26th September: European Day of Languages Games & Activities

With 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe, and 47 member states, it's no wonder that the Council strongly believes in linguistic diversity as a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent.

The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are to:
  • alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversify the range of languages learned in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  • promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.
In keeping with these rules, people, young and old, are encouraged to take up a language, or take special pride in their existing language skills. Also, those responsible for providing access to language learning are encouraged to make it easier for people to learn a range of languages, and to support policy initiatives to promote languages. There is also emphasis on learning a language other than English.

At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September. On the occasion of the day, a range of events are organised across Europe, including those for children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences.

To celebrate the day we are going to play games and answer quizes like the ones I have prepared especially for the day in Learningapps:

From the official European Day of Languages page I have also chosen to play the "Talk to me" interactive game to test out our recognition of Europe's different languages. The "Talk to Me" slogan has been used for the Day of Languages since 2003 when a set of stickers in 41 official languages of the Council of  Europe's member states were first launched. You can order the stickers (and other material) from your national relay. The Greek representative Mrs Aikaterini Bompetsi will be happy to oblige you (make sure you place your order before September 7).

We are also going to brainstorm ideas on why we should learn foreign languages and how we can learn them, and organise the results in mindmaps to decorate our classroom. Finally we will make "language trees": print (or draw) a tree on cardboard, cut out paper leaves (I've found various leaf templates in firstpallette), write the word "Hello!" in different languages and glue them on the tree branches. (The language tree activity is inspired by the French online project for the promotion of multilingualism DULALA.)

Are you going to celebrate the European Day of Languages this year? I would be happy to hear your ideas about the day!


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