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.
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 celebrates plurilingualism and encourages the 800 million Europeans in the Council of Europe’s 47 member states to learn more languages.
For the day, a range of events is organised across Europe: activities for and with children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences.
Modern foreign language education aims to develop multilingualism and intercultural awareness. In this theoretical framework, the foreign language can be used as a bridge among the students’ languages and serve as a tool to develop translinguistic competence.
This year, I’ve decided to write, about the activities our local “English Language Teachers Association” created, for the European Day of languages event, which was held in the local Public Library, on 26th September 2016!
Also, I used most of those activities in my class, the very next day, with huge success!
Here we go…..
BRAINSTORMING TIME !!
Children aged 8-12 , had the chance to know a lot about the different languages spoken, not only in Europe but, all over the World, by watching several videos, singing and taking part in a discussion .
They shared their experiences concerning their mother tongue and all the foreign languages they had been exposed to.
GAMES TIME !!
Later, they worked in teams and played a Quiz game. They answered questions about different Languages, testing their knowledge and having fun ! A bomb timer was used ,to add more excitement to the game!
In the next game, a representative from each team , had to wear a special hat, with the name of a language written on it. His/her fellow players, had to help him/her guess the name of that Language, using miming, key words, descriptions, movement and more…That was fun!!
“BOOK TREASURE HUNT”!!
Then, it was time for our Book Treasure Hunt, in the Library!
The teams, had to move around the room, and look for 12 books, well hidden in the shelves, with titles written in many different Languages! There was a musical background during the Treasure Hunt and a time limit…..3 Songs ,with lyrics in 3 different European languages!
All the kids, were rewarded with the “European Day of Languages” bracelet and special stickers !
ARTS AND CRAFT!!
The next activity, enhanced the kids’ artistic expression!
The children had to create the Multilingualism Tree , full of cute Owls, speaking many different Languages.
“Hello” IN ALL LANGUAGES!!
The final activity ,was to write “Hello” in as many Languages as possible, on special mouth-masks!
And , of course, they greeted each other in all those Languages, holding their mouth-masks!
I used most of these activities in my class, the very next day! My students loved them and had so much fun! Here are some photos…
With my older students, we also played a favourite game I have written about, in a previous post:“ The multilingual game” !
With my very young learners, we played several circle games practicing “Hello” and “Goodbye” or “Goodmorning” and ” Goodnight” . But, the most fun thing we did, was to have our mascot Hippo, talk to us about his hometown London! We made beautiful drawings of Hippo’s most favourite places in London! We even asked Hippo lots of questions about his life there and learned so many things about life in a different country, in Europe ! It was a fun-fun day!
And don’t forget: WE ALL SMILE IN THE SAME LANGUAGE!