It was the University of Queensland’s turn to host CAUTHE this year and the conference was held in the Sofitel in Brisbane – with a lovely view for us exhibitors of Anzac Square. Noel Scott and his team of volunteers did a great job of organising especially as there were more delegates this year!
As usual, it was a successful trip for Channel View and a great chance to catch up with a lot of our authors and meet new people.
There were some thought-provoking keynotes from Stefan Gössling and Ulrike Gretzel and the Great Debate was won by the Aussies this year – in keeping with general sporting results!
UQ arranged for the conference cocktail reception to be held at the Customs House situated on Eagle St Pier, which was a lovely venue with great views of the Story Bridge – designed by the same man who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge (fun fact!)
The conference finished with a great evening of dinner and dancing – made even better by an awesome YMCA performance from the UQ staff!
After the conference I went to watch some cricket at the GABBA – though haunted by the Ashes memories…
The welcome reception on the first evening was doubly exciting. Not only was there a string quartet and whisky tasting for the delegates to enjoy, but also the announcement of the BAAL Book Prize 2013. We were delighted for our author Alastair Pennycook, as his book Language and Mobility is the joint winner of this year’s award. Sadly Alastair wasn’t present to celebrate his achievement, but I was delighted to accept the cheque and toast his success with some raspberry gin in his place!
Apart from the conference I had fun exploring Edinburgh in the evenings. The centre and castle were beautiful in the end of summer dusky light and I made a special trip to the Elephant Café where JK Rowling spent a lot of time when she was writing the first Harry Potter book. To see the full selection of my photos from the trip please visit our Facebook page here.
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.
Ellie and I both attended CAUTHE this year which was very exciting! The conference moved to New Zealand for this year and was held at Lincoln University in Christchurch. CAUTHE was the largest conference (in terms of delegates) to be held in Christchurch since the earthquake in 2011. The opening keynote of the conference was from Tim Hunter, Chief Executive of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, who gave a fascinating account of Christchurch’s ongoing recovery and the ambitious future plans for the city. We also had the opportunity to tour ‘the red zone’ in the city centre (where vehicles and pedestrians are currently prohibited) to see the effects of the earthquake up-close.
At this year’s conference, we gave away a Kindle, preloaded with 85 of our books. Elizabeth Roberts, from Southern Cross University, was the lucky recipient after Ellie drew her business card out!
The high standard of papers of past CAUTHEs was continued this year, and the Great Debate (this year, Tourism on the Edge: Slow & Local vs Fast & Global) was again a feature of the conference – the Australasians (Slow & Local) with a resounding victory despite the Rest of the World’s best efforts!
We also had a chance to sample a variety of local Canterbury wines which many of us enjoyed! The conference was brought to a very fun end at Riccarton House, a local heritage site, with more wine and lots of dancing.
CAUTHE returns to Australia next year and we’ll be looking forward to seeing all the usual suspects and hopefully meeting some new faces in Brisbane!
Last month, I kick-started our 2013 conference exhibits with a trip to the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference, which was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida. It is a few years since we last exhibited at NABE, and my first time at the conference. While there were very few people I’d met before there, it was really interesting to chat to all the delegates who popped by the stand and to meet a few of our authors for the first time.
I was really fortunate to be able to leave the stand to attend Ofelia García’s inspiring keynote session “Global Perspectives on Bilingual Education: Implications for the US”. I found hearing about language practices in 4 quite different countries very interesting and one of several quotes which has stuck with me since the talk goes something along the lines of “English runs through my veins, while Spanish is in my heart”. What kind of damage are we doing to a child if we remove one of those components?” I was pleased to hear her speak about the exciting new book she has published with us, and, as a cyclist, I especially enjoyed her use of pictures of bicycles to complement her talk!
The conference apart, I really enjoyed feeling some warm Floridian sun on my face – quite a change from the cold we’ve had in the UK recently. It was also quite novel to be at Disney World, although I was very pleased that I didn’t have to fight Mickey away from our books and, to my great relief, I didn’t actually see Mickey (or any of his friends) once!
This year’s EUROSLA conference was held at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. The venue was the stunning Collegium Iuridicum Novum building, a brand new facility for the university’s Faculty of Law and Administration. The conference was its usual bustling self with many people commenting on the range of interesting paper themes and the trouble in finding the time (and sometimes energy!) to get to them all.
The welcome reception consisted of a concert and drinks reception in a hall in one of the older parts of the university. The performance was given by the university’s academic choir, who have toured all over the world and who had returned to Poznań before the start of term especially to sing for us. It is some time since I have been to a choral concert and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The choir sung a range of pieces including traditional Polish songs and their own takes on popular music. My favourites were their version of “Chili con Carne”, complete with vocal percussion, and a choral rendition of the “William Tell Overture”, which included the choir trotting across the stage while singing! After the concert I thoroughly enjoyed chatting, sampling the mysterious foods and even drinking the local vodka! The choir’s motto “bringing joy through singing” certainly rang true that night.
As mentioned above, a personal highlight of my time in Poland was certainly trying a range of foods I’d never eaten, or even heard of before. I gradually worked my way through the different types of pierogi (Polish dumpling), trying both savoury and sweet ones; the best one I ate was a chocolate and peanut one, yum! I also discovered kasha, a savoury dish made from buckwheat groats and served with a delicious creamy, cheesy sauce and enjoyed some bigos, a stew which I had memory of some Polish friends making when I lived in Germany. It was as good as my memory told me it would be!
