Apply to speak in 2024!

Apply to speak at this year’s Polyglot Conference Global by filling in the application form here:


We have a packed programme this year at Polyglot Conference Global. Participants can expect the following activities throughout the 4 days we have together between 7-10 October:

  • Some speaker presentations will be pre-recorded and available for you to view whenever you like during the conference.
  • There will be some LIVE presentations for you to join too. These will be recorded and later made available to watch whenever you like.
  • Q&A sessions will be added as speakers confirm their time slots and these will appear on the dynamic programme in the Live Environment.
  • 50+ recorded italki lessons in a LOT of languages!
  • Offers, deals, discounts and fun with our other partners and sponsors TBC!
  • Language exchanges hosted by community members, including a number already agreed to be hosted by Olga Koeva
  • A multilingual concert by Olga Koeva
  • More things will be added to the programme as the days go on. Remember that this is a dynamic programme and YOU can also get involved!
  • Previously unreleased videos from Polyglot Conferences and The Language Event!


These are last year’s speakers and the recordings of their talks will be available for you this year too!

Indian linguistic resurgence through the lens of NEP-2020 (LIVE) rishna — Dr Devina Krishna

The following talk discusses the issue of language endangerment, a fact of contemporary times. This has become a big threat to the Indian multilingualism. The process of NEP-2020 has been initiated to provide a space to local languages. This is a way to proceed towards language resurgence. Languages should be considered holistically at the National level. Languages should be taught to the wider society so that there is greater circulation of the codes. The work addresses the critical issue of language endangerment in Indian scenario and ways to protect the dying codes. It strives to present ways through which languages could be saved, keeping NEP 2020 in mind. It will highlight the key features of NEP framework and also ways by which linguistic codes could be revived. Local languages could be saved leading to the resurgence of marginal languages. Languages die but it is through human effort that those could be saved.

The Polyglots of Dardistan (REC) — Zubair Torwali

Dardistan is one of the most diverse linguistic regions in the world. In the 1930s, the Norwegian linguist Georg Morgenstierne called it one of the most polyglot parts of Asia. More recently, the Italian anthropologist Augusto Cacopardo has called it ‘Peristan’, an area with an ‘enormous diversity of tongues and cultures’. The region has the large Dardic languages such as Kashmiri, Shina and Khowar on the one hand and, on the other, it is home to the Burushaski language, which could not be placed within any language family because of its unique features. The Nuristani, formerly Kafiri, languages are spoken here, too. There are minor languages such as Kalasha, spoken by the Kalash community of hardly 4,000 people who still follow the ancient animistic religion that was once practised across Dardistan.

Sociopolitical forces and language learning: The case of the Arabic language in Israel (LIVE) — Eyal Pery

As of 2023, 21% of Israel’s citizens are Muslim and Christian Arabs. These Israeli/Palestinian Arabs speak Arabic as their L1 and Hebrew as L2, usually at a fluent level and above. Also, Arabic is one of 3 “formal” languages in Israel (alongside Hebrew and English).

Despite all the above, the majority of Israeli Jews don’t speak Arabic, even Arab Jews that their parents, and grandparents spoke the language. This allegedly “pedagogical failure” goes beyond the “usual” situation of second language teaching in education systems.

In general, it is only through the lens of the Israeli-Arab conflict that this issue can be fully understood. It is strongly related to the presentation of Arabic as the “enemy’s language”, the influence of the army, current/past conflicts, and the geo-political context.

The goal of this talk is to introduce the special case of the Arabic language in Israel. I will focus on the historical background, cultural-social aspects and I will share insights and thoughts from my experience as an Israeli Jew who learns Arabic.

I am sure this unique point of view can provide many new ideas and perspectives regarding the more hidden aspects of language learning, especially when taking place within a very strong social-political context.

Lessons from Computational Linguistics and Non-Natural Languages (LIVE) — Gordon Lichtstein

This talk delves into what we can learn from computational linguistics and from non-natural languages (constructed languages), including discussions of how we can use developments of modern computational linguistics (particularly machine learning) to inform our language learning process, and what constructed languages can tell us about how our brains process language.

Machine learning is taking over computational linguistics, and a big data approach has tended to be most successful in tackling long-standing problems in linguistics (such as that of ellipses, the topic of my research). This gives us insight into what works for humans learning languages (massive amounts of input), and this is just one example of something we can learn from modern computational linguistics.

Non-natural languages, also called constructed languages, often push the bounds of what a language is. Toki Pona is a language with around 120 words, designed to be as simple as possible. Lojban is designed to have completely unambiguous grammar. By observing these extreme forms of language such as these, we can gain a better understanding of how our brains process language, and leverage this understanding to develop better language learning strategies.

Singlish: Made in a Fishing Village (REC) — Loy Xing-Yi

Developed in Singapore in colonial times as the language of the streets, Singlish has since become a cornerstone of Singaporean culture and an integral part of our daily life. Singlish is a creole language of English that integrates various Chinese dialects, Malay, and Tamil to reflect the racial and cultural diversity of Singapore society.

In this talk, we trace the journey of Singlish from its humble beginnings in a fishing port to its prominence and importance in today’s society. I aim to go into detail about the creation and formation of Singlish, as well as the differing perceptions that many have regarding its status and value as a language.

Finding Creative Ways to Learn Languages (LIVE) — Tiffany Hallmark

I want to present a talk about non-conventional resources for language learning. This will contain a brief overview of the “usual” ways people learn languages. Once that is done, I will look towards some of the more unique ways that I have found to learn languages. This will include etymology dives, making friends online, and how to find resources for obscure languages. I intend to share ways to utilize the internet and social media for languages that aren’t well represented in many of the apps. A majority of the talk will be in English, but I will be presenting certain ideas in the language that I use the resource in. While the following isn’t that far off from the regular methods, I will also mention types of books to read. This talk is aimed at those that are trying to gather material for a lesser known or less popular language.

Africans are Polyglots and the world needs to acknowledge this (LIVE) — Lorna Likiza

I will be talking about the many languages spoken in Africa and touching on why the rest of the world often does not seem to acknowledge this. I will also talk about why there’s currently a need to make Kiswahili (which is my first language) an official African language and also mention the African literary scene (which I’m a part of) and the involvement of African languages in it.

Please note that I will only include some words in Kiswahili in my talk, here and there and not use entire sentences in Kiswahili and I will give a reason why.

Church Slavonic (LIVE) — Ian Aleshkevich-Suslov

The Key to Learning Slavic Languages
Slavic languages are known for being daunting, but if you learn one you can learn any other, as many polyglots may know. But which one should you learn first? Which one should you learn second? Regardless of which one you learn first, following it up with Old Church Slavonic, the first attested Slavic language, will immensely help you on your Slavic journey as it offers you the key to understanding all the similarities and differences in Slavic languages so that you could easily understand them without having learned them! In this talk we will have a look at the history of Old Church Slavonic and how it elucidates the relationships between the modern Slavic languages from the viewpoint of phonetics, allowing one to instantly recognise cognates in new Slavic languages without having learned them! We will also see how much more similar they all appear once you make the connections that usually escape the average learner, and how to best utilise the knowledge of Church Slavonic for your Slavic studies!

The Many Faces of Rusyn (LIVE) — Ian Aleshkevich-Suslov

Rusyn is a fascinating East Slavic language (or rather, a group of closely related yet distinct dialects) spoken across Eastern Europe: in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine. Rusyn combines some archaic features with innovations from neighbouring West Slavic languages, making for a phonetically and grammatically refreshing language, compared to the mostly homogenous East Slavic languages. Its uniqueness is further compounded by the fact that the different dialects are all quite distinct in all aspects of grammar and vocabulary, and in this talk you will see samples of the different varieties of Rusyn compared to each other as well as to the other East Slavic languages, and we will also examine the influence of Hungarian on the different Rusyn dialects. Additionally, we will have a brief look at the history of the Rusyn people, and the contributions that they have made to art and science, both in Europe and in America. Finally, you will receive a wealth of resources for further study of this wonderful language and its people!

Latin Language Exchange (LIVE) — Ian Aleshkevich-Suslov

An opportunity for people to converse in Latin about their favourite subjects: from movies to video games, from Thomas Aquinas to quantum mechanics, from the history of Latin in Hungary to its modern use – all is fair game at our language exchange where the participants will discuss their topics one-on-one with supervision from the advanced speakers.

The 10 secrets to help you learn any language like never before (LIVE) — Elisa Polese

– ‘Why don’t I make progress?!’
– ‘I know a lot of grammar, but I can’t speak’
– ‘It’s hard to find time to study’

If so, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one point or another.
And if you’ve struggled to make the progress you’d hoped for with one or more languages in the past, it’s not your fault.

Anyone can learn a language and even multiple languages at the same time, without mixing them up.

By following the right method and tips, you’ll be able to progress without struggling.

I’m revealing my top 10 tips during the talk – don’t miss out!

Harnessing LLMs to Revolutionize Translation (LIVE) — David Allen Martin II

Machine translation has improved tremendously in recent years thanks to advances in deep learning and large language models (LLMs). In this talk, I will discuss how LLMs are transforming the field of translation. I will provide examples of how these models enable more fluent, human-like translation across a variety of languages and domains, better handling of ambiguity and multiple possible translations, improved translation of idioms, slang, and culturally-dependent phrases, ability to learn from context and translate accordingly, integration of external world knowledge to improve translations, handling of typos, misspellings, and ungrammatical input, translation of low-resource languages with limited parallel data, zero-shot translation between language pairs never seen before, improved gender-neutral translation and handling of gendered languages, ability to assign confidence scores to translations, fast adaptation to new domains with limited in-domain data, better preservation of original meaning and sentiment, consistent handling of honorifics across languages, translation of code-switching and mixed-language content, handling of dialectical variations like Standard versus Swiss German, and overall improved robustness and handling of translatological edge cases. Finally, I will also address current limitations and ethical considerations, as well as future opportunities as LLMs continue to evolve. My goal is to give the audience a look into how LLMs are driving translation to new heights.

How I butcher Hungarian (LIVE) — Timothy E.L. Douglas

When I heard that the Polyglot Conference was going to be in Budapest, I decided to learn Hungarian, and I am very glad that I did. It is so exotic, so unlike other languages I have learned, but I love the accent… It is certainly a challenge, but as I encourage others to learn languages, I should be willing to accept challenges myself! I have set myself the challenge of giving a talk in Hungarian: I LOVE BUTCHERING languages, I encourage others to speak badly without fear of mistakes, as the Hungarian polyglot Lomb Kató said “A nyelv az egyetlen, amit rosszul érdemes tudni” (Language is the only thing worth knowing even badly), so I will butcher Hungarian for everyone in Budapest while telling you about how I butchered this intriguing language 😉

Native learners? (LIVE) — Jack Pulman-Slater

When I heard that the Polyglot Conference was going to be in Budapest, I decided to learn Hungarian, and I am very glad that I did. It is so exotic, so unlike other languages I have learned, but I love the accent… It is certainly a challenge, but as I encourage others to learn languages, I should be willing to accept challenges myself! I have set myself the challenge of giving a talk in Hungarian: I LOVE BUTCHERING languages, I encourage others to speak badly without fear of mistakes, as the Hungarian polyglot Lomb Kató said “A nyelv az egyetlen, amit rosszul érdemes tudni” (Language is the only thing worth knowing even badly), so I will butcher Hungarian for everyone in Budapest while telling you about how I butchered this intriguing language 😉

What Polyglots Can Teach Us about Language Maintenance (REC) — Claudia Pellegrini

Polyglot studies are a fringe phenomenon in academia. In my doctoral thesis I have investigated into polyglottism as well as into the unexplored phenomenon of language maintenance of multiple languages from a Dynamic Model of Multilingualism perspective. First, I will give you an introduction into the theoretical background of the study. Then, I will present you some of the findings. Participants were recruited at the Polyglot Conference in Thessaloniki in 2016 and at the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava in 2017. Language learning experts such as Alexander Argüelles or Richard Simcott were interviewed on their maintenance strategies along with other 16 language lovers. To counter gradual language loss, participants put great effort into maintenance and use a variety of strategies which they skillfully orchestrate. I attempted a classification of maintenance strategies and, as a high school teacher, reflected on their transferability to the language classroom.

The teacher and the machine (LIVE) — Philippe Rendulić

Why do polyglots succeed in language learning while students across the globe still struggle in the classroom? What have 50 years of research in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) taught us about how humans learn languages? Which key findings every language learners can benefit from knowing? What are Large Language Models (LLM) bringing as threats and opportunities?

This talk is aiming to bridge the gap between practice and science. After a short introduction to the field of SLA, I’ll present the seminal study of Elley & Mangughai (1983). In this experiment, 380 pupils of 8 rural schools in the Fiji Islands had their daily 30 minutes of english instruction replaced by reading. After eight months, their progress in reading and listening comprehension was twice the normal rate confirming that compelling input can outperform traditional language instructions.

LLMs are on the rise. With instant-translation becoming ubiquitous, it is the need for learning a language as a whole that seems to be undermined.
Yet, when used to help us design a pleasant experience by finding compelling stories based on our interests and tailored to our comprehension level, tracking our progress and suggesting the next content to gradually improve, their potential is tremendous.

A developed framework to perform contrastive analisis of phraseological units in the combination of languages German-English-Spanish (REC) — Rubén Medina Serrano

This research conceptualizes decision support for translators and professionals in writing reports using multilingual equivalents of phraseological units in specialized fields such as Supply Chain Management (SCM) or auditing. The ability to choose the correct phraseological units that are most appropriate within a specialized context is necessary in the globalization of business in order to support processes within firms efficiently. This study also examines the roles of translators, as well as professionals in charge of auditing reports, defining control inspections, creating multilingual procurement contracts, and their influence on firms performance. This research presents mechanisms and ways by which phraseological units can be classified and analyzed in a structured and efficient manner based on a case study in an electronics firm located in Germany: (1) presents a developed framework that enables translators, practitioners and researchers to develop dynamic capabilities; and (2) explains how dynamic capabilities enabled by practitioners provide the knowledge to analyze phraseological units in specialized fields such as SCM in an effective and efficient way, so that successful translations create added value for firms. The training on dynamic skills enabled in the areas of multilingual translation in specialized fields is considered an important factor for competitive performance.
This research study aims to provide a guide for future researchers by identifying the main criteria and subcriteria for conducting a contrastive analysis of phraseological units following the object class theory and the skopos theory.

Revolutionizing Language Learning: Engaging Tools for Every Age (LIVE) — Elmedina Hodžić

In my online presentation I would like to speak about different online tools we can use for learning and teaching languages.
I started with online classes during pandemic like many of the teachers. I began with a classic method of teaching but at the same time I wanted to make it interesting for my students who were from 7 to 77 years old. So I invested my time in education and making super fun quizzes, videos, presentations and games for my students to make them pay attention more during the classes.
Learning languages doesn’t have to be boring or difficult, especially now when we have a lot of online available tools which can make the process easier, funny and interesting. Why not use them, especially if many of them are free or have the free version?
During these past two years, reactions of my students were great so they recommended me to other students so my little community on Instagram grew every day and the numbers of students attending my classes went from 10 per month to 50-60 per month.
There are so many teachers and professors of languages out there offering their services via social media.
Wouldn’t be great to make your offer more attractive to your potential new students?

Tobias Dickmeis — Chat with Tobias, co-founder of Tandem (LIVE)

Tobias is the co-founder of the language exchange community Tandem. In this Q&A session he will take your questions about Tandem, language exchange, and how to start and run a language business.

How to maintain multiple languages? Methods and techniques for faster learning and better memorization (LIVE) — Patrick Geneit

Learning multiple languages, especially when they share a common ancestor, can be accelerated by studying cognates, etymology, common grammar patterns and phonetic similarities. Even unrelated languages can share patterns that transcend entire language families. That can be good method to memorize vocabulary in many different languages. This talk will give you an overview over all factors that you can consider for your future multilingual studies. One last thing if you wanna start trying those techniques before the talk: Which season of the year does the German word “Herbst” refer to? I’ll give you a hint – the English cognate form is “harvest”. If you found the solution yourself, it should be much easier to remember the German word from now on – see you at the talk!

Transform your life thanks to multiple languages (My polyglot story) (LIVE) — Dr. Margareta de la Infanta

How do you use your languages to improve quality of your life? In my talk, I will present my personal information, how to change your life thanks to the knowledge of foreign languages, how you can use languages and linguistic method as a research tool in your master/doctoral thesis, for parents, I will share suggestions of how to raise a multilingual child.

Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages — The role of social media in accessibility of language learning resources for lesser studied languages. (LIVE)

In January 2023, I completed my MA dissertation on this topic. I closely explored the role of social media in providing access to Guarani language learning resources. Although an official language in multiple countries & regions of South America, Guarani is a language with limited resources available, especially outside of these geographical regions. Therefore, I was curious to discover how social media could expand the reach of Guarani educational resources both within and beyond the region.

Using a combination of surveys and interviews with owners of social media profiles sharing and teaching Guarani, this research demonstrates that social media has the potential to positively influence language learning and increase accessibility to resources for lesser studied languages and to become one of the most disruptive language learning resources in modern times. One of the principal reasons for this is that social media provides free and accessible platforms for educators to share language resources. However, the number of serious learners using social media as a resource is predicted to be low by participants.

This presentation will take this research further & examine ways in which numbers of serious learners using social media can be increased. Are there things content creators can do? Is it solely the responsibility of the learners? Or is social media not conducive for this purpose?

Норвежское языковое разнообразие / Norwegian language diversity / Norwegische Sprachvielfalt / Norvega lingvodiverseco (LIVE) — Kira Polischuk

У нас у всех на слуху понятие “норвежский язык” и складывается впечатление, что он один в том же плане, в каком, например, английский или немецкий считается одним языком (хоть и с региональными различиями). Каково же наше удивление, когда мы начинаем учить норвежский и узнаём, что под норвежским обычно имеется в виду только один из двух норвежских языков – букмол, а есть ещё нюнорск. А если копнуть ещё глубже, то всплывают другие языковые нормы, такие, как самнорск, риксмол, ланнсмол, хёгнорск… Возникает много логичных вопросов: что есть что и зачем, и как это всё отличить друг от друга? Даже многие норвежцы и иные специалисты по норвежскому языку не до конца знают. Мне же доводилось общаться с представителями всех ныне живых норвежских норм и читать тексты на мёртвых нормах. На моей лекции мы с вами разберёмся, что они все такое и с чем их едят. Приходите, жду вас!

When you hear the word “Norwegian” you get the impression that it is one language in the same way that, for example, English or German are considered one language (though with regional differences). Of course you are surprised when you start learning Norwegian and find out that “Norwegian” usually means only one of the two Norwegian languages – Bokmål, and there is also Nynorsk. And if you dig even deeper, then you come across other language norms, such as Samnorsk, Riksmål, Landsmål, Høgnorsk… Naturally, a lot of questions arise: what is what and why it exists, and how to distinguish all of them from each other? Many Norwegians and even some specialists in the Norwegian language do not fully know. I have had the opportunity to communicate with representatives of all living Norwegian language norms and to read texts in the dead norms. At my talk, we will figure out what they are all about. Come, I’m waiting for you!

Wir hören alle das Wort „Norwegisch“ und haben den Eindruck, dass es eine Sprache ist, so wie beispielsweise Englisch oder Deutsch als eine Sprache betrachtet werden (wenn auch mit regionalen Unterschieden). Wie groß ist unsere Überraschung, wenn wir anfangen, Norwegisch zu lernen, und feststellen, dass Norwegisch normalerweise nur eine der zwei norwegischen Sprachen bedeutet – Bokmål, und es auch Nynorsk gibt. Und wenn man noch tiefer gräbt, dann tauchen andere Sprachnormen auf, wie Samnorsk, Riksmål, Landsmål, Høgnorsk… Es erheben sich logischerweise viele Fragen: Was ist was und wozu und wie kann man das alles voneinander unterscheiden? Selbst viele Norweger und manche Spezialisten für Norwegisch kennen sich nicht vollständig aus. Ich hatte Gelegenheit, mit Vertretern aller lebenden norwegischen Normen zu kommunizieren und Texte in den toten Normen zu lesen. In meinem Vortrag werden wir herausfinden, worum es geht. Kommt, ich warte auf euch!

Ni ĉiuj aŭdas la vorton “la norvega” kaj havas la impreson, ke ĝi estas unu lingvo sammaniere, ke ekzemple la angla aŭ la germana estas konsiderata unu lingvo (kvankam kun regionaj diferencoj). Kiom surprizitaj ni estas, kiam ni eklernas la norvegan kaj ekscias, ke “la norvega” kutime signifas nur unu el la du norvegaj lingvoj – la bukmolo, kaj ekzistas ankaŭ la ninorsko. Kaj se oni fosas eĉ pli profunde, tiam aperas aliaj lingvaj normoj, kiel samnorsko, riksmolo, lansmolo, hjognorsko… Multaj logikaj demandoj aperas: kio estas kio kaj por kio, kaj kiel distingi ĉion tion unu de la alia? Eĉ multaj norvegoj kaj iuj specialistoj pri la norvega lingvo ne tute scias. Mi havis okazon komuniki kun reprezentantoj de ĉiuj vivantaj norvegaj normoj kaj legi tekstojn pri la mortintaj normoj. En mia prelego, ni eltrovos pri kio ili temas. Venu, mi atendas vin!

Input 2.0: The Future of Language Learning with Video and Text (LIVE) — Jon (Jiang) Long

In this talk, we will uncover the transformative power of modern input-focused language acquisition techniques. This comprehensive talk explores essential theories like Stephen Krashen’s Input Hypothesis and reveals the neurolinguistic edge provided by video input, backed by pioneering dual coding and modality principles. Discover the future of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) with an introduction to technologies such as Language Reactor, LingQ, and Language Player, platforms that leverages these theories to offer unparalleled language learning experiences. From theoretical grounding to tech innovations, this talk will show you some of the most effective input methods for language learning.

Code-Switching, Indigenous Language and Machine Learning applied to Today's Challenges (LIVE) — Aldo Jansel

I will be exploring how code-switching and Machine Learning can help us learn languages and unearth hidden secrets of ancestral wisdom.

How to be confident to speak French even if you are not bilingual (REC) — Yasmine Lesire


✓ Tips to train your voice in French and get used to hear you speak French. Did you know that if you’ve studied the subjonctif you are closer to the advanced level than the beginner level ?

✓ How to create a routine to be more confident in French. Confidence in a foreign language is a skill we learn in the long run. You can be confident even if you are not bilingual.

なぜストーリーを使うのか?:最適なインプットから厚いコンテクストまで、 そしてその先へ… — Cade Bushnell

最適なインプット(Krashen & Mason, 2020)を得る方法として、ストーリーを使うことのいくつかの利点に触れてみます。特に、SLAにおけるストーリーの有効性、なぜストーリーの使用が効果的であると思われるか、そしてモチベーションや言語教育全般という大きな観点からストーリーを使用することの価値を考えて行きたいです。

Using different languages online: Language alternation in a text-based language learning environment from a conversation analytic perspective — Kirsten Ulbrich

The world is continuously becoming more connected. As a result, many people are capable of using more than one language. The development of the worldwide web provided the basis for online interaction. Tandem interaction, the interaction between two interactants who aim to learn each other’s first language, has been brought to the text-based digital environment through the language learning application Tandem. It has been observed that learners frequently alternate between languages in text-based Tandem language interaction. Thus, it is crucial to understand how language learners make use of different languages available to them when learning languages.

Research on language learning has shown that it is beneficial to employ a microanalytic perspective such as (digital) conversation analysis. In conversation analysis the interaction is looked at from a message-by-message approach and the unfolding of the interaction can be examined in depth. In this study, 94 chat logs with different language combinations have been analyzed. In the analysis, the focus was on instances of language alternation in so-called “language learning sequences”. In those, learners displayed understanding of the language through statements such as “Now, I understood”.

In my presentation, I will show where and how learners alternated languages in language learning sequences in order to ensure mutual understanding or initiate in teaching/learning. Especially, when learners have noticed mistakes either made by themselves or by their language learning partner, they alternate languages to make sure that the partner can fully understand the correction. Language learners also alternate languages when indicating uncertainty about their produced utterance in the newly learnt language and inviting the language learning partner to correct them. Further, language learners used different means to illustrate the difference between the languages used.

Mi aprendizaje del idioma nahuatl — Carlo Téllez Withbrown

Mi experiencia aprendiendo náhuatl de Puebla, dificultades y retos aprendiendo esta hermosa lengua mexicana que tiene una historia muy antigua e interesante.

The Transformative Power of Languages for Students (LIVE) — Lamar Shambley and Melquin Ramos

When looking at the international education field, global education programs and services oftentimes focus on college-bound learners. Lamar Shambley, Founder and Executive Director of Teens of Color Abroad (TOCA), created TOCA with the mission of creating global language learning and cultural exchange opportunities for high school students of color. Our in-person Spanish language immersion program in Seville, Spain is offered to Brooklyn-based rising juniors and seniors. While in Seville, students participate in local homestays, take 30+ hours of language training, and engage in culturally immersive activities. TOCA Online is our virtual language learning and cultural exchange program that allows U.S. high school students of color to study Arabic, Spanish, or French, taught by refugee conversation partners dispersed worldwide. TOCA Online participants are between 13 to 18 years old and are based throughout the U.S.
In this session, we will share about TOCA and what inspired this work, the cognitive effects that learning languages has on learners, the outcomes that language learning has on college completion, and considerations that practitioners should consider when forming partnerships to execute these types of programs. In addition, we will share the impact that our programs have had on our students throughout their high school and college years.

Reviving an Ancient Language: Awabakal (LIVE) — Brian Loo Soon Hua

Awabakal is the first Australian Aboriginal language to be written down and recorded. It was the traditional language of the Newcastle – Lake Macquarie area in New South Wales, just north of Sydney. The earliest writings include vocabulary and snippets of basic phrases and dialogue written by European settlers from the late 18th Century to the middle of the 19th Century. Later, a Bible translation was written by an English missionary. This talk will focus on the tedious task of reviving a language that has not been actively spoken since the late 19th century. Texts analysed include Bible translations, detailed word lists and a grammar as well as later recordings of speakers of related languages.

Whistle Talk: An Introduction to Silbo Canario, of the Canary Islands (Spain) — Teacher Patchy

Delve into the captivating world of Silbo Canario in this beginner’s guide. In just one hour, immerse yourself in the Canary Islands’ ancient whistled language, a unique form of communication that has echoed through the islands for over a millennium.

Universal Gestures: Delving into International Sign Language — Tony Nabarro

Dive deep into the world of International Sign Language in this beginner’s guide. Within an hour, immerse yourself in the universal sign language that bridges communication gaps across countries. Embark on a unique signing journey with Tony!

Esperanto 101: Discovering the World's Most Famous Constructed Language — Teacher Konstanze

Dive into the captivating world of Esperanto in this beginner’s guide. Within an hour, immerse yourself in the language envisioned to bridge cultures and foster global understanding. Embark on a linguistic adventure with Konstanze and uncover the beauty of this constructed international language!

Hungarian Essentials with Teo : Preparing for the Polyglot Conference — Teacher Teo

Join Teo, a passionate Hungarian teacher with a love for Latin culture, in a 4-lesson journey to grasp the basics of Hungarian. Whether you’re attending the Polyglot Conference in person or just eager to dive into a new language, these lessons will equip you with practical knowledge to communicate confidently.

Quechua Essentials: Unlock the Soul of the Andes (LIVE) — Daniel Silva Ramos

Embark on a journey into Quechua, the heart of Andean culture. Grasp essential sentence structures, greetings, and courtesy phrases. Dive deep into the profound cultural significance of “runa” and “pacha” in the Quechua heritage.

A presentation of an online language educational game called Vortoj — Krystof Klestil

The game combines movement with learning/practicing a language with options for focusing on vocabulary but also grammar through a gap-filling mode. The game is played with dancepads and is freely available as an online webapp. The project was supported by EU and also comes with an online database that can be accessed and new content can be proposed by anyone.

Master Lemon: Calling for Untranslatable words — Julio Santi

In the realm of language learning and appreciation, few mediums hold the power of stories. ‘Master Lemon: The Tree of Languages’ is more than just a game; it is a testament to the fervor of a passionate polyglot and an homage to enduring friendship. Based on a true tale, the pixel art-driven game immerses players in the adventures of Lemon, a devoted language learner on a mission to save the languages of the world from forgetfulness. As Lemon battles oblivion, the game unravels the importance of memories, the beauty of languages, and the challenges of puzzle-solving.

But beneath its vibrant graphics and compelling storyline, ‘Master Lemon’ bears the weight of real emotions. It stands as a loving tribute to André Lima, a dynamic language enthusiast whose zest for life and languages found him amidst the Icelandic landscapes, eloquently conversing in the native tongue. Tragically departing at a youthful 28, André’s story is neither of sorrow nor despair but of inspiration and eternal bonds. Crafted by his friend Julio Santi, ‘Master Lemon’ stands as a poignant celebration of the dreams he shared with André and as a beacon reminding us of the profound ways languages connect us, not just with the world but also with each other.

Learn, in the conference, how you can be a part of the game and contribute to Lemon’s journey.