While the EUROSLA conference has been held in the Netherlands before (Nijmegen, 1996) this was the first time in the conference’s 23 year history that Amsterdam has been the host city. It was a popular destination choice as the conference was its biggest ever, with 350 delegates coming from 35 countries to make it a really vibrant few days.
The main sessions and plenaries were in the Oudemanhuispoort building at the University of Amsterdam, which was situated right in the centre of the city with a beautiful quadrant, the canals and second-hand book stalls nearby. We also had the opportunity to go to the University of Amsterdam’s impressive Auditorium for Alison Mackey’s opening plenary “Methodology in SLA Research” and to the recently reopened Amsterdam Museum for the welcome reception.
Another plenary highlight was that of our author Marianne Nikolov who spoke about early foreign language learning. I was pleased to have well-stocked my stand with copies of her book Early Learning of Modern Foreign Languages as there was much interest in it thereafter. That evening we had the conference dinner in the unusual Chinese “Sea Palace” and were treated to many different dishes for us to sample – none of them “typically Dutch” but as it was explained to us, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is typically Dutch!
Kees and Seline from John Benjamins’ kindly took Nina Spada and me out for dinner on the final night. The menu was in contrast to the night before and I have since enjoyed using my newly acquired Dutch word “gezellig” to describe our evening together!
You can see more of my photos from the trip on our facebook page here.