Having not been to Poland before I thought I’d take the opportunity to take some days holiday, so I not only visited Poznań but went on to spend the weekend in Wrocław and a few days in Kraków.
Tommi and I have just returned from the Sociolinguistics Symposium 19 in Berlin. It was a very successful conference and has grown to over 1000 delegates this year. However, despite being larger than ever before it is still a very friendly conference with a lot of familiar faces and it’s always nice to meet up with our authors and editors. This year we had so many titles on display that we could barely fit them all in despite having 3 tables!
The organisers from the Freie Universität Berlin were incredibly helpful and friendly and made it a very enjoyable conference. We took a lot of pleasure in sampling the local cuisine in Berlin and we particularly enjoyed tucking into the delicious German cakes in the coffee breaks at the conference.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin which is situated right on the river Spree and we ate our breakfast every morning with a beautiful view of the Berliner Dom across the river. The other main attraction of our hotel was the incredible AquaDom which is the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium and contains one million litres of saltwater. The aquarium is 25 metres tall and rises up from the foyer of the hotel to the sixth floor. We spent a lot of time gazing at the fish and watching people in scuba gear cleaning the inside of the aquarium!
Tommi celebrated his birthday while we were in Berlin and after the conference had finished for the day we headed to the Tiergarten for food and drinks in a beer garden with our fellow publishers from Mouton DeGruyter and John Benjamins. Unfortunately as soon as we sat down with our pizza and beer it started to pour with rain so we had to run under cover to stay dry! However, we then headed to a cocktail bar to keep dry so it wasn’t a complete disaster!
We were lucky to have the opportunity to have dinner with two of our authors while we were in Berlin too. On Thursday evening we went out for dinner with Nancy Hornberger and Terri McCarty. It is really nice to socialise with authors away from the conference when we are not distracted by selling books and can have a proper conversation. We went to a restaurant called Dressler on Unter den Linden and had a lovely evening sitting outside eating, drinking and chatting.
In 2014 the Sociolinguistics Symposium will take place in Jyväskylä, Finland and we are already looking forward to it and planning our trip!
Last week I travelled to Belfast for the International Conference on Tourism and Events organised by the Ulster Business School. The conference was packed with thought-provoking keynote speeches and interesting papers. It took place in the Europa Hotel which was a very comfortable venue despite once having been known as the most-bombed hotel in Europe!
Having never been to Northern Ireland before I didn’t know very much about Belfast but found people incredibly welcoming and keen to share their local knowledge. 2012 is a big year for Northern Ireland as they’re hosting many international events and developing the city as an important tourist destination. One of the city’s newest tourist attractions is the brand new Titanic visitor centre which is a fascinating museum which explores Belfast’s role in the Titanic legacy. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in town!
The welcome reception took place in the spectacular City Hall. We were given a brief tour and a bit of history about the building and I was surprised to hear that it was built by a lot of the same people who built the Titanic. (Fortunately the City Hall has lasted a lot longer!)
I met a lot of new people at the conference, many from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but also from much further afield. Conferences are always a great opportunity to meet new people and it’s always exciting to hear about exciting new research projects.
As usual, the conference came to an end very quickly and I felt I hadn’t had enough time to experience Belfast fully but I hope to have the chance to head back in the future to explore the city properly.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting is always an interesting conference for Multilingual Matters. Since we are a specialist publisher, our interest group within the ranks of the huge number of attendees is always a small but committed one. This year’s AERA in Vancouver proved no exception and it was a delight to have so many interesting, in-depth conversations with truly committed researchers. Even more excitingly, we had a number of mainstream educators who would not normally come across our books, pick up a book like Richard Barwell’s Multilingualism in the Mathematics Classroomsand say “I’ve been looking for something just like that!”.
I’ve always felt that part of our reason for being at AERA is to fly the flag for multilingualism and positive models of bilingual and multilingual education, and given the variety of people we saw and responses we had, I feel a job was well done.
It’s hard to know what to highlight from Vancouver itself, it’s a city full of great food and wonderful people. Close to nature, it’s equally easy to get into the mountains or onto the ocean. Among my favourites were a spectacular Chinese meal, (thanks Ena!), a seaplane trip into the mountains with our friends Rebecca and Charlie from Caslon, and watching the Canucks’ first game in the Stanley cup play-offs.
All in all, AERA in Vancouver rounded off a very successful and productive spring conference season for us, and we can’t wait for next year!
This year’s CAUTHE conference was held at the swanky Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne. It’s nicely situated on the South Wharf and it was great to get out in the evenings for dinner and drinks along the Southbank. Sue Beeton and everyone else involved in organising the conference did a brilliant job and Channel View had another great CAUTHE!
One of the highlights of the conference was the debate on the last day – Australian Tourism: Dying and Beyond a Full Recovery – which was Aussie(ish!) academics v foreign academics. The teams (captained by Michael Hughes and David Airey respectively) and the chair (Larry Dwyer) kept everyone highly entertained – the foreign devils won in the end but kudos has to go to the Aussie team for their lovely outfits…
The conference finished with a gala dinner at Melbourne Museum (including viewing the great Phar Lap) and included the usual dancefloor-embarrassment on my part – though I blame Paul Strickland entirely for the lip-syncing to the Grease-medley!
Happily for me I managed to sneak in some cricket-watching while I was in Melbourne – an amazing atmosphere at the MCG. Watch this space for our cricket and tourism book!
Needless to say, Channel View are eagerly anticipating next year’s CAUTHE debut in New Zealand – hopefully see you all in Christchurch.