Signup date: 05 May 2008 at 6:11pm
Last login: 18 Dec 2008 at 9:08pm
Post count: 446
try and practice smalltalk on people? start with people at parties and then build up to people at your faculty
it's very important to be able to talk to other researchers at conferences (and at your own faculty) because networking DOES lead to research/job opportunities, so they do have a point. i'm not very good at smalltalk, but i do give it a good try...
my present specific area is adult L2 acquisition and i have done work earlier on prosody, codeswitching, bilingualism, phonetics, language typology, sign language, space, language & cognition, L1 attrition and pidgins/creole languages.
i consider myself expert enough to have an opinion on what is a language and what is a dialect.
i do not have a high opinion of the "fuzzy chinese" article by the way, for several reasons.
a conference's main use is networking.
presenting new stuff is only really important when you're a newbie - so people can get to know you. the more experienced people go there to meet old friends, drink coffee, pick up new phds/post-docs and talk over projects with partners. it's not as anything was really THAT new anyway if you're keeping up with the new articles.
people know you'll be nervous to present (they were/are too) and expect it.
you could also go to student conferences and practice holding talks there, that's how i started. become a member in your national student organisation for your field and go to the conferences they organise. that's usually pretty cheap and it's good to get to know other students and find out what they are doing. also, a lot of top people tend to go to these conferences and sit in on the talks to check out the new "talent".
i have to do an MRes too, to get the ESRC funding (apparently you have really bad chances applying for a +3 if you haven't done a research council approved MA). i am currently finishing a german MA, but decided to go for a 1+3 application in order to get the funding. it worked.
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