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.

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.

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