Category Archives: Video

The ‘Active’ Language

The ‘Active’ Language

In this blog post I talk about the inner workings of a language and the fact that we ‘act’ with every word we utter! 🙂



It is really important to understand the inner workings of a language, the differences between the way the languages are structured, the way the language ‘thinks’, and the attitude of the language: elements of a language that we hardly talk about while teaching-learning it.


I think it is very difficult to learn a foreign language without starting to comprehend the history, the cultural thinking, and the specific ideas  all that’s behind the language. It is because languages ACT!


At university I read a book that made me think about how a language truly works. The book I read was How to Do Things with Words: Second Edition (The William James Lectures) Paperback – September 1, 1975 by J. L. Austin (Author) See the video links to a series of lectures on the subject at the end of this post. Learn more about the book here (click)


While reading this book I understood that a language is much more than a bunch of words that we struggle to remember and make sense of!


As language teachers we often talk about learning the ‘living language’. But we rarely discuss what it actually covers. Learning the ‘living language’ means becoming familiar with everything that the language ‘does’. A language does not only express ideas. With speaking words we also carry out acts that have impact on our lives and that of others.


I give you an example.


During the marriage ceremony, you actually ‘ get married’  by saying ‘I DO’. These two words bond you to another person in body and soul until ‘death do us part’.


If you have heard of affirmations, I am sure you understand the above. When you repeat your daily affirmation’s you affirm ‘good’ in your life, you ignite different parts of your consciousness to act in accordance with the ‘messages’ you convey to yourself through the affirmations. 


When you daily affirm that ‘I can learn something with easy and joy!’  your mind gets the message and start creating the new pathways in your brain that are aligned with this message.













In this blogpost, you can learn about the importance of play by using your hands. The video in the blog talks about the research behind the play theory. 



Frank Wilson is a neurologist, Nate Johnson is a mechanic. He taught mechanics in a high school in Long Beach, and found that his students were no longer able to solve problems. And he tried to figure out why. And he came to the conclusion, quite on his own, that the students who could no longer solve problems, such as fixing cars, hadn’t worked with their hands.


Frank Wilson had written a book called “The Hand.” CLICK HERE to see the book. Now JPL, NASA and Boeing, before they will hire a research and development problem solver — even if they’re summa cum laude from Harvard or Cal Tech — if they haven’t fixed cars, haven’t done stuff with their hands early in life, played with their hands, they can’t problem-solve as well.


So play is practical, and it’s very important. Now one of the things about play is that it is born by curiosity and exploration.


The program says that the opposite of play is not work, it’s depression. And I think if you think about life without play – no humor, no flirtation, no movies, no games, no fantasy and, and, and. Try and imagine a culture or a life, adult or otherwise without play.


And the thing that’s so unique about our species is that we’re really designed to play through our whole lifetime.


So what I would encourage on an individual level to do, is to explore backwards as far as you can go to the most clear, joyful, playful image that you have, whether it’s with a toy, on a birthday or on a vacation. And begin to build from the emotion of that into how that connects with your life now. And you’ll find, you may change jobs — which has happened to a number people when I’ve had them do this — in order to be more empowered through their play. Or you’ll be able to enrich your life by prioritizing it and paying attention to it. …


Learn more about THE HAND and the research presented in the book in this video:




Language Acquisition

Language Acquisition

Back to Basics – Language Acquisition @ Large!
Patricia Kuhl studies how we learn language as babies, looking at the ways our brains form around language acquisition.


Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and “taking statistics” on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.




Tips on how to speak fluently

Tips on how to speak fluently

In this blog post I share some tips on how to ‘think’ in a foreign language



I found this article that talks about 7 science-based methods to thinking in a foreign language. The article looked interesting so I read it.


Well, I agree with some of the suggestions, but I may not agree so much with others.


Here are the tips. You can read about them in detail at the Source


1. Focus on Fluency, Not Accuracy

2. Visualize

4. If It Does Not Work, Translate Your Thoughts

5. Write in a Journal

6. Read as Often as You Can

7. Describe Your Environment


1. As a teacher, in general, I don’t agree with the first tip.  I agree that we need to focus on fluency, meaning that we should take any opportunity to listen to living language and ‘repeat’ it until it ‘sticks’. But ignoring accuracy is a mistake, I think. I have met many people in the UK who learnt the language by ‘picking it up’. They made a lot of grammatical mistakes because they never checked out what they had heard or never studied the language formally at all. They speak a language that sounds great – or not – but that is full of mistakes. It also gives the impression that the speaker is uneducated or even illiterate.


2. I think it is a great idea. As you have probably heard, the brain cannot differentiate between ‘real’ or physical experiences and the images and feelings you generate by visualizing them. Spend some time visualizing that you already speak the language you are learning and what you are using it for. Go for the feelings rather than the images! Imagine doing things in and with the new language that you truly enjoy!


3. This is what the article say: ” Some experts say that, in order to learn a language, you need to think ONLY in that language. This is certainly not something you can achieve at the beginning phases of your language learning, but you should eventually start aiming toward such ‘direct thinking’.


When you translate everything you think, you may get stuck in between words, or lose the idea along the way. But, when you think directly in the target language, you can easily detect the gaps in your knowledge and wake those dormant vocabulary phrases and words you do not use when actually speaking the language.”


I call ‘direct thinking’ ‘thinking ‘inside’ a foreign language. Speaking ‘inside the language’ means to me that you not only speak by thinking in the language but you understand the culture, the history, and ‘the way of thinking ‘*of that nation whose language you speak. *Obviously, people do not think the same way, but in my observation, different nations and regions tend to show similarities in the way they use their language and express themselves. There is this great video on the topic. CLICK


I believe that  until you ‘move inside the language’, you don’t speak  the language fluently. How can you do that? I am going to discuss in detail it in another post.


5. Well, I don’t like writing when learning another language. I often find that learners can read and write in the target language well but not able to say one correct and meaningful sentence. I would rather suggest to record your diary in the target language. Then listen to the recording and see what you could have said differently and if you can, rerecord it. You can train yourself to think in the target language by making your ‘learning’ practical and personal.


6. I think that reading a book in a foreign language is quite hard. It took me a long time to be able to read a book in a way that I could enjoy it. To be able to understand someone else’s train of thoughts and enjoy the story and the messages require high command of the language. So, reading is important; it is a great way to gain a wide passive vocabulary. However, to me, listening is more useful.


7. It think it is a good idea to find something to ‘think about’. Also, this tip reminds me of a type of Mindfulness exercise, called something like being mindful of your environment. Read more about Mindfulness here, click.  Mindfulness can help you calm down, refocus and release tension or anxiety. Here are a few VIDEOs to introduce you to Mindfulness. 







If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.


Language shapes the way we think! 

Language shapes the way we think! 

We are as many persons as many languages we speak. Here is the proof! The video brings light to linguistic diversity.


Language shapes the way we think!  This amazing video explaining what it is like speaking ‘within’ the language or adopting to a foreign language’s structure and thinking patterns.



 There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. “The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,” Boroditsky says. “Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”


I hope this video will give you the opportunity to ask yourself, “Why do I think the way that I do?” “How could I think differently?” And also, “What thoughts do I wish to create?


Gabriella Bozsar, thank you very much for this video!