Stuff on YouTube


1. Dr. Tuzi has a series of lectures about various aspects of the wide area which makes up an MA in applied linguistics, including curriculum design, testing, teacher development, and teaching reading and writing, just to give a few random examples.

Tuzi starts by asking what makes a good theory of SLA here: He follows this with a long list of lectures, all easy to follow, instructive and informed by what is, IMHO, an excellent critical rationalist epistemology.

2. TESOL and Applied Linguistics. This is a great series and you can start here: which is a session with the always entertaining David Crystal where he talks and answers questions about the impact of new media in a session called “Texts and Tweets”. Very interesting discussion of abbreviations. Look on the right, and you’ll see more sessions by Adrian Underhill, Scott Thornbury (who??), Rod Ellis, Noam Chomsky and others. I like these because they’re “light” but still informative and thought-provoking.

3. Our own (I refer to those of us who live in Spain) Lourdes Ortega is rightly considered to be a leading scholar in SLA. She’s done some really impressive work and this lecture is just one example of her excellent work. Lourdes explores various aspects of work currently going on in SLA and does so with marvellous scholarship and critical accumen. Not terribly accessable, not in any way “tuned” for a wide audience, this is, nevertheless, an absolute “must” for anybody seriously interested in studying SLA in their MA.

4. Peter Robinson gives a lecture which is divided into 3 parts called “The Cognition Hypothesis, task sequencing and instructed language learning”. You can find the first part of it here: , after which, it’s easy to find Parts 2 and 3. It starts very badly, in that the sound is all screwed up, but after 3 minutes, all is resolved and Peter gives a really great lecture. I think Peter is one of the very best academics currently working in the field of applied linguistics.

5. Finally, there’s a new John Serle lecture available here: . It’s marvellous. Here’s a really very important figure of 20th century philosophy giving an entertaining, provoking presentation of his long-held views. I personally have argued strenuously against Serle’s views (mostly when I was doing work with Popper at the LSE in the 1960s), but I highly recommend this lecture.

I quote from “John Serle has made countless contributions to contemporary thinking about consciousness, language, artificial intelligence and rationality itself. In his early work, he focused on the nature of language and what we are conveying when we speak and how the intention behind what we intend to say can the meaning of words from context to context.

He is best known for his “Chinese Room” thought experiment, which challenges the notion of a truly intelligent artificial intelligence. In it, he imagines a room containing an individual, who speaks only English, working with a set of English instructions to write a series of Chinese characters in order to anonymous communicate with a Chinese speaker outside the room. If that individual follows the instructions carefully, she can effectively fool the Chinese speaker into thinking he’s talking to someone who understands his language. Serle argues that, at the very least, the metaphor raises deep complications as to whether or not one can truly describe convincing simulations of intelligence as intelligent.

He remains a firm believer that subjective experiences are real — even if they don’t always describe things are they really are — and are worth thinking about in objective terms because of it”.

I’ll be more than happy to enter into discussions on any of these videos.

One thought on “Stuff on YouTube

  1. Ahhh. On 5, this seems to be the nut to crack. I have found the issues that haunt (me) in language teaching / learning, SLA model, and so on to….what can I say, float on a lava stream where the top seems solid and firm but now and then the molten core shows through cracks–mind-body problem, epistemology, qualia,…–language seems to grow on these with daisy like innocence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s