Five principles and SEVEN actions to learn any language. For Chris Lonsdale

These are the pieces of advice given for the lecturer of TEDx Talks Chris Lonsdale for those people are learning a second language.



1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you.

2. Use your language as a tool to communicate from day 1.

3. When you understand the message you will acquire the language unconsciously, i.e comprehensible input (Krashen, et al)

4. Language is not about accumulating a lot of knowledge but is rather a type of physiological training.

5. Psycho-physiological state matters – you need to be happy, relaxed, and most importantly, you need to be tolerant of ambiguity. Don’t try to understand every detail as it will drive you crazy.


1. Listen a lot – it doesn’t matter if you understand or not. Listen to rhythms and patterns.

2. Focus on getting the meaning first, before the words. Body language and facial expressions can help.

3. Start mixing, get creative, and use what you’re learning

4. Focus on the core – the most commonly-used words, and use the language to learn more (What is this/that? How do you say ? etc.)

5. Get a language parent – someone who is fluent in the language and who will do their best to understand what you mean; who will not correct your mistakes; who will feedback their understanding of what you’re saying using correct language, and uses words that you know.

6. Copy the face – watch native speakers and observe who their face, and particular their mouth, moves when they’re speaking

7. “Direct connect” to the target language – find ways to connect words directly with images and other internal representations.