A meeting of many cultures

20th October 2000 at 01:00
Diversity is celebrated at the renamed language show, says Bernard Adams

The London Language and Cultural Learning Show Friday November 3, 10am-7pm. General interest, business.Saturday November 4, 10am-5pm. Education.Venue: Novotel London West Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith, LondonAdmission: free.

Details: Alison Osmani at Brintex, tel: 020 7973 6648. www.language-show.com

The two-day London Language and Cultural Learning Show will be held on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November in London. Previously called simply the London Language Show, the event has been renamed to recognise the importance of understanding cultural diversity to make communication more effective and meaningful. This year the show will have a "featured nation": the Spanish Tourist Office will be showing off the vibrancy of Hispanic culture and lifestyles around the world.

The event comprises an exhibition and conference dedicated to the promotion of languages, culture, language services, and state-of-the-art technology and resources for language learning and teaching.

Saturday is geared towards the education sector (Friday is more business orientated), with plenty of lectures and practical demonstrations alongside the exhibition stands. These include a session by Stephen Fawkes, president of the Association for Language Learning, on tackling motivation in the classroom, and a talk by Peter Downes, a member of the Nuffield Inquiry team, on the problems English-speaking countris have promoting foreign language learning.

Gladis Garcia, head of modern languages at Essex University, looks at the complex interaction of Spanish and Latin-American culture over the past century, and the different levels at which it has operated. She aims to present (in Spanish) a picture of the real Hispanic world - rather than the artificial one that pure language teaching can sometimes produce.

Darren Carter, head of modern languages at Lynn Grove high school in Norfolk, demonstrates how to use internet sites such as Hot Potatoes http:web.uvic.cahrdhotpot to create "exercises giving instant feedback and independent learning".

Taster sessions will be offered in Portuguese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic. Sessions listed in the programme cost pound;20 each.

There are also free presentations, including demonstrations of language games, details of a new Spanish course and a session by the Teacher Training Agency on routes into teaching. The exhibition stands feature manufacturers and publishers of learning resources, exam boards, language teachers' organisations and specialist advisers.

Visitors on the Friday can take part in Spanish or French language challenges, run by Robertson Languages, which provide opportunities to learn to perform simple work functions like answering the telephone or receiving visitors. Also on Friday there will be a presentation by Gareth Thomas, of Coventry University, on careers using modern languages.

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