Polski.info – platform for learning the 2nd most used Slavic language is here!

„Mówisz po polsku?” If your answer is still „no” and you are interested into learning this lively Slavic language, now there is a great opportunity for you! Education@Internet in cooperation with a team of international partners has created an e-learning platform for learning the Polish language polski.info. The platform will make language self-learners around the world rejoice. Out of curiosity – did you know that Polish is the 2nd most-used Slavic language in the world? The number of its speakers is close to 50 million!

Learning aided by the use of the Internet is one of the simplest and most efficient ways of learning, also used in language learning. Polski.info, an interactive learning platform helps to acquire the basics of the Polish language. All this online, effectively and for free. The platform has been created especially for those foreigners who wish to start to speak Polish and learn more about Poland – a country boasting a rich European history and culture. The platform includes basic information about life in Poland, Polish traditions, and the language used in everyday communication. Materials made available on polski.info allow users to learn to communicate in Polish, help to understand the Poles and their lives, and may even boost their chances on the job market.

What does the portal offer and how has it come to existence?

The polski.info portal contains a Polish course at A1 and A2 level (including an introductory pronunciation lesson), a grammar guide as well as a dictionary with an audio recording of correct pronunciation. The platform also includes multimedia materials, interactive exercises, texts or a forum offering users the opportunity to use practical language to communicate with each other. Level A1 consists of 22 lessons, while level A2 contains 20 of them. Each lesson offers users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the cultural specifications related with the topic as well as to explore specific grammatical phenomenon in a broader context.

The portal was created thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, as a result of the cooperation of six international partner organisations:

When will the platform be ready for use?

It is already usable right now! These days, the last parts of the A2 course are being prepared. The platform will be fully functional and ready for use by the end of August. You can register and explore it by clicking on this link. On the FB page of the portal, you can find interesting facts from Polish culture, language or tongue twisters and quizzes. If you are interested in learning something about the language of this Slavic country, make sure to visit the new portal www.polski.info!

The NGO Education@Internet started exploring the possibilities of the Internet for education in as early as 2002 with the platform for learning the simplest language in the world – Esperanto. Since then it has also made e-learning platforms available for learning Russian, Slovak and German.

Contact

Peter Baláž

peter.balaz@ikso.net

Education@Internet

World’s language enthusiasts and polyglots are meeting despite the virus!

The annual international meeting called Polyglot Gathering will take place in just a couple of weeks. What does it mean to be a polyglot, though? Loosely defined, anyone who is interested in foreign languages and who actively learns more of them in their free time can be called a polyglot.

Last year, the meeting was held for the third consecutive time at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia and was attended by a total of 653 people from more than 60 countries. This year, however, the polyglots will not meet physically under one roof, but their meeting will be mediated by a virtual conference platform. The Polyglot Gathering Online event will be the premiere online version of the world’s largest event for language enthusiasts and will take place between 29th – 31st of May. Such an online version allows you to take part from the comfort of your home.

How to turn a global pandemic in your favor?

The current pandemic has also affected the organizers of the event who originally planned to organize it in a new place – in the Polish town of Teresin. We have to wait one more year for that to happen. However, the organizers would be sorry, if no meeting took place at all this year. Therefore, they eventually decided to move the traditional program consisting of lectures on languages, language tandems and other social activities into the realms of video conferencing calls.

As Peter Baláž, the coordinator of the organising NGO bearing the name of Education@Internet (E@I) puts it: “As we are an NGO earning income on the basis of its activities, the situation we’ve been facing hasn’t been easy at all. We tried hard to come up with a way to survive and not to lose an event of such great potential, nor its track record of annually keeping its astonishing number of polyglot attendees.. That’s why we offer an online version not only of the gathering but also other social events we organise. It is not going to be the same experience, as the magic of Polyglot Gathering definitely lies within meeting people who are passionate about the same thing in person. Nevertheless, we strive to recreate an atmosphere as close to the real gathering as possible.

Fortunately, polyglots are also interested in such a virtual form of the meeting. Only during the first three days within the opening of the registration, already 360 people from all over the world registered. A great many of attendees understand our difficult situation and have decided to support us financially – either by buying a ticket to this online version of the event, or even in the form of a gift. Due to their help, we can continue to run the organisation and hold the Polyglot Gathering live next year.”

