Have you ever listened or watched a TED talk? TED is a nonprofit organization that spreads ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks in 18 minutes or less. Their goal is to spread ideas, globally, on a variety of topics ranging from business to global issues.  They travel around the world doing live talks at conferences or events.  You can even organize a TED talk in your community!

Okay, now that I have praised TED and their mission, let me tell you about that TED talk that changed my life and I think can change yours too.

When it comes to learning a new language, it takes an open mind and a willingness to see a new perspective.  This can be very difficult for some learners who have never left their communities or can’t surround themselves with many other cultures due to where they live.

One day I came across this TED Talk titled, “Derek Sivers: Weird or just Different?” A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! In fact… mind blown! In two minutes Derek Sivers is able to portray that different cultures do things differently, and while it may be “weird”, it’s not… it is just different.  When learning a new language letters may be different, verb and noun placement may be different, alignment of text may be different, etc. but the reality is that IT IS OKAY! It is okay to be different and we don’t have to call it “weird,” we have to have an understanding that things are different and people do things differently.  It works- it works for that culture and those people.

Understanding this concept can help a new learner embrace all the new cultural and linguistic differences they will come across in their language learning experience.  Instead of constantly questioning the why, they embrace the differences and become intrigued learners full of curiosity.

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