Celebrating the European Day of Languages in style is a great starting point!

Steven Fawkes (ALL’s Honorary Membership Officer)

“I always look forward to 26 September because it is a chance to share positive news about Language learning, and to celebrate the wealth brought to us by contact with other people in whatever languages we share.”

As the European Day of Languages approaches, here are some ideas and resources to help you make the most of the day.

Background:

This Council of Europe initiative is held annually on  26 September and has the following aims:

  • to celebrate the rich variety of languages (not just European) and cultures across Europe
  • to encourage people of all ages to learn a new language
  • to alert the public to the importance of language learning
  • to increase awareness and appreciation of all languages
  • to promote lifelong language learning. Anyone in the community, including businesses and adults can join in.

General ideas for a themed day:

  • Invite children to come to school dressed in the colours of the flag of the language they are learning or as a famous person from that country
  • Decorate the hall/school reception with flags and poster from different countries
  • Hold a language breakfast e.g. croissants, pain au chocolat
  • Why not take the register in a different language? Find greetings in different languages here.  See how many you can learn.
  • Hold a multilingual assembly
  • Invite parents who are EAL speakers to give language tasters in their mother tongue
  • Invite governors, families, the mayor, local MP to visit and observe activities. Perhaps there are local foreign firms who would like to get involved too?
  • Read ‘Thinking about arranging a languages festival?’ blog post for language festival ideas shared by Hilary Scholes, department leader for MFL in Luton
  • Take a look at ALL’s Pinterest boards of extensive language learning collections

Cross-curricular ideas:

Art/DT

  • Choose an artist and create artwork in the style of…
  • Make a fridge magnet with a greeting/phrase in a target language.  Small adhesive magnets can be bought here.
  • Design a key ring for a European country

Classroom Games

  • Pin the beret on the..? Find a famous French celebrity on which to pin the beret!
  • Play a circle game but using vocabulary from a different country, e.g. fruit salad, fizz buss, duck duck goose.

Food Technology

  • Organise a food tasting of foods from other countries. Set up a stall/fête at lunchtime
  • Do some cooking with ingredients from other countries (try Cooking with Languages recipes and activities)
  • Ask the school kitchen to provide a continental or themed lunch

Geography / Maths

  • Create a travel brochure – collect from travel agents and make a collage including greetings and other useful phrases
  • Make fact files on countries (how to say greetings, their capital city, population etc.)
  • Make a passport from a different country
  • Where would you like to go? Plan a trip around Europe
  • Currency and maths – what money will need if you go there? Try some maths warm ups using that currency
  • Have an Eiffel Tower competition – who can create an Eiffel Tower using spaghetti (or straws) with marshmallows and jelly tots

Literacy

  • Read a story from another country. Have a look on ALL’s literature wiki for inspiration or try a book from onethirdstories
  • Look for “loan” words from different countries around the world. Read Clare Seccombe’s blog in this month’s Languages Today magazine about the etymology of words to give you some ideas
  • Research a famous celebrity from a European country and write their biography

Music

Sport

  • Hold a football tournament (or other sport) with teams representing different countries
  • Investigate games from another country and learn to play one

For more ideas, please take a look here.  

Remember to enter the European Day of Languages Competition.  It is open to all schools in all areas.

Participate in the European Day of Languages World record attempt

If you have an idea that you would like to share, please contact editor@all-languages.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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