September 11, 2012

First steps in language animation.
"In my suitcase I have a a bike...a pen...a pencil case...and...and...his mom."

Guys, let me introduce you to a small part of my Franco-German world*. "Animation linguistique" ("language animation") is something that was conceptualized in the early nineties by a research project of the University of Bielefeld and the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ/DFJW), which more or less is to French/German majors what Mountain View is to programmers (I'm guessing). The focus was on how some kids would attend binational youth events and come back hankering to learn French or German, whereas others would return nonplussed after clamming up all week. A set of guidelines for loosening things up was put together, and "language animation" - group games involving verbal or nonverbal communication -  was included as one of the tools used by camp organisers. It's therefore one of those terms that are mainly understood by initiated members of a given professional environment. (I'd use a fancy word for that but it's nearly dinnertime as I write this.)

Language animation is something I do on occasion as part of my current job, and is an opportunity to interact with the young'uns of local Berlin schools and impart the awesomeness of French. Which they then use to make references to each other's moms.

* Only one of the many idiosyncratic people groups which I am proud to call my own.

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