nowadays, focusing on China and comparing language learning to a mania. This lesson is based on the TED Talk by Jay Walker. TED Talks are a great source of listening/reading materials as well as inspirations for class conversations and written assignments. I try to choose Talks shorter than 10 minutes (ideally 4-8 minutes long) and topics which are relevant to specific interests of my students.
The objective here is to discuss the topic of manias, listen to the talk given by Jay Walker and answer the questions, and then move on to the vocabulary development part, followed by a short written assignment.
Possible follow-up discussion questions regarding the video:
a) Some people say that demanding exams are the only method to make students learn. Do you agree?
b) Are there any negative effects to being obsessed with learning?
c) What do you think about the learning method discussed in the video?
If you are interested in more lesson ideas including TED Talks see this activity about videos going viral.
This Talk worked really well in class: it was short, straightforward, contained rich vocabulary, and opened up a number of discussion topics. The issue of learning and exam preparation turned out to be very relevant especially for my younger students.With some groups, I used this TED Talk as a starting point to hold a mini-debate on the topic: Is English mania good or bad?