Next week is the second ever Women in Language event. It’s an online conference hosted by Lindsay Williams of Lindsay Does Languages, Kerstin Cable of FluentLanguage.co.uk and yours truly. At the event, we have more than 30 incredible speakers, two panel discussions, lightning talks, live chat, and the chance to win more than $3,000 in prizes through our raffle.
Attending an event like Women in Language is a wonderful experience–you get to listen to inspiring talks, get to know other learners around the world who share your passions, and have the opportunity to get your language learning questions answered by experts.
But in addition to these events being fun social events and a chance to learn, they’re also a great chance to fire up your language learning and give your motivation a boost. Here are seven ways you can do just that at this year’s Women in Language:
1. Attend a talk that you’d normally skip
At events, there are always a few talks that may, on paper, seem like they’re not the best fit for you. Normally, I’d fully recommend skipping talks that don’t seem like they’d interest you and use that time to catch up on other tasks or chat with other attendees. But just because a talk doesn’t sound like something you’d go to doesn’t mean that you should skip it.
For example, if someone’s giving a talk on raising bilingual children but you’re years off from having kids, there are still things you could takeaway:
- Ideas for activities you can do when learning with someone else
- Easy, entry-level resources that you may not have heard of
- Time management tips
As another example, someone may be giving a talk on a language you don’t intend to learn. Why should you attend?
- You learn more about our world’s linguistic diversity
- You may learn techniques that are used to approach that particular language that can be applied to yours
- You may discover a love for a new language (even if you choose not to study it later)
- You learn about resources that may also be available in your language
This Women in Language event, I challenge you to attend at least one talk you’d normally skip. You never know what you may learn!
2. Get to know some of the members of our amazing language community
Language learning can be lonely. You spend a lot of time with your head buried in resources doing this whole thing on your own. Language events a great opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals who get you and share your love of languages. And who knows, you may find a study buddy or exchange partner at an event. At the very least, you’ll certainly make new friends.
3. Ask questions
At events, it’s easy to sit in the background and just observe. There’s already a lot to take in. But if you don’t ask questions, you’re missing out on a valuable chance to have any doubts or concerns you may have answered.
You may have questions that can’t be answered by a certain speaker, but even if you ask them, there’s a good chance that someone else participating in the chat will be able to help you out. Take advantage of the fact you’ll be hanging out with learners and experts at different stages in the game than you.
4. Apply to give a lightning talk
Lightning talks are short 5-10 minutes talks (depending on how many applicants we have) where you can share something cool you’ve learned about your language, teaching languages, learning languages, or anything else language related.
If you’re looking for a little extra challenge, I highly recommend applying to give a lightning talk. You have until next Wednesday (the day before the event to do so) if you’re an attendee!
5. Participate in the Women in Language Facebook group
Leading up to, during, and following the event, attendees are invited to participate in the Women in Language Facebook group. It’s a supportive community where you can share takeaways from the talks you attend, get to know the other attendees, share your successes and struggles in your language, and more.
If you’re struggling with motivation, the community is a great place to get the support you need to pick things back up.
6. Get excited about the raffle!
When you purchase a ticket to the Women in Language event, you are immediately entered into the raffle. There are no extra steps required.
This year we have more than $3,000 worth of prizes that will be fairly split up amongst three raffle winners. These prizes include language learning tools and resources from Drops, Fluent in 3 Months, I Will Teach You a Language, LingQ, Lindsay Does Languages, Fluentlanguage.co.uk, Eurolinguiste, and more.
Getting new language swag is a great way to boost your motivation and by buying a ticket, you’re automatically entered to win.
7. Support another language learner
This year we decided to do something new. In addition to giving 10% of all profits to Wikitongues to support their work with languages around the world (last year we donated to Kiva), we’re also helping fund scholarship tickets to attendees who may not be able to afford a ticket to the Women in Language event.
After buying your ticket, you have the option to help fund another learner’s ticket by making a donation (of any amount). Any money leftover in this pool once all the scholarship tickets are redeemed will also be donated to Wikitongues.
So there you have it. Just seven of the ways you can fire up your language learning at the Women in Language event–there are plenty more!
If you haven’t yet got your ticket, you can sign up here.
And if you have questions about the event, feel free to share them in the comments below. I look forward to seeing you there!
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My name is Shannon Kennedy and I'm the language lover, traveler, and foodie behind Eurolinguiste. I'm also the Resident Polyglot at Drops and the Head Coach of the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge.