Hetain and Lewis webinar

Video Post: Bringing big ideas from TED Talks into the classroom

Did you miss TED Speaker Hetain Patel and ELT materials writer Lewis Lansford’s recent webinar? The good news is you can still watch it here on the In Focus blog. Read on to find out more about the talk, learn about the speakers and watch a recording of the live event!

Identity, voice and collaboration: Tips for bringing big ideas from TED Talks into the classroom

Language and identity are closely connected – the way we speak, the things we talk about, and even our accent help make up who we are. But what does this mean for language teachers and learners?

With content from Artist Hetain Patel, and ideas from National Geographic Learning and TED Talks, ELT materials writer Lewis Lansford makes connections between the big ideas of identity, voice and collaboration and the practicalities of language teaching.

Hetain Patel

Hetain Patel is a British artist of Indian heritage. He makes films, photographs, sculptures and live performances for galleries and theatres worldwide, including Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House, London, Venice Biennale and Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

His artwork, exploring the subtle and often humorous complexities of identity formation, crosses a number of art forms, which he finds reflects the multiple ways of looking at and expressing ideas.

Taking inspiration from a Bruce Lee quote, he loves the idea of identity being, “formless, shapeless, like water”. This philosophy is something embedded into his creative and professional life. Being British born of Indian origin, and married to a French person of Spanish origin, this fluidity of languages, geography and thinking constantly inform his life and art. You can visit Hetain’s website to learn more about his work: www.hetainpatel.com.

Lewis Lansford

Lewis got his first taste of teaching English in Barcelona in the late 1980s. The experience inspired him to get a Master’s in TESOL, after which he taught at a university language center in Arizona and then a manufacturing company in Japan. In 1995, he took an editorial job with a major publisher in Hong Kong developing materials for Asia, and in 1997 became a freelance editor, project manager and writer in the UK. He has worked on books, videos, tests, audio materials, worksheets, apps and online materials for English learners of all ages across the world. His most recent projects are National Geographic Learning’s Keynote and Perspectives, featuring TED Talks.

Lewis is a frequent contributor to the In Focus blog and is currently writing a series on tips for using TED Talks in the ELT classroom.

Watch the video recording here

We hope you enjoy the video and will be able to join the next live webinar. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Did you like this video? Be sure to subscribe to National Geographic Learning webinars featuring Authors, Teacher Trainers, Speakers from the TED Stage, National Geographic Learning explorers and other ELT experts!  SUBSCRIBE HERE

Author: National Geographic Learning

National Geographic Learning’s mission is to bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life. With our English language programs, students learn about their world by experiencing it. Through our partnerships with National Geographic and TED, they develop the language and skills they need to be successful global citizens and leaders.


  1. HELLO , I´ve just got the page recently because yesterday I was in a workshop about the book “OUR WORLD” so ,to use the book is really wonderful and interesting. as a teacher i enjoy of the book also my students. than you for everything you are doing.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We’re so happy you are enjoying working with Our World! Do make sure to explore all of our resources for teachers of young learners, including this blog, the Our World Professional Development Site, NGL.Cengage.com/OurWorldPD, and our free monthly webinars at NGL.Cengage.com/Webinars. You can also connect with us at Facebook.com/NGLYoungLearners and YouTube.com/NGLYoungLearners. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.