Sunday, 23 August 2009

European Day of Languages: Promoting Language Diversity

The European Day of Languages (EDL) aims to celebrate the rich and diverse culture that is represented by Languages worldwide and 26 September is the common European day first set by the Council of Europe in 2001. This celebration of language and culture diversity has been getting bigger every year, now with 45 countries involved.
Dominic McGladdery, a UK MFL teacher, has set up a very useful wiki with ideas of activities but there are many other ways to find good resources and ideas to celebrate this day.

For instance, you can order up to 100 free copies of “Passport to the European Union” and “Languages take you further” from here.

There are lots of other resources from the CILT’s website including:
EDL animations
Desktop wallpapers
Pronunciation guide

Popular suggested activities include:
Language days
Football tournaments
Poetry competitions
International evening
Video conferences
Interactive games
Multilingual assembly
Language Breakfasts
Singing competitions
Greeting cards

Somes sample activities for primary schools could also inspire secondary eachers and include:

Multilingual assemblies that could also include games, food, cinema and multilingual assemblies. Find out more

Languages hand mime This is a great way of getting children to communicate in your chosen language and to have fun! Find out more

Songs Find out more

Music Competition Select excerpts from tracks in ten different languages. Children complete grid adding language they think song is in to track number (eg no. 1 Spanish) Competition to see who gets most correct answers. Prizes for winners.

Food tasting Children have the opportunity to see food being made or make food (using/following instructions for recipe in foreign language) and then taste it. They must ask to try it and give polite feedback on it using target language!

Dance Children learn a traditional dance from foreign country (following instructions in target language). Children can practise this and perform as part of special EDL assembly.

The Council of Europe website for EDL is at and you can get inspired by events run in the whole of Europe during the previous years

LTS Scotland is a good source of ideas and links to resources. It also has “word files” in languages from Arabic to Welsh which could be very useful for language taster sessions. TES resources is also one not to miss as well as a previous post of mine which includes links to language promotion resources

Last but not least, I think that the Voicethread idea mentioned by Joe Dale in one of his recent blog posts is definitely one to investigate...


ajep said...

Some great ideas for any sort of languages day here. We had a language day early this term for our Yr7s, combining a few things. The French breakfast (for morning tea) and sushi lunch were pretty popular as were the Japanese drumming and German dancing sessions. We also has a trivia session which I have uploaded to slideshare. Not sure if it's useful for you or not but it is at
Andrew J

IC Jones said...

Dear Andrew
Thank you so much for your comment and your link.

Brian Barker said...

As the European Day of Languages approaches, don't forget the Esperanto language which is now gaining much interest.

I've just done a Google search, and came up with 50,000,000 hits. This unique phenomenon seems to be gaining much attention :)

Your readers may be interested in the following video

A glimpse of the language can be seen at :)