TED Conversations

Mohammed Al Medfa

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What wrong(s) would you right?

Hi there everyone,

I'd like to ask, what wrongs you believe there are in the world, that you would make right, if you could.

I posted a related question, asking "What would you tell children about following their dreams?" over here:
& another asking "How will you strive to change the world?"

I'm asking these questions as part of a video project of mine related to inspiring people to follow their dreams, right wrongs, and strive to change the world. Its all part of a web and real world project dedicated to enabling and empowering people, which we're starting called Utopian.

I'd love to quote the answers that some of you provide to this question and the other questions, and use them in the video. We'll be constructing a kind of 'visual wall' featuring everyone's statements.

We'll credit each person by placing their name next to their statement on the wall, which we'll be filming as an important part of the video.

I think these are deeply important subjects, and I'd love to hear what everyone has to say.

Thanks a lot,


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    Dec 8 2011: Wrong: The belief of many US citizens that people around the world speak English, so we need not bother to learn another language.

    Right: Language learning promotes literacy and peace and is increasingly important for success in today’s global world.

    I am advocating on behalf of early language learning in the United States. Most schools are wasting the most flexible years for a child's brain to learn languages. According to Patricia Kuhl: "babies are linguistic geniuses" (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html) and by the age of seven, the brain's aptitude for language learning starts to decline. The benefits to language learning (http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLanguageStudyNEA.pdf) are immense and the need for multiliterate individuals continues to rise as the world becomes more interconnected.

    In order to aid parents and teachers in exposing their children and students to quality language learning resources which are both free and easily accessible, I'm creating a website called Sunny Earth Academy which I hope to launch before the New Year. Think Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org/) only the teacher is not one person, but participants from around the world who share their creations for teaching French, Spanish and English. I’m hoping the website will encourage monolingual parents to expose their children to other languages starting as early as possible. The inspiration for the website is the desire to share how my own children are learning French with their baby cousins, whose parents are monolingual. I also dream that the site will spark a global interest in sharing free, easily accessible resources for language learning.

    I believe that through language learning, people gain multicultural awareness and in turn, language learners become more tolerant, peaceful citizens of our global world. World language education promotes multicultural awareness…multicultural awareness promotes peace.
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      Dec 8 2011: Thanks Audrey,
      The Sunny Earth Academy sounds great. As a person who attended an international school and grew up surrounded by people from all parts of the world, I've seen firsthand how immense a difference a multicultural environment makes to people's perceptions. Its something I'm personally very thankful for.

      I would love to be kept up to date.

      All the best,
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        Dec 11 2011: Thank you Medfa and Michael for your encouraging comments!!

        There are already a lot of amazing people online sharing awesome language learning resources. I've been incredibly lucky to connect with several of them on twitter. So, I guess where I said above that I hope Sunny Earth Academy sparks a global sharing of resources, I should correct...I hope it sparks the CREATION of new resources by language learners themselves. I have started a club at my school which is doing just that. We're off to a slow start, but the students and I are dedicated to creating and offering engaging, high-quality lessons for the world.

        I appreciate both of your comments immensely. Thank you again!

        Medfa, I'd love for you to keep up with the project! The site will be at sunnyearthacademy.org and I'm hoping to launch before the New Year (with any luck)! I have put TED in the "Our Inspiration" section of the site...so many great presentations and wonderful ways to connect globally with fine people such as you!
    • Dec 8 2011: Ah..the power of change! I definitely agree this creating bilingual, hopefully bicultural children would be a wonder. Even monolingual parents would greatly benefit. A great idea Audrey.
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        Dec 11 2011: Thank Michael, Please read my reply above (under Medfa's reply) as I'd like to share it with you as well!

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