European Day of Languages is celebrated every year on the 26th September and is a day that promotes the rich linguistic diversity across Europe and the advantages of language learning. There are around 225 languages spoken across Europe, which is about 3% of the world’s total, and most European countries have several of their own regional or minority languages.
For European Day of Languages 2018, Modern Foreign Language Teacher – Sheila Holley, tells us about the importance of learning languages and how Tytherington High School celebrates European Day of Languages:
“At Tytherington High School we teach three European languages (French, German and Spanish) and more recently Mandarin. Learning foreign languages is so important because it equips students with highly transferable skills, helps improve communication skills and promotes cultural awareness. Our students can try different foods and travel as part of their learning which broadens their horizons and enhances their job prospects. Students of all ages get the opportunity to go abroad – we offer trips to Paris in Year 7, to Aachen in Year 8, Cadiz in Years 8 and 9, and Berlin or Munich in Years 9 and 10. We also have a bi-annual French exchange to Douai in the north of France. The trips abroad are the perfect way for the students to test their languages skill by immersing themselves in another culture, getting out of their comfort zone and making memories.
“We also teach French and Spanish at primary level through games, songs and stories which makes language learning fun and removes the fear factor.
“Every year for European Day of Languages we prepare a range of language and cultural activities for the staff and students. In the morning we’ll have a school assembly to celebrate language learning and a French breakfast in the staff room where staff are encouraged to say Hello in a European language. At lunchtime, there are plenty of activities in the hall for everyone to get involved in that include food tasting, a languages word tree, a quiz and an EDL poster competition. Primary schools are invited in for the day to take part in various activities like learning Spanish by making a Piñata, learning Russian by making a Russian Doll, or learning Japanese by making a bookmark with the Japanese alphabet. It’s a really nice celebration and a great way to promote European languages!”
How does your school celebrate European Day of Languages, and why do you think learning a foreign language is important?
Let us know in the comments below ⬇️
About the Author
Sheila Holley studied French German and Spanish at university and now teaches Modern Foreign Languages at Tytherington High School in Macclesfield.