Saturday, 16 November 2013

The world's 'English Mania' TED talk by Jay Walker: High intermediate video lesson

English crazy!

Why are so many people trying to learn English? Is it mania or is it a necessity?  Is the world obsessed with learning to speak English?


(noun) Extreme enthusiasm for something that is usually shared by many people.
(noun) Wild and noisy disorder or confusion.
(noun) A feeling of intense pleasure or joy.
(noun) A fit of crying.

This interesting TED talk by Jay Walker explores this issue:

Comprehension questions:

  1. What are the three types of mania that Jay Walker talks about at the beginning of the video?
  2. What are the three adjectives Jay Walker uses to describe Mania?
  3. What method is often used in China to learn English?
  4. According to Jay Walker, how many people are trying to learn English in the world?
  5. According to Jay Walker, what are some of the reasons that so many people are trying to learn English?
  6. What does Jay say, that you can do with English?
  7. Give two examples of global problems.
  8. According to Jay Walker, what is the language of science?
  9. According to Jay Walker, what is the language of emotions?
  10. According to Jay Walker, what is the language of problem solving?
  11. In conclusion, what does Jay Walker believe that English represents?
* Answers below

I agree with Jay Walker, I believe that a common language is the key to global communication.  Better communication will lead to improved problem solving and a better future for us all.  What do you think?


  1. Beatles mania, Sports mania, Religious mania
  2. Alarming, deadly, good.
  3. Screaming.
  4. 2 billion people.
  5. For opportunity, to find a better job or life, to put money on the table.
  6. You can be part of a global conversation about global problems.
  7. Possible answers: Climate change, poverty, hunger, disease.
  8. Maths.
  9. Music.
  10. English.
  11. Hope for a better future, where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.

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