Vocabulary: Talkaoke

We really enjoyed the blog that Phil Wade posted about Talkaoke on his English school’s blog

Talkaoke is the latest craze to sweep the nation. A modern twist on Karaoke but without the singing, it’s gaining fame in the trendy areas of London and abroad.

It’s based on one simple rule which is that the participants or ‘Talkaokeyists’ make the agenda. Talkaoke is a modern form of open debate where practically no topic is off bounds. Participants debate whatevertakes their interest with people they know or have never met before. Things can get quite heated, especially when people disagree with each other but this just adds to the fun and appeal.

Talkaoke is all about drawing participants in and creating a platform where people feel inspired to talk about what’s important to them and then comment on what others have to say. Pauline Wu, a local student, says that “it’s like a night at the pub but without the beer and is a great way to make new friends. It’s also a great way for student sof English to practise their vocabulary”. Whereas, Philippe Gomez finds it addictive because “it’s the only place I know where I can really talk about important issues in a serious but enjoyable way”.

For an onlooker it could appear a little bizarre as the debaters sit around a large doughnut-shaped pink table nicknamed the “flying saucer of chat”. In the centre is the host who manages discussions. Thanks to his/her microphone, some large speakers and a video projector, the audience can watch and listen to the whole event. A recent upgrade has introduced a ‘heckle’ system where images are projected onto the screen which represent the exact words from the discussion.

Invented by a London art student called Mikey Weinkove in 1997, Talkaoke has been gaining followers in the UK and abroad ever since. Recent saucers have been spotted in the National Theatre and the London Science Museum and bookings have been made for Brazil, Italy and even Saudi Arabia.

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