Sunday, January 11, 2009

BAAHE Conference

Outwardly, Saturday 22 November seemed to be a rather lousy day; it was cold and snowy, weather you wouldn't put a dog out in. However, this was a special day for BA3 and a few BA2 students: they were to attend the BAAHE conference, which was held at the university of Namur's arts faculty. It was even more special since FUNDP's English unit hosted the 2008 conference twenty years after BAAHE's first visit to Namur.

The conference started with the plenary lecture by Barbara Dancygier from the university of British Columbia. Before her lecture ,"O happy dagger!", Mr Vandelanotte introduced her to us with a short biography. She actually has come a long way: after having graduated from the university of Warsaw, she moved to California, where she did research. Today, she teaches at the university of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The conference went on in the afternoon with 18 parallel sessions focussing on literature, linguistics, translation studies and English language teaching. I attended every session of ELT except one, but that was for a good cause: I needed to join Mr Delabastita's fan club. His lecture about Language, comedy and translation in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo was particularly interesting and at the same time entertaining.

I was very enthusiastic about attending such a conference. All day long, I have seen people putting a lot into their work and sharing their knowledge with energy and passion. BAAHE members impressed me on a particular point: indeed, what stroke me the most during these sessions is the purity of their English accent. As a learner of English, I thought that it was almost impossible to reach perfection. But after all, they proved me the contrary! It was worth braving the weather…

No comments: