How cool is this!?!? Look what I found!?!? A European Day of Languages and a website dedicated to this one day full of fun language facts and ways to participate!
The site gives a brief description of the celebration and its origin. It all started back in 2001 when the Council of Europe and the European Union successfully organized 45 countries in celebration of Europe’s linguistic diversity and to promote language learning. Due to its instant success the Council of Europe declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated annually on September 26th.
There are three goals the European Day of Languages attempts to achieve through this yearly recognition, they include:
- Public awareness for the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase multilingualism and intercultural understanding.
- The promotion of the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, with the conscious intention to preserve and foster it.
- To encourage lifelong language learning in and out of formal education, whether for study, professional development, travel, pleasure, and/or exchanges.
“The Council of Europe is convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of the continent.”
Tremendously neat and worth celebrating along with them! European Day of Languages is similar to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) Discover Languages Month. Every year since 2005, February has been designated as Discover Languages Month. “As a continuation of the 2005: The Year of Languages national campaign, the Discover Languages effort combines raising public awareness about languages with the development and implementation of programs for students which focus on language use beyond the classroom.”
Language educators organize activities and events throughout the month of February with the goal of “highlighting the important benefits and practical applications of language learning” for school administrators, counselors, parents, community leaders, legislators, and the media, in addition to their students.
Perhaps there should be a collaboration of cultural forces between the US and Europe to make a unique, global celebration of languages and cultures. Hmmm?!?!