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.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Kilmarnock Academy

Kilmarnock Academy celebrated European Day of Languages on October 4 in style with a range of activities for pupils from S1 to S6. The Academy became part of the Eurozone for the day and their rate of exchange was €1.00 = £1.00! The Assembly Hall was decorated with flags and banners made by S1 pupils and French delicacies were on sale in the foyer during break – the “pains au chocolat” proved very popular indeed and quickly sold out!   In the Assembly hall at lunch time crêpes were on sale, made by the very talented pupils in the hospitality class!
There was a Fancy (European) Dress Competition with prizes for S1-3 and for the seniors, with judging in the hall at lunchtime.  Chloé Richmond won a prize for looking very French!
During break and at lunchtime pupils took part in, and watched, entertainment by very talented performers doing a traditional French Pierrot Mime act (Vanessa Wilson in S5) and Salsa dancing (Rosi Tudhope and Kimberley Marshall in S6). Music in all different languages was also enjoyed by pupils and staff.
French classes were held in the hall where a variety of activities took place. S3 and S4 took part in a Euroquiz to challenge their general knowledge on languages and Europe. S1 enjoyed some games in French including ‘Jacques a dit’, in which they became particularly skilled at listening carefully to the traditional ‘Simon Says’ game all in French (“Jacques a dit “Regardez!  Taisez-vous!”), followed by elimination dancing games, singing songs and learning tectonic dances in French.

The day was a great success thanks to Mrs Shona Stables (and her colleagues) who organised all the activities and preparation for the EDL.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

St Ninian's Primary School

St Ninian’s Primary School in Livingston celebrated EDL over 3 days.
Pupils from Primary 4, 5, 6 and 7 had a range of activities organised for them in their French period starting with a PowerPoint on facts and figures about languages and an introduction on what was going to be happening over the course of the lesson.
This was followed by a session on Language Tasters including 3 words (Hello, Goodbye and Thank you) in Italian, German and Spanish. Pupils listened to the word and were invited to come and click on the smartboard to hear the word spoken, which they then repeated as a class. Some of the children were surprised to hear the similarity in words from different countries.
After the language tasters, the children participated in a bookmark competition where they had to design a bookmark to depict what European Day of Languages meant to them. They were given maps and flags and some vocabulary to give them ideas. Each bookmark had to include the words ‘European Day of Languages’ and the pupils used their imagination, combined with use of coloured pens and paper to create some colourful bookmarks which were to be judged later in the day.
A Smartboard Challenge on identifying words and phrases used in the English language with foreign origins really tested the children as they took turns to come up to the smartboard and guess the country of origin for commonly used words. Do you know what countries the words baklava, faux pas, pretzel and mosquito come from?

Primary 1 and 2 looked on Euroclubsschools' website and learned some facts about the Eiffel Tower and the French flag, learning exactly what each colour meant. They then got on their feet and danced and did actions to La Danse Des Canards to the tune of the birdie dance. They finished off by colouring in and decorating bookmarks with the French flag on them.
At lunchtime the pupils enjoyed dressing up in traditional costumes from European countries, sampling some European food and talking in different languages to each other. Some of the parents came in to introduce the children to a little Spanish, German and Polish. This ‘Chatterbox Café’ was fun for all with tasty croissants to sample!

Pupils at St Ninian’s learn French from P1-7 with their teachers, Jane Keegan and Julie Caskie and P7 also learn Spanish. Parents Annie Dryden and Mary Jane Ewins, come in to help with French and Spanish respectively. The children of this multicultural school were enthusiastic and very excited by their first time celebrating European Day of Languages and the day was a great success, enjoyed by pupils and staff alike.

Glenrothes High School

Glenrothes High School celebrated EDL on Friday 1st October with a lively and fun packed day, which was the highlight of a week of events, which included a European staff quiz, a poster competition for S1-S3 and taster sessions of different languages. On the day itself, each classroom in the Modern Languages Department had a different country as its theme and a cafe reflecting this. On offer was an abundance of food for everyone to try, which they did very successfully, at the same time enjoying the different music of each country. S4 pupils made an excellent job of painting younger pupils’ faces with European flags, and staff and pupils dressed in costumes to reflect different countries . The atmosphere was fantastic, and it was a joy to see so many people celebrating other cultures. Roll on next year!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Culloden Academy, Inverness

Culloden Academy celebrated the diverse cultures and languages spoken in their school with lots of cultural events held in the school on Friday 1st October. It was a hugely successfull day!
Here is how they celebrated:
  • Bollywood Dancing Dispay
  • Spanish Singing Workshop-
  • Guess the Language (11 pupils and staff recorded a small piece in their native language, pupils had to guess their language)
  • Mini language taster- Russian and Polish was on offer for pupils
  • TAFAL- Teach a Friend a Language - A range of bi-lingual pupils from S1-S6 taught other pupils and staff a language. We had Korean, French, Italian, Afrikkans and Bengali.
  • We also had Country Information displays where staff and pupils brought in their own personal objects that belonged to the country.
  • Sign Language Workshop
  • European Cooking - The Higher Spanish class cooked a range of European Treats - Patatas Bravas, Pizza, Spanish meatballs, Empanadillas, Quiche and Pan con tomate. Delicious!
  • S6 pupils- Name the Country Quiz
The school canteen also got involved and produced a fantastic European Menu for the day. We had French Onion Soup, Chicken Paella, Meatballs and Pasta, Bean Goulash and finally a delicious Tiramisu from Italy.

Farr Primary, Inverness

We are starting a multinational project with 15 other countries this month so it was an excellent opportunity to send out a message saying,
Greetings from Scotland. We are looking forward to working with you and finding out that “We all came here from somewhere.”
Our partners replied in their own language and the children found the country on a map of Europe and drew a flag to match. They used these to test other classes on their knowledge.
It was a really good introductory activity.
Lauren P6 said, “It looks as if it would be harder to do spellings in Polish”
Euan P7 said, I can’t wait for us to find out more about these places. Can we meet these folk?”