GIVING A TALK TO YOURSELF AT A CONFERENCE

SPEAKING AT THE ONLINE POLYGOT GATHERING CONFERENCE 2O22

Last weekend I had the pleasure to attend the annual Polyglot Gathering conference and enjoyed both practising languages and helping other attendees improve their Catalan and English.

Between a session on the Klingon language (more and more popular in this part of the Galaxy), and finding out more about the memorising techniques of a national Belgian memory contest champion, I gave a talk on Artificial Bilingualism (In Spanish with slides in English), that is, raising your children in a language that isn’t your native one. I’ve interviewed many families in Spain who have managed to bring up their children speaking English even though Spanish or Catalan is their native language. If you have a high enough level in English, you could do it too.

Disconcerting

What can be a little disconcerting is giving a talk when you can’t see the audience! In the usual format at this conference, the speaker gives a talk and then answers questions at the end that are written on the screen. It’s the second time I’ve done this, so it wasn’t as bizarre as last year, but you can get the feeling that you are speaking to yourself! I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t alone as I got plenty of questions at the end and found popele in other chatrooms later on who had seen my speech .

The Polygot Gathering is at a live venue in Poland from the 1st-6th June, which I’m unable to attend. Hopefully, from now on, more talks will be held in a face to face format to provide that human feeling again. However, we’ve seen that an online format opens up a talk or workshop to people all over the world.

Contact me for the courses and talks that I give.

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