Inspirational English Learning Lesson
Aimee Mullins:  My 12 Pairs of Legs

Aimee Mullins on the stage giving her TED Talk.

This English learning lesson will probably change how you view prostheses (artificial devices to replace a missing parts of the body).

Aimee Mullins had both legs amputated (surgically removed) when she was a baby so she learned to walk on a prosthetic legs. After walking she later learned how to run so fast that she competed as an international-level sprinter. She set world records at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Aimee has worked as a model and actor too. 

As you will see in this video, Aimee is passionate about looking at prosthetics in a new way.

How to do this lesson:

This English learning lesson gives you an excellent chance to practice your English listening skills. There will definitely be new vocabulary for you. It may be hard to understand but there are learning aids (subtitles, transcript and translations) to help you!

1st:  Watch the video below.

2nd: If you understood the talk, take the quiz to test your comprehension.

Note - If it was really difficult then:

       (a) read the transcript for further practice (see below).
       (b) Or watch the video again with the translation in your language (see below).

       (The video is currently translated in 41 languages).

3rdLeave comments on what you think about the video.

English learning lesson step #2: Quiz 

Check your understanding by taking a short quiz.

Click here to begin.


English learning lesson step #3: 
Read the transcript or watch the video with the translation 

Aimee Mullins

I was speaking to a group of about 300 kids, ages six to eight, at a children's museum, and I brought with me a bag full of legs, similar to the kinds of things you see up here, and had them laid out on a table for the kids.

And, from my experience, you know, kids are naturally curious about what they don't know, or don't understand, or is foreign to them.

They only learn to be frightened of those differences when an adult influences them to behave that way, and maybe censors that natural curiosity, or you know, reins in the question-asking in the hopes of them being polite little kids.

So I just pictured a first grade teacher out in the lobby with these unruly kids, saying, "Now, whatever you do, don't stare at her legs."

But, of course, that's the point. That's why I was there, I wanted to invite them to look and explore. ......

Click here for the full transcript and instructions for how to view the video with a translation in your language.

You can also watch this TED Talk on their website.

English Learning Lesson: Writing Practice

Ready to write?

Everyone hates this part but if you only listen and read, your English will not improve. You have to use it! So, take out a piece of paper and take a minute to write something about the video. 

  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. TED Talks List
  4.  ›
  5. TED Talk: Aimee Mullins TED Talk