Website Review: ted.com

In short: TED is an organization that wants to spread ideas around the world. And they’re really, really good at it. You can watch videos of some of the most interesting, best thinkers in the world. Scientists, philosophers, comedians, and more—all TED cares about is that they’re good. (Well, they also want them to be quick. The videos range from 3-20 minutes long.)

Why mention it here? Well, it’s maybe the best site on the internet for advanced listening, discussion, and critical thinking skills.

For students: Many of the videos will have subtitles in your language. (This video has 42 languages.) Click on the tab “most languages” to find videos with lots of subtitle options. We suggest that you watch videos four times. First watch with no subtitles at all. Then, watch with English subtitles. Then, if needed, watch with subtitles in your language. Finally, watch again with no subtitles.

Also, to the right of the videos, you can see the transcripts (the speaker’s words) and click on any of the words to skip to that part of the video. Pretty cool, huh?

For teachers: Instead of using magazine articles for your classes and private lessons, why not use TED talks? If possible, you can show them in class. If not, you can assign them for homework.

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