LICHTENVOORDE – On Tuesday 12 July at the press day of the Zwarte Cross, an Achterhoeks teaching program was presented. A unique collaboration between Zwarte Cross (Feestfabriek AKG BV), University of Groningen (RUG), Heritage Center Achterhoek and Liemers (ECAL) and the National Science Agenda (NWA). The free lesson program will be available for all primary schools from October and consists of lesson cards, a reading book and a digital app.
By Meindert Bussink
“The Achterhoeks teaching program is an initiative to keep alive and develop the regional languages in general and the Achterhoek language in particular. Languages are disappearing all over the world. And that’s a shame, because language connects and multilingualism is an enrichment. So, in addition to good Dutch and English, we should teach our children our own regional language. Because if we don’t, a language that has been used for over a thousand years will be extinct in a few generations. So that’s why this call and this initiative. And it’s better to start early, because learning a language is a lot easier for a child than for an adult,” says co-owner of the Feestfabriek, Gijs Jolink.
Development by RUG, funding from NWA
The lesson program with lesson cards includes a free app where all school children, but also everyone who likes this, can learn Achterhoeks in a playful way. The app was developed by PhD student Wietse de Vries of the University of Groningen, under the supervision of Professor Martijn Wieling, Endowed Professor of Low Saxon Language and Culture. The app (‘Van Old naor Jong: Achterhooks’) is available for both Apple and Android and the first version can now be downloaded in the various app stores. The teaching packages can be requested by all primary schools and are completely free. Martijn Wieling will also give a lecture on this subject at the Universitent at the Zwarte Cross: how languages can change gradually, but can disappear quickly.
The Feestfabriek has used the past two years to design the teaching material, in the form of videos and a children’s book. The NWA has now financed the development of the app and the accompanying teaching package, so that an even more extensive and beautiful teaching package can be offered to all primary schools. Hundreds of teaching packages will be printed for this purpose this year.
Video series Black Cross TV
From October 2022, the Zwarte Cross TV video series will be available for free as teaching material for all primary schools. Teachers who do not speak the dialect themselves can take a seat next to the ‘blagen’ in the school benches, because the regional language teaching of 3 minutes at a time is completely provided by presenter Hendrik Hopman. It is a series of about 10 videos of about 3 minutes that are fun, funny or inspiring. And the videos are about topics that children find interesting. For example, the children learn the Achterhoeks in a playful way by watching a cool movie once a week / month. In this way, the festival is pioneering a new way of regional language education based on inspiring and short videos. The videos were made by a working group of enthusiastic Feestfabriekers, supplemented by Sander Berendsen and Richard Klompenhouwer van Warboel. The presenter Hendrik Hopman and the Warboelband will actually perform at the Zwarte Cross in the Blagenparadijs, so that all children can meet them in person and see them perform. The National Science Agenda (NWA) also offers a program about (regional) language in the Blagenparadijs: Expedition NEXT on Tour.
Schools can register to receive the teaching package via the RUG website.