Just like any year, last 26 Sept. too we celebrated the European Day of Languages at school.
The idea was to involve as many students as possible in different ways and so I tried to think of a certain number of activities.
Inspiration of course came from the official site http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/JEL_en.asp and all the material we can find there. My students particularly like the game Talk to Me.
My first thought went to the students who study at our school but who come from different countries and consequently speak a different language. Without planning so much, I just stopped them any time I met one of them in a corridor and invited them to say “Talk to Me” in their language. I recorded them and they spread the piece of news throughout the school so we have Eric from Burkina Faso with his beautiful French, Marko who speaks Serbian, Luca who speaks Slovenian, Oussama from Morocco and his Arabic, Nicholas who, despite his name is Italian, and Daniele who came to me and said “Teacher, I am Italian but my Grandfather is German so I can say Talk to Me in German. Can I do it?” “Of course you can!”
Many others could have taken part but I decided to involve them in another activity I have in mind for the near future.
Younger students played Talk to Me in their classrooms and it was a nice way both to learn some words in languages we know so little about and also to revise Geography. I realize half Europe is quite a mysterious continent to my students 🙂
Older students read about the origin and the objectives of the European Day of Languages and then wrote their thoughts about it. They wrote also a note about the importance of learning a foreign language and the best ways to do it. They also read about Language Facts and discussed about the most surprising ones. They couldn’t believe there are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe!
They wrote their thoughts on a post-it which were then stuck on a map of Europe.
Finally, after reading about the EDL, the students on the ICT course created a treasure hunt using QR codes. They used what they had just learnt and wrote some questions. They also wrote the right answer and hid it somewhere in the school building. They created QR codes for their mates to scan and so play the game. They of course gave a clue about where to find the answers.
It was a great day, a lot of students took part in it and hopefully they also learnt about how important it is to get close to other languages and to other cultures.
Here is the glog which illustrates all the activities.