16 July 2011

Twecon job

I took part in the second #twecon conference last Monday. The twitter-based conference was organised by Matthew Dentith, who has archived the 19 papers presented on his blog EPISTO.

In short, you have a maximum of six numbered tweets featuring the #twecon hash tag to make your point, or to make an artistic statement, or whatever. It’s very open.

It was a lot of fun, and I’ll take part again next time (there’s another to be organised later this year I believe). I also think having to make a coherent case in six 130-character entries is an interesting challenge and could be a useful discipline. (The 130 character figure is if you leave out the numbers and hash tag.)

I like the new rule, allowing for a non-numbered ‘appendix’ tweet. As long as the case is made cogently in the six tweet maximum I think one more tweet for references and background reading links is still in the spirit of the enterprise. Some of the #twecon papers are quite poetic, and the effect may in some cases be lessened if they had to be interrupted by tiny urls.

I enjoyed the Q&A aspect, but could only take part later in the day, because I cannot really contribute while I’m at work. Maybe #twecon could be held on a weekend or public holiday?

Anyway, here is my paper.

1 No agarrarse su lengua: A case for teaching second languages to children at an early age #twecon

2 Debatably, younger children more naturally learn language. Children who learn second languages more easily learn further languages #twecon

3 Language learning can seem intimidating to an adult, especially if we are too comfortable with the quasi-world language of English #twecon

4 We should teach children a second language as soon as possible or we are missing an opportunity. Some say it should not be forced #twecon

5 That’s a weak objection: at early ages most subjects are compulsory; we don’t say “only take PE if you want” #twecon

6 Te reo and/or a foreign language should be taught to children early. Then they will have the genuine choice to continue or not #twecon

Fellow tweconer stacefamily made the very good point that "NZ Sign Language should be on curriculum too. Useful throughout life".