II International Young Scholars Conference took place at the Foreign Languages Department of Ulyanovsk State Teacher Training University on 18-19 April 2014. The Student Research Club of the department had been working towards it for a year. Was it a success?
As conference coordinator I couldn’t take part in most of the sessions. In fact, I probably saw less of it than any other participant. I’ve talked to some people, of course, but my first-hand knowledge is that the participants met and talked in twelve sessions discussing whatever seemed interesting to them: English, Russian, German or French words and things you can do with them, and also the things words can do to us, as well as the way words are made out of sounds and books are made out of words, and what happens when people speaking different languages come into contact and what is to be done to make that contact a success.
I also know that we had the greatest ever number of guests, and that some of them complimented us on the high level of our research skills. That is always pleasant, of course.
What I don’t know is whether the conference achieved its objectives. For me that knowledge would come from answering the question: have any of the participants decided that research is worth taking up, no matter how well-paid it is or what others think of those involved in it?