Now my intensive German preparation for the C1 Goethe Institut exam is behind me, I’ve finally been able to sit down and finish editing my vlog from Language Show Live (link at the end).
The Show is a huge language teaching and learning fair-meets-educational event held once a year at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, west London.
This was the third year in a row I’ve attended. I blogged on my second visit here. This year, I again visited for two of the three days.
Sessions I attended included a lecture on career paths for linguists in the 21st Century, a panel discussion on opportunities in translation and interpreting and a presentation on working as a lawyer-linguist in the European Court of Justice.
There was a fun workshop on “Have languages lost their mojo?”. “No!” was the conclusion of us gathered languages geeks, believe it or not 🙂 .
There was also a lot put on for school language teachers (i.e. working with pupils under 18) and people active in English as a foreign language. There was a range of language taster classes.
In the exhibition hall I visited as many stands as I could, gorging myself on all that was on offer and wielding my gleaming, new vlogging camera (fresh back from its first outing at the Polyglot Conference in New York City).
I was so focussed on getting the right shot (of an espresso machine) that I almost walked straight past award-winning vlogger Lindsay Dow of lindsaydoeslanguages. Now there’s somebody who (unlike me) would never forget to take her lens cap off! With Lindsay was Kerstin Cable, of fluentlanguage. Kerstin appeared less than ecstatic when I sprung some Welsh on her but rose valiantly to the occasion.
On the subject of “Iaith y Nefoedd” (the Language of Heaven) I was critical last year at the lack of a Welsh for Adults stand and it’s only fair to note that they had one this year. It was manned by “Glyn”, a Welsh language tutor whom I interviewed.
It turned out that this was none other than Glyn Wise. He became something of a celebrity in Wales following his appearance in 2006 – aged only 18 – on the hugely popular UK-wide TV show Big Brother. He had the temerity to speak Welsh live on air which brought on a fit of the vapours for some of the English audience. Good job I only realised “who he was” after I’d got home. Otherwise, I might have been too star-struck to speak to him 😉 .
Standholders included the official bodies such as European Union, the British army, the British Council and the Goethe Institut. I talked about learning Korean with Miss Kim from the King Sejong Institute. Unlike last year, neither the Portuguese Instituto Camões nor the Basque Extepare Institutua were present.
Spanish was inescapable yet again (lots of companies offering language holidays) but I didn’t see anything for Italian.
It was good to see Russian well-represented, by private language schools. I spoke to two: Znaniye (from London) and Exlinguo (St Petersburg/Novosibirsk).
Sarah, from TV5, told me about what that channel offers online for free for French learners.
I remember the publisher Gateway to Arabic from last year and this year I interviewed the owner.
I saw intriguing language maps from Linguisticator and it was great to meet the friendly guys from Flashsticks again.
There was a youthful, start-up buzz around many such stands. Others included EuroTalk, HelloTalk and Interlinear books (though Linas managed to describe his own native tongue (Lithuanian), Swedish and Greek as “peripheral” European languages. Not sure where that leaves my beloved Welsh and Basque 😉 ).
It was really impressive to see so many such companies, many of them small, but all with lots of enthusiasm for their wares. I’ve included as many products as I could in the vlog, though I should stress that I haven’t road-tested any of them myself (yet)(and haven’t any sponsorship or payment deals with them). The idea is to give you a sense of what’s out there and what I discovered on the day.
The dates for the next Language Show Live in London are 14 to 16 October 2016. It’s free, but it’s best to register first online (they send you tickets). In an exciting new development, the first Scottish version of the event will be held in Glasgow on 11 and 12 March 2016.
Without further ado, here’s the vlog; all shaky camera, jump cuts and lots to fire you up for more language learning.