[TED Talk Notes] How to learn any language in six months: Chris Lonsdale at TEDxLingnanUniversity

How to learn any language in six months: Chris Lonsdale at TEDxLingnanUniversity


Q: How can you speed up learning?
Re-defined Q: How can you help a normal adult learn a language quickly and effectively?

5 principles & 7 Actions

  • hynopedia = sleep learning
  • In a world that’s becoming more diverse, we need to learn each other’s languages
  • Thought: any adult can lean any language in 6 months
  • human progress = expanding our limits
  • in the past, people put a cap on their learning capabilities — don’t do that!
  • Thought 2: anyone can learn to draw in 5 days (Chris L applied curtained principles he learned and intensely applied them in 5 days)
  • Talent = you need talent
  • Immersion = even if you move to HKG that doesn’t mean you’re going to learn the language
  • 5 principles  of Rapid Language

Attention – Meaning – Relevance – Memory

  • E.g. walk through a forest – see a tree, then see a bear track mark… later you actually see a bear — then you really pay ATTENTION
  • related to survival and related to your goals
  • Principle 1: Focus on language content that is relevant to you
    • Ex. using tools that are relevant to us. (E.g. building a birdhouse – you need a hammer and nails to do it. You have to have it.)
  • Principle 2: Use your new language as a tool to communicate from day 1
  • Principle 3: When you first UNDERSTAND the MESSAGE, you will begin to understand the message UNCONSCIOUSLY
    • comprehension works
    • language is not about a lot of knowledge
  • Principle 4: Language is about physiological training
    • we have filters on our ears that take in
    • Speaking takes muscle. Co-ordinate these muscles to create sounds that other people understand
  • Principle 5: Physiological state maters
    • You must learn to tolerate ambiguity
    • E.g. Don’t worry about how it sounds all the time

7 Actions for Rapid Language Acquisition

  • Action 1: Listen a lot = brain soaking
    • put yourself in a context where you are exposed tot his
    • listen to the rhythms, sounds, patterns, tones, volume, etc.
    • tyw note: Below is a link for watching some Asian dramas. I find it helps to listen to people speaking the language. Also try listening to music, chatting with someone, using it in daily conversations, texting someone in that language, typing that language, composing letters/journalling in that language. (I’ve tried with my Chinese Practice Posts!)
    • http://www.dramafever.com/browse/genre/taiwanese/popular 
  • Action 2: Get the meaning first before you learn the words
    • see body language
    • use patterns you already know
    • Vietnamese = 30% cantonese, 30% mandarin?
  • Action3: start mixing
    • 10 verbs x 10 adverbs x 10 nouns = 1000 words
    • language is a creative process! think about babies. They create a bunch of sounds and words
  • Action 4: focus on the core
    • 3000 words will give you enough words to have daily conversation
  • [Week 1]: (of learning a new language) – use The Tool Box
    • Ask questions – what is this? How do you say? I don’t understand… – All in the TARGET LANGUAGE!
    • Use the target language as a tool to help you
  • [Week 2]: nouns, pronouns, verb, adjective
  • [Week 3-4]: glue words = words that combine words that give your words meaning
    • but, and, although
  • Action 5: Get a language parent
    • have a safe environment where you can learn the language
    • surrounded by people who know the language
    • someone who will communicate wit you as an equal
    • Rules of a  language parent:
      • works to understand what you are saying
      • does not correct your mistakes
      • confirms understanding by using correct language
      • uses words the learner knows
  • Action 6: copy the face
    • feedback loop in your face: hear how it feels or feel how it sounds
    • look at a native speaker to see how they “use” their face
    • let your unconscious mind absorb the rules
  • Action 7: Direct Connect to Mental images
    • common study prices = repeating the word — this doesn’t work?!
    • same box-different path
    • become so good at pairing these words with the path until you become unconscious at it

2 thoughts on “[TED Talk Notes] How to learn any language in six months: Chris Lonsdale at TEDxLingnanUniversity

  1. Reblogged this on 查理学习中文 and commented:
    TEDx talks are almost uniformly interesting, no matter the topic. I think I’m going to strive to add some of these tactics to my learning, especially the “brain soaking” where I listen a lot. I have quite a few movies on Netflix that are just in Mandarin that I’ve watched. My plan is also to start actually using the Mandarin Practice Hangouts on Google+ and the italki.com website.

  2. Bruke Abraham

    it is very help full and it is possible to learn all different language. I have been since three years in Us, I learn English as my sith Language because I was born in East Africa and Growing Up in Germany. I am Fluent in Amharic, Tigringa, Turkish, Arabicand DEUTCH(GERAMEN) FOLLOW HIS PRINCIPLE IT wORKS but ask God humply to give you Passtion and Wisdom.Good Luck

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