Five years of the DRONGO Language Festival: an anniversary

On Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October 2016, the fifth DRONGO language festival took place. This anniversary edition was celebrated with an exciting two-day programme at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. For this occasion, mayor van Zanen of the city of Utrecht, opened the DRONGO language festival on Friday 30 September. Furthermore, the Fanfare van het Vuur performed together with Canto Voices, a programme in cooperation with youngsters of the Jongeren Cultuurhuis Kanaleneiland, MC Kaascouse and rapper Jermaine (Jay) Bridgewater. It was a festive opening for a festive fifth anniversary.

After the opening, visitors could enjoy various sessions and crash courses and express their opinions during the Taalunie language debate. At the informative and interactive fair, there was time to meet different exhibitors, learn at the labs and have a nice chat at the DRONGO language square.

A photo gallery was set up especially for the fifth anniversary so visitors could look back on five years of the DRONGO language festival.

The first day of the festival was concluded with a private network meeting for the language sector. Professor Beatrice de Graaff gave an inspiring explanation of the National Science agenda and the possibilities for language science still to achieve in this field. Thereafter, the attendees were given the opportunity to get to know each other and to create new partnerships. The best idea for a partnership project was from the Utrecht University, the Radboud University and publisher Zwijsen, for which they received the DRONGO network award 2016. Therefore, they will be present at the 2017 edition.

The second day of the festival began with a bang with a performance of multilingual children from Utrecht. Thereafter Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education opened the programme with a plea about the importance of language in education, citizenship and work.
On this day too, the interest for the different sessions was huge. Especially for the keynote lecture of professor Lera Boroditsky about ‘framing’, visitors were lining up for a coveted seat. At the informative fair visitors enthusiastically participated in labs and engaged with each other and the exhibitors.

Different awards were rewarded on Saturday, such as the Van Dale ‘Taalmaker van de toekomst’ (‘Language maker of the future’), the BZO Subtitle award and the DRONGO science award for the best lab. The latter was won by researchers of the Radboud University for their research: How to build with LEGO in a different language? At this interactive lab, visitors could try to build a LEGO construction with directions in a foreign language.

Once again, the fith edition of the DRONGO language festival ended with a challenging and inspiring programme. 

Want to see more of the DRONGO language festival 2016? For the timetable click here, and photos can be found here.
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