What will be actually going on at the Polyglot Gathering Online?

All the three days of the event will be packed with interesting lectures, language tandems, crash courses and other social activities and games. Moreover, there will be space for contests, a multilingual concert and informal discussions as well. The program allows attendees to choose what sparks their interest the most. By attending the lectures, you will have a chance to get more knowledgeable in topics associated with languages and language-learning. The virtual event also offers you an opportunity to practice foreign languages, or to learn new phrases.

Every year, various linguists, educational app developers, publishers, professors, teachers, translators and interpreters, as well as language enthusiasts taking learning of foreign languages as a hobby meet and give lectures at the event. As this gathering is a large meetup of polyglots, participants are able to get to know one another, exchange their language-learning “know-how” or seek understanding of other cultures.

The Polyglot Gathering Online meeting will also be attended by some enthusiasts who can speak up to 30 foreign languages! Therefore, you can look forward to meeting the greatest experts in this field – such as Richard Simcott, Luca Lampariello, Tetsu Yung, Judith Meyer, or Slovak Lýdia Machová (a former co-organizer of the event in Bratislava, a successful language mentor and one of the most famous polyglots today).

Do I have to speak a certain number of foreign languages to be able to attend the event?

Certainly not. The event is open for everyone and the participants can choose what kind of program to participate in. Whether you speak one language or twenty, Polyglot Gathering Online will help you broaden your horizons and learn new things about the world’s languages. You will learn about new, interesting methods of learning languages and you will get the necessary motivation to improve your previous knowledge of foreign languages or to start learning the foreign language you’ve always wanted.

So what are the benefits of learning a foreign language?

Not only does the knowledge of a foreign language increase your value on the job market, makes your travels easier and helps you make friends from abroad, it also aids in developing a range of cognitive abilities. However, learning a language requires a certain amount of motivation, as it is more of a marathon than a sprint. After reaching a certain level, one must actively use the language so that it will not be forgotten over time. The way in which individual polyglots constantly motivate themselves to keep on learning is different. Everyone would most probably agree that knowledge of several foreign languages brings a lot of motivating benefits. A few of them are also confirmed by scientists:

  1. It improves the ability to make decisions. Research at the University of Chicago has found that it is easier for multilingual people to make decisions. This finding is connected with the fact that when learning a foreign language we also learn different nuances of words as well as regional expressions and when communicating we are forced to choose from among them.
  2. It enhances cognitive as well as problem-solving skills. Learning a new foreign language requires the acquisition of a new system of rules, structures and vocabulary. Thus, the brain has to deal with complexity as it tries to understand new structures and absorb new information.
  3. It improves social skills. Along with a foreign language we also discover a foreign culture. This allows us to be more flexible and open to other people’s opinions and behaviors. If we speak several foreign languages, we have the advantage of seeing the world from different angles, thus increasing our ability to communicate in today’s global world.
  4. It delays dementia at old age. Several studies on this topic have yielded the same results. Learning a foreign language keeps your brain healthy. In multilingual people, dementia at old age occurs two to three years later.
  5. It improves study results in other academic areas. According to research, the improvement of cognitive abilities results in higher scores in standardized tests in mathematics or reading comprehension. The ability to solve problems is reflected in the learning of any school subject.
  6. It improves memory. The more we use our brains, the better they work. Knowledge of a foreign language requires not only learning a new vocabulary and rules of a new language system, but also recalling them and using them in practice. The brain thus takes learning a new foreign language as training at the gym.
  7. The mind becomes sharper. Research by the Spanish University of Pompeu Fabra has revealed that multilingual people excel at observing their surroundings. It is easier for them to notice something irrelevant or misleading. They are also better at detecting misleading information.

As you can see, finding your way into learning a foreign language pays off. The Polyglot Gathering event is the place to gain that motivation and it doesn’t matter how many languages you speak!

Register and get access to all three days of the event for only € 40!

The program of the event as well as the registration form can be found here.

Polyglots from all over the world are looking forward to meeting you! 🙂

 

Team of Polyglot Gathering Online

Contact: 

info@polyglotgathering.com

 

Peter Baláž – head organizer

peter.balaz@polyglotgathering.com

www.polyglotgathering.com 

Deutsch.info – more than half a million people study German from the comfort of their homes

Have you ever thought of learning the German language? It seems like a good idea to do so, as according to the Eurostat, German is the second most known language in the European Union. More than 100 millions of people speak German as native speakers and around 20 millions of them learn German as a foreign language. This article will inform you how to learn the language from the comfort of your home. (more…)

Slovake.eu – an online platform for learning Slovak successfully spreads around the world

The portal of Slovake.eu has been created to help people learn the Slovak language. E-learning is becoming a more and more common and regular way of studying. It is not only foreigners living in Slovakia who are interested into acquiring  the language, but also spouses in mixed marriages, border residents, immigrants, students, tourists or even Slovak students taking school-leaving exams from the Slovak language. Slovake.eu offers to all those interested a possibility to discover Slovak before moving into the country. (more…)

Multilingualism Accelerator – an Erasmus+ project for fostering multilingualism

The Multilingualism Accelerator is a curriculum which enables children to learn foreign languages faster and to become more confident in their language-learning abilities. It was based on the propaedeutic idea i.e. that learning a model language, in this case basic Esperanto, if it is limited to the 300 most frequently-used morphemes, can boost children’s language learning skills. Several studies have shown that learning the model language Esperanto for one year may increase the speed of subsequent language learning by up to 30%. The reason is that such a model language is very easy, has no exceptions and functions logically. It enables children to easily understand the underlying linguistic principles by taking apart and rebuilding words and sentences. It is thus far more effective than other languages, burdened by many exceptions to rules, in motivating students. They learn by autonomously constructing their own sentences.

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Lingvafest – Slovak festival that is all about languages

The third year’s volume of the language festival will take place in Slovakia in September 2020. This celebration of languages and cultures will attract broad audience once more. From primary school pupils to ambassadors – the event will allow the public to celebrate diversity by experiencing the event’s rich and diverse program free of charge.

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The biggest Polyglot Gathering happening this time in Poland

Polyglot Gathering is a non-formal event connecting polyglots (people capable of  speaking multiple languages) and language lovers from all over the world. It is a five-day event packed with lectures, workshops and social activities for everyone who likes languages! The event takes place only once a year. Up to now it has taken place 3x in Berlin, 3x in Bratislava and in 2020 it is going to be organised in the Polish town of Teresin.

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Slovakia – a hub for projects with world-wide impact

Have you ever heard about the NGO called Education@Internet? Maybe not. Chances are, though, that you have come across the results of their efforts as they have already carried out a good few worthy projects with world-wide impact. Among them are a few international events known around the globe.

As the name of the association suggests, the NGO Education@Internet (AKA “E@I”) promotes education through the internet, not only in Slovakia but also abroad. This international youth organisation supports international cooperation and communication around the globe; implements educational projects focusing on cultural diversity, languages and use of modern IT technologies. E@I creates multilingual educational portals free to use around the world; initiates and supports projects with international youth cooperation; organizes educational and cultural events and informs about the importance and usefulness of barrier-free international communication. How about we have a look at the world-class projects that E@I has successfully carried out already?

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Eduskills.plus – a new multilingual platform focused on the development of critical, creative and caring thinking is out!

Thanks to the funding from Erasmus+ sub-program of Support for Policy Reform, within the action of Social inclusion through education, training and youth a new e-learning platform for educators is here. This platform offers educators a complete curriculum for implementing philosophical inquiry in classrooms, modules for teaching about diversity and global issues as well as a media library with a collection of approaches in different countries and materials in different languages. The topics discussed include the following: sustainable consumption, globalization, our products’ journey, escape from war and prosecution, diversity in football, human rights, islamophobia and others.

You may want to check the platform using this link: https://eduskills.plus/en. Modules are ready to be used.

Where does the need for this platform stem from?

We live in a time of great uncertainty and change. The acceleration of globalization has numerous effects and reaches all the way into people’s lives as well as into European classrooms. We see increased migration and the diffusion of cultures, which lead to new ways of acting and thinking and go hand in hand with the weakening of local ways of living. Technological advances and in particular the new media change the way we interact with each other as well as the way we perceive information and knowledge. The failure to adequately (more…)

LingvaFest’: Long days, short nights, a little Russian and a lot of friends

LingvaFest’ is a language festival that E@I organizes every year. It usually takes place in Bratislava but maybe one day that will change? I’ve heard about it since the beginning of my EVS – I even have received a LingvaFest’ sticker I stuck on my computer. Oh, sweet memories from that strange travel in Czechoslovakia, I would say to myself, seeing that again.

You know what else I will remember? The friends I’ve made, the tired laughs and the pizza slices I ate. The huge beers that I never finished at the beginning – that I drink again today. My attempts at Russian, my English-Esperanto mixes and my French jokes. Good times and less good times – and this general satisfaction to be here, voluntary and committed.

We arrived two days earlier to organize everything – the booths, the T-shirts, the thousands of chairs, the photo booth and, by the way, say hello to those places that had been badly missed. And, after all this turmoil, put on our volunteer role.

LingvaFest’ had this particularity, compared to other events, to offer us a dobrovoľník T-shirt. I felt a little special, a little more volunteer than usual, and easier to spot. It was a pleasure to be approached in Slovak by someone who decides to tell me his story before I can valiantly answer them “Nehovorím po slovensky, anglicky?”. My favorite part was probably the time when three children asked me something that I did not understand but that I still tried to take them to the information desk. And then they finally abandoned me in the middle of the hall.

Because, yes, LingvaFest’ is also that. Dozens of volunteers who carry a lot of things – too many tables and chairs, volunteers who advise you, who guide you, but also speakers who came to present workshops and courses (we had more than 100) (and I even made one!).

For two days (from 25 to 26 September 2019, this year) you can come to learn about a lot of things, attend language crash courses (and even discover them, such as Toki Pona or Esperanto) or participate in workshops where you can discover a few about the others a lot about you. This event, like every event organized by E@I, has a small soul, a voice and a personality. And during each of these meetings, I always found some of what I was looking for, without really knowing what is was or how I did that.

As I told you earlier, I had the opportunity to give a course – of French more precisely, because yes, indeed, I come from this beautiful country, France! And so, despite the valiant advice of my friends (talk about JUL, said Matthieu, but there will be no one, said Michal), I finally found my way to do it. I did a lot of improvisation, I was stressed, I asked for advice and then I thought about running away – but I do not have a driving licence.

And finally, when I saw these 8 people in this small room who came specifically to learn a little more about the French langage, I understood a little more about myself. I love teaching and seeing the interest and enthusiasm of these people – and I think I did well. And you know, I’m so good in French that even Matthieu came to my class.

Have I told you about the Russian booth, which Daria loved? Or the one about Spain, that I do not approach because I do not speak Spanish and, worse, because I’m allergic to it. Or the game, Vortoj, where we can show our lack of talent in dance and languages ​​at the same time? Never forget the record beaten in High Valyrian by my humble person. All heroes do not wear capes.
Or of the workshop on fears and mistakes? “Fears and Mistakes”, by Hon Chong (Funnylicious), gave me more way to accept our fears – and showed me how to understand better our mistakes and not fear them anymore. Applaud. As soon as you are wrong. Be proud of your mistakes and come out stronger and more confident.

A bit like I do after each event. Being a volunteer has become a part of me – and a part of my life. Each new meeting always offers us new perspectives and new horizons, a new way of seeing life and new discoveries. LingvaFest’ has been two intense days, but full of beautiful memories. Long days, short nights, but sincere happiness.

You know, polyglot events or languages meeting… We meet people there, we take pictures, we try not talk in Russian or in French and we laugh in unison. It’s a unique chance to live and learn.

And now, I would like to end this text with this sentence who comes from a friend: “I feel alive!” to make you think about what make you feel alive.

Have a good day everyone,

Your brave Lea.

This article was written by Léa Pillot-Colin within her European Voluntary Service.

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