As a musician, I’m used to being in circumstances where I’m the only girl. While there are more and more female musicians entering the ranks, it’s still pretty unusual. In a way, this has become “normal” for me.
When I entered the language learning space and many of the well-known figures and speakers were men, it didn’t strike me as unusual.
But much like in music, as I started attending more events, entering more discussion forums, and sharing what I do, I came to realize that there are a lot of women in language doing amazing things.
Two of these women, Lindsay Williams and Kerstin Cable, have become close friends. And they too have met tons of inspiring polyglots, educators, and enthusiasts with incredible stories.
So we decided to team up to give them a place to share their stories.
There are a lot of conversations about language learning and teaching that don’t happen as often as they should.
- How do you continue your language studies when you’re busy with kids?
- How do you experience immersion when you’re studying a language spoken in a country where women’s rights are limited?
- How do you stay motivated when dealing with something like postpartum depression? Or pregnancy fatigue?
- How important are BOTH parents’ roles in a child’s language development (we usually only see one side of the discussion)?
- How do you enter a sphere filled with those living a nomadic lifestyle? What about those with a 9-5? How are they fitting language in?
- What do you do when your language exchange partners just all seem to want to hit on you?
- How can you avoid feeling intimidated when you attend a language gathering or meet up and you’re the only female in the room?
While these conversations do happen, in part, they’re often not easy to find. And when you do find them, if you’re anything like me, you’re afraid to join in or even initiate a discussion because you’re worried you’ll be judged or criticized.
And when the conversation is mostly online (and with language learning that seems to be the case), things can head south quickly.
Meet Women in Language, a New Event
With Women in Language, our goal is to provide a welcoming community to bring conversations beyond where they are today. The discussions going on in the language world are fantastic, and our goal is to continue to add to them, bring in new voices, and take them to new places.
We’ve chosen to do so with an all-female lineup of speakers. Not because we want to exclude men, in fact, men are very welcome at the event! But because we want to offer new perspectives, to give those who haven’t really had the chance to showcase their experience to do so, and to talk about language in new contexts.
Because women’s issues are human issues. And topics that may have historically been reserved as ‘girl talk’, need to become just ‘talk’.
Men are parents, too. Men are also present in settings where women are the minority. Inviting them in rather than isolating them would be a benefit to both. Not all men desire to chase after a nomadic lifestyle. And men play a critical role supporting their partners as they experience things like pregnancy, postpartum, and harassment.
But even in the more traditional language discussions, women have a lot to add.
As Lindsay said beautifully in her post, “Not every female around the world would feel confident enough to put herself and her language learning out there for all the world to see.”
So what exactly is this Women in Language event?
Women In Language is a unique online event designed to champion, celebrate, and amplify the voices of women in language learning.
This is a new event in 2018 so we’re really excited about the potential impact of Women In Language.
We’ve gathered an inspiring all-female lineup of over 25 speakers who are experts from all walks of language life: polyglots, industry veterans, full-time world travelers, teaching experts, academic professors, and innovators.
Presentations are themed on four key areas:
- Starting Languages – perfect if you’re just in the early stages and need a leg up to learn languages better on your own
- Mastering Languages – exactly what you need if you’ve already studied a couple of languages or one to a reasonable level and you’re ready to take things further
- Living with Languages – a great range of presentations about language in your everyday life. From positive language learning for kids to living abroad
- Working with Languages – curious about the various ways you can bring languages into your working life? There’s plenty here for you too
Why should I attend this event?
By attending Women In Language, you’re aligning yourself with a positive message that shows you support a diversity of voices in language. This is a strong message that can only have a ‘ripple effect’ to increase the diversity of public-facing language folk in the future.
Secondly, all the presentations are live, not pre-recorded, meaning that you’ve got the benefit of being able to ask questions and share your own opinions and thoughts in the discussion for each presentation.
Finally, you’ll also receive recordings of the presentations, a digital notebook for the event, and access to a private Facebook Group before, during and for 6 weeks after the event.
And finally, with 10% of profits from ticket sales going to Kiva, a charity supporting international entrepreneurs, you know you’re helping aspiring entrepreneurs across the world.
When is the event?
The Women in Language online event starts March 8 and ends March 11. However, when you purchase your ticket, you get access to the video replays so that you can watch them at your convenience.
Ok, I’m sold. How do I enroll?
Click here to enroll and then here’s what happens next…
1. You click “Register” above and are taken to the checkout.
2. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, we’ll send you an email right away with details about the event and your free Women In Language Calendar so you don’t miss your favorite talk.
3. You get ready to join us when Women In Language kicks off on 8th March!
Is this event just for women?
Nope! This event is for you if…
- You are learning a language at any level (or want to) and would love to hear some expert voices discuss topics to help you go further and do more with your languages
- You work with languages (or want to) within any capacity and enjoy hearing different perspectives and knowledge on working with languages
- You live abroad (or want to!) and are keen to learn about the experiences and tips of others in your shoes
- You want to learn from a broad range of female voices within language learning.
I’m a man/gender non-binary/I don’t identify as a woman. Can I still attend?
Absolutely. This is an event designed to showcase some of the many women doing many amazing things in the world of languages. That means that although the speakers are all female, the audience is definitely not. In fact, we encourage you to attend regardless of your gender. It’s important everyone sees how much awesome stuff is being done by women in language.
What if I can’t attend the talks live?
No problem! You will have lifetime access to all the talks after the event so can catch up as and when suits you. Also, before, during, and for the 6 weeks following the event, you will have free access to the Women In Language Facebook Group that will be a place you can ask questions to Kerstin, Lindsay, me, and even some of the speakers at the event. So you won’t be left behind!
You aren’t going to just talk about kids and stuff, are you?
Nope! Those were just examples of some of the discussions that are often “off the table”. We’re going to talk about all things language from a female perspective.We do have speakers who will talk about raising multilingual children, but men will find equal value in these lectures.
Sign me up!
Tickets for the 2018 event cost $29 and will only be available for purchase before and during the event. That’s just over a dollar per speaker!
Oh, and it goes without saying, men (and anyone else who doesn’t identify as a woman) are not only welcome to attend Women In Language, but encouraged to do so.
The event is of interest to anyone who loves language, regardless of your gender.
To learn more about the presentations and the speakers, click here to get your ticket.
See you there!
Women In Language is a brand new live online event. Over 25 speakers. 4 days. 1 unforgettable showcase of awesome women doing amazing things in language.
I hope you’re feeling inspired and looking forward to Women In Language! It’s going to be a blast! Have you got your ticket?
Which talks are you looking forward to most?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.