Online listening – TED.com

Here’s a website that contains a large number of authentic videos that could form the basis for listening and discussion lessons with higher-level learners.

TED.com hosts videos of presentations by a remarkable range of people including environmental activist: Al Gore, founder of Amazon.com: Jeff Bezos, particle physicist: Brian Cox, musician: Evelyn Glennie, author: Dave Eggers, economist: Steven Levitt, primatologist: Jane Goodall, geneticist: Craig Venter, and the man who thought up wikipedia: Jimmy Wales, to name a few of the presenters I’ve heard of and whose opinions and ideas I personally think are worth listening to – even possibly just to disagree with them.

The videos vary in length from about 10 minutes up to an hour and are accompanied by a discussion thread which can be used to initiate comment or discussion about a presentation, if necessary.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and the videos are made during the organisation’s annual conferences around the world. The website is added to regularly and all the videos are tagged by speaker and topics so that is straightforward to find something that will interest or track down something you have viewed previously and want to see again.

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