Language use at ISA World Congress


This message is intended to the organizers and speakers at the RC33 sessions at the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology in Gothenburg, Sweden, July 11 - 17, 2010. It regards the langugage usa at the ISA World Congress.

The ISA suggests the session organizers, chairs (and speakers) to take the following measures:

  1. Allow non-English speakers the possibility of having a few extra minutes (probably 5 as a maximum) for their presentations; if so the offer should be made in advance, so that all the session participants can be apprised of the time allocation for each;
  2. Encourage presenters (in whatever language) to speak fairly slowly and clearly in order to facilitate comprehension by those who are unfamiliar with their accent and/or who may have difficulty understanding what is an unfamiliar language for them. Specifically limit the amount of material presented so that it is not necessary to race through the presentation as if one was an express train. Better to say less and have it understood!
  3. Visual aids (eg in power point) may also help comprehension. In addition, if appropriate e.g. if you have people in attendance with the relevant linguistic skills and willingness - you might extend the option of informal whispered sequential interpretation and/or informal sequential interpretation of questions and/or answers during discussion of the session.

Many thanks for your cooperation in this matter.

Ann Denis <>

Member of the ISA Executive Committee

and Chair of the EC Task Force on Language Use

June 2010

International Sociological Association

Faculty of Political Sciences & Sociology

University Complutense, 28223 Madrid, Spain

tel: 34-91 352 76 50, fax: 34-91 352 49 45


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