Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Let's talk European Languages : Languages matter !

"A day to encourage language learning across Europe."
The European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September, as an initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.  

There are 24 official languages in the EU – as well as about 60 regional and minority languages Today is the best day to celebrate this diversity!

Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe's 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages, at any age, in and out of school. 

Being convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent, the Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe.
The European Day of Languages continues, to raise public awareness of the languages used in Europe, and to promote cultural and linguistic diversity and to encourage people – schoolchildren and adults – to learn languages.


Language skills are a necessity and a right for Everyone – that is one of the main messages of the European Day of Languages.

The overall objectives are to raise awareness of:

  • Europe’s rich linguistic diversity, which must be preserved and enhanced;
  • The need to diversify the range of languages people learn (to include less widely used languages), which results in plurilingualism;
  • The need for people to develop some degree of proficiency in two languages or more to be able to play their full part in democratic citizenship in Europe.
  • Promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • Encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.
In the EU28 in 2012, English was still the most commonly studied foreign language at lower secondary level1, with 97.1% of pupils learning it, far ahead of French (34.1%), German (22.1%) and Spanish (12.2%). The importance of English as a foreign language in the EU is also confirmed by its leadership in nearly all Member States.

Ok ! What about the other 25 languages? It's up to us, citizens, educators and students to promote our mother language in Europe. 

My students and I are Portuguese. So we care about our mother language on our blog in Portuguese.

But I teach French as well, so I have a blog in French language to enhance the skills of my students. 

26 September must be about having some fun together in different languages.
  • Check out the material for download and for order with your national relay ;
  • Watch the video "Countries names in international sign language". Students click on the map and will listen the name of each country in international sign language ;
  • A map showing the approximate distribution of indigenous languages in Europe (codes according to ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-2).

Credits: Wikimedia


On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, a range of events are organised across Europe. 

26 September must be about having some fun together in different languages, not only in English, French or Spanish.

Every year throughout Europe, events are organised to celebrate languages: shows, kids’ activities, music games, language courses, radio and TV programmes, conferences. 

Everything is permitted to motivate students to learn languages, all European languages.

In order to learn more about language diversity students can take part in different activities proposed by their teachers or following a school project. 

Whether large or small, don't forget: 

  • Have a good idea (an event such as a party, a tournament, a breakfast in school, a cultural presentation at the school library ;
  • Organise creative events with your students and promote on the EDL website here ;
  • Create promotional texts/flyers and distribute them at the school, at home;
  • Tell your school library about the event and about the European Day of Languages and ask to make a presentation to students and teachers on the importance to learn different languages.
  • Tell your national relay about your events, they may know of other ways of promoting your initiative ;

  • Enter the event into EDL database
Make it happen! 

But there is more ! Yes, something your students will love it ! A European Day of Languages Photo Contest !

DigiSkills network is promoting a photo contest. The European Day of Languages (EDL) Photo Contest 2014 is intended to illustrate language learning in action in different environments. 

Objectives :

The competition is open to persons of all ages living in all Council of Europe member states and observer states. The ECML will use the best photos for promotional purposes. 

Theme: Language learning in action

Important information:

  • Photos : The photo(s) should represent your experience of learning languages. Your upload needs to contain the following information: title, name of the contestant, email, age, country and place photo was taken.
  • Format : Images should be no smaller than 2000 pixels in width or height. No watermarks, signatures, or copyright notices may be added to images.
  • Submission period: Your photo(s) should be uploaded the between 14 September 2014 and 14 November 2014 on this page.
  • Voting period : Online voting will be from 15 November 2014 to 15 December 2014.
The winners will be announced on 18 December 2014.

  • Prizes: There will be prizes for first, second and third to be announced shortly. A small prize will be awarded for all photos that are subsequently used by the ECML.
For further information click here


“On 26 September we celebrate Europe’s rich linguistic diversity. Let us take a moment to remember the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery – that language is often the source of misunderstandings. Language can be used as a weapon, as an excuse to discriminate and humiliate. 

Together we can ensure that languages, rather than being the source of misunderstanding, become the key to intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. To do this, we must challenge existing mindsets and embrace diversity."

Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe


copyright © 2014G-Souto'sBlog,  

Creative Commons License
Let's talk European Languages : Languages matter ! bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

No comments:

Post a Comment