The European Day of Languages (EDL) aims to celebrate linguistic diversity by showing people across Europe how important languages are and what fun can be had learning them. The European Day of Languages is 26 September. It was set up by the Council of Europe and was first celebrated in 2001. It’s getting bigger every year, with 45 countries now involved. Schools across Scotland will be celebrating the European Day of Languages 2010 in Septmber. This is a snapshot of what’s happening.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Douglas Academy, Milngavie

Pupils at Douglas Academy, Milngavie, celebrated EDL in advance, in the week beginning 20th September, culminating on Thursday 23rd when there were special continental dishes prepared by the dining centre staff for lunch. The pupils were entertained all week by listening to songs with foreign words in the titles played on the school radio network. This formed the basis of a competition in which all pupils were invited to take part. 
On Thursday, S6 pupils raided the dressing up boxes and appeared as citizens of Spain and France collecting donations for one of the charities supported by the school.
S1 had “off – timetable” lessons entirely devoted to EDL in which they learned many interesting facts about languages and language learning including some UK dialects.  They thoroughly enjoyed trying their hand at languages they had never heard before  -  in some cases never heard of…The lesson ended with a quiz which tested their listening skills to the max. Teachers played clips of well-known songs in 10 different languages and then pupils had to try and guess what they were listening to. They did well considering Xhosa is not often heard in Douglas!
In addition, the school ran three competitions:
  • Spot the Foreign Song
  • Senior essay writing competition (an essay in a foreign language about the importance of learning a language)
  • S1 poster competition ( a poster about the importance of learning a language). 

Teachers across the school wrote the date on their boards in any foreign languages they know which ranged from Lithuanian to Arabic, Ancient Greek to Hindi!  The PE department also changed the language on the exercise machines into French.
Liz Scott, from SCILT, visited Douglas Academy, and said, 'At the end of the day, I very much enjoyed listening to S3 debate the pros and cons of why it’s desirable to learn foreign languages.  They certainly convinced me, and the final part of each speech in either French or Italian was very impressive. Language learning is alive in well in Mrs Fisher’s department!!'

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