Learning Languages

learning languages

Learning Languages gives you the opportunity to consider how language limits our education and how it affects our reading and writing. By the end of the activities, you will have a better understanding of why learning another language is difficult and how to learn more effectively.

  • Time

    60-80 minutes

  • Main Skills

    Listening and Reading

  • Theme and topic

    Social Organisation: Learning Languages

  • Download Available

    Audio Transcript


Watch a video on ways to improve when learning a language and answer the questions.

Listen to a poem performed at Slam Nation and then answer the following questions.

1. What does Taylor Mali mean when he says 'I decide to bite my tongue'?
2. When the lawyer asks Taylor 'What do you make?', what does it mean?
3. When Taylor says he can make 'an A-feel like a slap in the face', what does he want from his students?
4. Why does he say he makes students 'apologize and mean it'?
5. What does he mean when he says 'Let me break it down for you'?


Read the text about the first day at school for young children.

Why learning a language is hard & how to make it easier by Erin


Here are the words and phrases covered in this lesson about learning languages:

  • applicable
  • conversation partner
  • commitment
  • cultural immersion
  • grammar point
  • intensive language course
  • motivation
  • native language
  • native tongue’s grammar
  • polite conversation
  • fluently
  • self-doubt
  • sophisticated
  • struggling
  • super-flexible brains

1. Write a blog for students who want to learn English.

  • Create an introduction on the importance of learning English.
  • Write four headings that highlight important points to consider when learning a language.
  • Finish with a short paragraph offering encouragement.

2. People believe that not all schoolchildren have the natural ability to learn a new language. This means it is wrong to force all schoolchildren to study a foreign language. Write an essay stating if you agree or disagree with this matter.

  • Create an introduction which paraphrases the background information and state if you agree or disagree.
  • Write three paragraphs which give specific examples or explanations to support your ideas.
  • Finish with a short paragraph restating your opinion on the issue.

IB English B Language Skills

  • Listening & Speaking

    Skills to communicate both professionally and socially.

  • Reading

    Skills to stimulates imagination memory and recall information

  • Writing

    Skills to foster the ability to explain and refine ideas.

IB English B Themes

  • Experiences

    Opportunities to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

  • Human Ingenuity

    Opportunities to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

  • Identities

    Opportunities to discover interests, values, belief and culture.

  • Sharing The Planet

    Opportunities to look at the challenges faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

  • Social Organization

    Opportunities to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

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