Upcoming Panel: Post-Brexit language education
October is shaping up to be one busy month for me. From Amsterdam, I'll be heading to London to co-host a panel on post-Brexit language education.
Not long ago I made a trip with my team from Lingvist to Bratislava, Slovakia for five intensely fun days at the Polyglot Gathering. It was the first time in my life I'd been around so many people for whom language was their way of operating in the world. I had the opportunity to make some new friends and to build up a network of contacts with other polyglots who are also making a career out of their love of languages.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Dimitris Polychronopoulos, a polyglot, intercultural consultant and founder of Yozzi.com, a language learning platform centred around improving writing skills and getting feedback from native speakers. Dmitris is a prolific and incredibly engaging public speaker, with whom I will have the pleasure of hosting the aforementioned panel at the Language Show Live in London.
Having done my grad work in SLA (Second Language Acquisition) and spent over a decade involved in language education, it's a topic that's especially close to me. With the divisive and limiting effects of Brexit already starting to come into effect, foreign language education is an area we have to take special care to preserve and support. Earlier this year, we at Lingvist published some data about language learning in the pre-and-post-Brexit UK.
While adult attitudes are one thing, how our schools, parents, and school administrations approach language learning is something else entirely. The way that language learning is treated in both the classroom and at home can have a profound and lasting effect on a student's outlook and opinion of language in general. Engaging, integrative, and — most of all — self-determining approaches to language education are of the utmost importance. Hopefully, this panel will not only address this issue but provide some insight into real-world, applicable solutions that educators can implement to keep bringing students into the language learning fold.
More details to come, along with a blog post from Dimitris and I on the Language Show blog. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter.