E-learning is increasingly becoming a more common and efficient way of studying. In this climate, the portal of Slovake.eu has been created to help people learn the Slovak language. It is not only foreigners living in Slovakia who are interested in acquiring the language, but also for example, spouses in mixed marriages, border residents, immigrants, students, tourists or even Slovak students taking school-leaving exams from the Slovak language. The Slovake.eu platform also offers people interested in moving to Slovakia a chance to learn Slovak prior to the move. (more…)
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 in motivating students than other languages which are burdened by many exceptions to the rules. With Esperanto and the Multilingualism Accelerator, children learn by autonomously constructing their own sentences.
The third year’s volume of the language festival will take place in Slovakia in September 2020. This celebration of languages and cultures will once more attract a broad audience. From primary school pupils to ambassadors – the event will allow the public to celebrate diversity by experiencing the event’s rich and diverse programme free of charge.
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 only takes place once a year. Up until now it has taken place 3x in Berlin, 3x in Bratislava and in 2020 it is going to be held in the Polish town of Teresin.
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 unbarred international communication. How about we have a look at the world-class projects that E@I has successfully carried out already?
Thanks to the funding from the Erasmus+ sub-program of Support for Policy Reform, under the auspices 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 from different countries, and materials in different languages. The topics discussed include the following: sustainable consumption, globalization, our products’ journey, escape from war and persecution, 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. Increased migration and cultural diffusion leads to new forms of behaviour and thought. This often goes hand-in-hand with the weakening of pre-globalization localised ways of life. Technological advances, in particular the new forms of digital media, change the way we interact with each other as well as the way we perceive information and knowledge. (more…)
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.
IJK (Internacia Junulara Kongreso) – was a lot of new meetings and a lot of conferences. It was the confirmation that this EVS is the good one, that this EVS is mine, and the one who can change and made me learn the most – more than any others.
I remember I was once wondering if Slovakia, more than an other country, would made me grow and allow me to know myself more. And now that I’ve visited Bratislava, High Tatras, Partizánske or Trenčianske Teplice, I can answer yes. But, the place I liked the most was Liptovský Hrádok.
This year, IJK took place in this town, from the 28th of July from 4th of August. And, if SES already was the apogee of my EVS, IJK was its perfect echo. A confident and sincere echo that all esperanto congress and its community will always be the place where I feel home.
To be honest, at the beginning, I was really anxious. The travel was hard, long and full of twists (but not as much as the return!), putting severe hardship on my poor French heart. However, I would have liked that this week never finished. I found the friends I had made during SES, and I’ve discovered new persons.
Within my EVS, I have also participated in the conference about active listening. If this was a constraint at first, I quickly came to really enjoy it, and I still retain some words that have changed my view of things, of others, and of myself. We only can learn in Esperantujo and no maps can guide you: the communication and your heart are the only ones that can confirm that, yes, to go to breakfast you have to cross the road, a forest, three beaches and a border. And the bar? Is it really necessary to remember the all obstacle for all those who wished to drink and dance? I have at least been able to be certain that my love of Tatra tea was sincere – although moderate.
I also attended a talk about prevention and prejuidice – I learned little because I knew already, but I was affected in front of these people who change the world, in this world that is already evolving. I have been happy and interested in exchanging on all types of topics with you all – and with you who will come.
Finally, without mentioning the kindness and organization of the members of IJK, their adorable dog or their beautiful stickers, I would like however to remind you how much everything was pleasant, precise and how good mood is invited each time – even the time I broke my charger, which allowed me to spend more time in the company of hundreds of funny and friendly Esperantists. A lot of names come to my mind now – especially those French people who only know how to speak French. But do not worry, if you join us, we will always know how to speak in our common and family language, Esperanto.
I will end with a thank you. A sincere and loving thanks – a thank you full of theses memories and photos that I keep preciously, a thank you laughing, certainly remembering the performance of a few on stage, an affectionate thank you, a thank you dancing on your music, a thank you who travels and who speaks today a language that it would like to be its mother tongue – thank you.
This article was written by Léa Pillot-Colin within her European Voluntary Service.
This year, from July 12th to 20th, 2019, took place in Nitra the Somera Esperanto-Studado (Summer Esperanto Studies). It is, according to the website, the best opportunity to learn and practice Esperanto. And, according to me, yes, they are not lying.
As a part of the organizing team, I was doing more than just going to classes every morning (I didn’t miss any of them, Dorotka, I swear!). The toilet paper in your room? That was me. Yeah, you’re welcome. My days were full – I was so tired! But I would do it again without any hesitation. To be a volunteer for this event was one of the best part of my year.
And despite the fact that we have to get up early, work as in school and even do homework, I like to learn and understand. There are different classes, one for each level – from the most basic to the most advanced. And even after your first day of classes, you can still decide to change classes, learn more, or reinforce your skills.
Everything is perfectly fine and made to guide you on your way to become a better Esperanto speaker.
We never can feel lost. It’s the same spirit as a school, we are all comrades and we all know how to help each others. When I lost my badge, one of my friend gave me his own. So, you can legitimately call me Job.
We are never too much or too far from home in Esperantujo: no places seem not to be yours when you know who you are.
Then, if the classes have not exhausted you, you will be able to take part in the many other talks and workshops that are offered to you. Sport, a talent contest, language classes or a completely black jigsaw puzzle to test your ability not to knock over all tables one by one. Whoever you are, you will necessarily find something that will suit you.
You can also join, during a whole day, with an excursion. And, whatever you decide to do, you’ll make the right choice.
In fact, the question should be, what can’t we do during SES?
Maybe you can join the barman (it was often a bar-woman) and chat with him (of her), or maybe let’s check out Somera Esperanto-Programado (Summer Esperanto Programming). Or, even more, go to the soft and cute gufujo to drink some tea and appreciate the pure and fresh air of Slovakia by night. During this event, I promise, you’ll find your way. And so much friends and amazing people that you’ll finally understand why I’m always so happy about these events. Maybe, we will become friends!
Finally, what else can I say? Esperanto became a part of me during these last month – one of the best part of me. And, as part of the Esperantist community (welcome me), I felt home. Esperantujo, for some people, is like the feeling of family they never really had. It’s a place where you know you’ll feel good. Where you know, people can understand you and will always be happy to see your cutie face.
So, if all you want to do during your summer is to learn the amikeco lingvo and to meet people who wants the same thing as you, I think you already know where you have to go.
And, if somehow I’ve convinced you to become a volunteer for E@I, first of all you have to know… Do not trust Kryštof. And, secondly, in E@I, you’ll discover a team. A team who is constantly changing and evolving – people leave and come, and everything is fine until you realise someone ate your pizza in the fridge. And, as a team, you’ll always be helped and supported by the others.
I’ve never felt lost.
It is a special E@I’s competence? Or a natural virtue of the Esperantists? I think you have to come to know.
Come and discover us.
This article was written by Léa Pillot-Colin within her European Voluntary Service.
I have always studied lots of languages.
My mother wanted me to learn Chinese, German, even Arabic. And somewhere in the past, my protestations, my false arguments and my shrill voice still ring out. That voice of this age, this one, only thirteen years old. This voice that spoke a French SMS, stammered an English without accent, without envy, without English could we say. A passionate voice of poetry. Who reads, murmurs, sings, envies.
A voice that will soon be able to write.
A few years after this, I studied many languages, at school (which I quickly forgot). Chinese, Spanish, Latin, some Greek. I discover that language is fascinating, that language is alive, that it moves in multiple forms, that it is danced in songs, poems, films or even serenades. I discover language and I love it – an incredible exchange, a polyglot dialogue, a new passion.
I forget school languages and throw myself into the poetry of the world. I learn Icelandic and start dreaming in Esperanto. I translated poems, song lyrics, quotes, spells.
But this desire to speak to the world, words that become anthology,
this desire to write to each country what I know about it,
this desire to travel, not to flee, but to leave,
how far will it go?
Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava. From May 29 to June 2, 2019.
I am a volunteer, I am twenty years old, I am learning two languages and I can speak in English.
I would like to share with you this feeling of intense pride when we stick the sticker corresponding to the language we speak. French. English. Esperanto. I am looking for a little find the Icelandic flag. Hours of work, of incredible grammar, of incomprehensible poetry, of reading dictionaries, just here, on your name tag.
Then I get to walk between conversations and people. I hear unknown languages - sounds that run through the corridors and fill your heart with pride: you’re here in Bratislava, and you do not know what language to speak.
You are there, surrounded by thousands of hours of work – some will spend ten minutes finding all their stickers. They can speak 10 languages, can read them, understand them, use them but their smile will be more meaningful than the alphabet. You go out, discover them, exchange an English hello, how are you in Spanish, you give them the time in French and you will eat in sign language.
You are a part of your own story and the train that makes languages travel around the world – no barrier can stop the words.
I even exchanged some words in Slovak. And this guy looked at me, amused, happy, why did not you stick to the Slovak flag? it’s already a good start. I answer that I am not good enough, that it is not enough.
He told me that not enough does not mean anything and that not enough is already much more than I think.
The next day, I stick a new flag on my name tag. (on the A level, it’s my beginning)
Because every beginning is full of this type of not enough skills.
I have always studied languages. To be a polyglot. It has always sounded like a dream, like the feat that the intrepid people achieve. It’s like being an astronaut, it’s possible, but you, you can’t do it. It’s like dreaming during Latin lessons – no one speaks it anymore, so what’s the point? Well imagine, because I guess you do not know, that some people able to talk to each other thanks to this language that day.
Being polyglot – it’s not a goal but a destination. It’s a constant work – filled by a passion, a love of words and languages, of discovery. It is to travel without leaving, it is to deceive without being punished, it is to unite in silence to every human on earth who will know, like you, to attach oneself to the sounds of these people that we do not know yet.
From these few days, I know that they will not be the last. I met people from Tasmania, Russia, Australia, USA, people who visited France, Iceland, Montreal or China. I’ve talked with men, women, stories and lives.
To be a volunteer during this experience has allowed me to live both sides of this meeting. To be able to help, advise, guide people who, twice my age, consider me that day as one of theirs. Consider me with respect, almost expecting me to know more than they do. After all, these hours of work, these hours of language and discovery about ourselves and others, have they not taught us to be more humble?
Finally, what more can I say? There are few places in this world where so many people can feel at the good place at the same time. We start talking to anyone – to find out that they are like us. That passions are shared and that languages have never been barriers.
I think, on the contrary, that they are paths, exchanges, the best way to know each other, then to know ourself.
From each experience of my life, I am grateful, and accept that they may never happen again. But the advantage with Polyglot Gathering is that it happens every year.
So, see you to Poland next year because after all,
I will always study new languages.
This article was written by our EVS volunteer from France Léa Pillot-Colin.