Updated February 2021
Ever been to an online conference? Wondering what the hell I’m talking about?
An online conference is basically a traditional conference, with talks and speakers and meeting new people, transferred online. Not to be confused with conference calls in English!
The reason it’s so good for your advanced English listening comprehension skills is that you get several days of immersion in English.
And the bonus is that you get to learn more about a topic that you’re interested in.
Once you get to an advanced level of English, this is the true secret to improving your listening skills and sounding more like a native speaker: immerse yourself in material that native speakers listen to.
Forget slow-talking YouTube teachers at this stage. If you’re going to use English listening to get off the intermediate plateau, then you need to listen to real English, not English designed for learners.
5 Benefits Of Online Conferences For Your Advanced English Listening Comprehension Skills
So, with that in mind, let’s look at 5 other reasons why online conferences are such a great boost to your advanced English listening comprehension skills.
#1 Listen To English From The Comfort Of Home
The best thing about online conferences is that you don’t have to go anywhere.
Instead of spending hundreds if not thousands of Euros or Dollars to take a flight, book a hotel somewhere, go somewhere for the whole weekend and then just hide in the corner, not talking to anyone, you can actually tune in from home.
There are quite a few conferences now in the language learning space for instance. For example there’s the Linguahackers conference or the Online Teacher Summit! And since 2018, when I spoke at the event, you can also attend Women in Language.
I just gave some examples for languages, but I’m sure there are lots of online conferences in other fields as well. You just need to google them.
#2 Listen To English While Saving Time And Money
What I like about online conferences compared to normal conferences is that you save lots of time and money.
- You don’t have to pay for a hotel.
- You don’t have to pay for food.
- You don’t have to pay for transport.
- You don’t have to pay for merchandise like the t-shirt of the conference or something like that.
#3 Interact In English And Meet New People
Even though conferences are online, so you’re watching them from home, you can still interact and meet with people.
For instance, at the Language Learning Summit there were special networking gatherings to bring people together.
Usually at the end of talks you have question and answer sessions, so you’re interacting with the speaker and asking them questions etc.
#4 Listen Later And However Much You Want
If you’re not available on the days that the conference takes place, no worries! When it’s online, the organisers usually record them and you can pay a fee to have the recordings. You can watch them whenever. It doesn’t matter if you’re not there on the specific days.
#5 Multitask As You Listen
You can of course listen to the conference talks while you’re doing something else. There’s no obligation to necessarily sit in front of the screen, although doing that means you can watch the slides, which can help. You need to learn something. The whole point of this is that it’s for your personal development and learning development.
Of course attending and participating in an online conference is a lot more interactive than watching the recording of a TED or a TEDx event where you just get to see the speaker and that’s about it!
Improve Your Advanced English Listening Comprehension Skills With These Online Conferences
It’s that time of year again – Women in Language is back for its fourth year from March 4th to 7th 2021! I spoke at this event way back when it started in 2018 and it’s great to see it getting bigger and better each year.
There’ll be over 30 female, non-binary and trans speakers. This year’s conference is organised around three big themes:
- Reasons to be Cheerful: Finding the joy and positivity in language learning.
- Language Learning Lab: Learning techniques, ideas, methods that you can experiment with.
- Remote Education: Teaching online, learning online, homeschooling & other ways to connect across distance.
The idea of Women in Language is of course to amplify women’s voices and perspectives in the language learning space.
When I first saw that, I thought to myself “Oh yeah, it’s true! A lot of polyglots and language experts are men! They’re all blokes” So I thought It’s a really good idea to have something focused all on women speakers because there are a lot of men learning and talking about languages, but there are also a lot of women.
It’s hosted by three very inspiring language teachers and learners:
* Kerstin from Fluent Language
* Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages
* And Shannon from Eurolinguiste.
Those are three very inspiring ladies and I’m so glad they’ve decided to put this event on.
Just to clarify one thing. All the speakers are female, non-binary or trans. But you’re free to join the event whether you’re a man, non-binary, transgender – it doesn’t matter. You’re totally free to sign up, participate in the event and ask questions etc.
What’s good about the event is that it’s a ticketed event, so you pay, then you get in and get access to everything. As part of that, 10% of all the profits for the 2021 edition are going to Madre, a charity that supports women, education and aspiring entrepreneurs.
I hope that you can come and that this has inspired you to consider online conferences as another way to get some advanced listening practice in English, and also to learn about something and develop your knowledge.
Sign up for Women in Language 2021 by clicking here.
Language and Mental Wellbeing is a brand new online conference all about languages, wellbeing and self-improvement. It’s happening from March 18th to March 21st 2021.
The conference is organised by three fantastic teaching friends of mine:
In Language and Mental Wellbeing, you’ll hear from 34 language mentors, life and mindset coaches, nomads, expats, and counsellors.
This event is for language learners at any level as well as people who work with languages. you’re especially welcome if you live abroad and you’re dealing with all the stresses of living in another country.
Some of the talks that caught my eye:
- Winning the self-care game by Vickie Kelty who you may have seen in this interview.
- How to embrace your partner’s culture without feeling overwhelmed with Irene Malentacchi
- Strategies for Overcoming Perfectionism in Language Learning with Kate Winder from Confident Communication
- Living Abroad: Facing Your Fears through Journaling with Linda Alley
If you’re not available from March 18th to 21st, no worries. Your ticket includes recordings of the sessions that will be available for three months after the event. But if you do come live then you can interact with the presenters and participants in the live chat.
I hope that you can come to one or even both of these conferences and that this post has inspired you to consider online conferences as another way to get some advanced listening practice in English. And also to learn about something and develop your knowledge.
Sign up for Language and Mental Wellbeing 2021 by clicking here.
All the links in this post to Women in Language and Language and Mental Wellbeing are affiliate links which means I’ll receive a commission if you buy through the link. You pay the same price. Clicking is completely free. Thanks for your support.