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The Secret to Learning Arabic

Learning Arabic is difficult and so is living in a foreign country. It’s easy to think that your environment and location are what determines your success. Here Sugata Mitra talks about his experiments with education in poor, rural areas and what he found are the keys to learning. He says that kids’ curiosity enabled them to learn even without a teacher and while living in poor, marginalized communities. So when you are in a new culture, in class, or doing homework, remember it is your openness and eagerness to learn that will determine your success.


If the video is too long for you or the internet too slow, here’s the summary from Ted:

In 1999, Sugata Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.

In the following years they replicated the experiment in other parts of India, urban and rural, with similar results, challenging some of the key assumptions of formal education. The “Hole in the Wall” project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge.


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