05 October 2014

Tom Roeper and Bart Hollanbrandse at Drongo

Tom Roeper writes:

Maaike Verripps (former UMass visitor) every year runs a large Multilingualismfestival in the Amsterdam Public library with a hundred booths and activities. The whole thing attracts 8,000 people. (You can see the description if you google Drongo).

Bart and I decided to do something on recursion — using materials on an iPad (with help from Jon Nelson in Spanish) —- moveable animals made act-out possible.  But we had a lot of trouble getting the program, the ipads, our protocols organized. We did much of it the hour before it started.

Much of what transpired was pretty foggy to me since it was in Dutch, but we slowly got 20 kids to participate.  At the end, with a band and stand-up bilingual comedian, a trio of people started talking and Bart said they asked the audience of 300 presenters if anyone understood the title "Can you put somethinginside itself,” and only 3 people raised their hands (one was Bart). A lot of laughter ensued. Then after a long speech I did not understand, they called us to the stage and said we had won the prize for the best hands-on activity and we are invited to do a two week experiment at the big Science Museumin Amsterdam!

Kind of Amazing — and a good thing for formal linguistics and reaching out to the public.

You can see more here.