Eighty-one per cent of adults regret not having learned another language and while of course it’s never too late, children do have the advantage in language learning.The European day of Languages, celebrated on 26 September, is a wonderful opportunity to inspire young people and get them excited about learning languages.
I always make sure we do several activities to celebrate that special day, with all my classes!
I am sharing, what we did, this year!
First, we played a really fun game to learn about 12 European languages in just one teaching hour!!
Our multilingual game!
I gave students a handout with 12 names of European countries, their flags, and four different phrases typed next to each country, in 12 different languages:
How are you?
So and so.
I had them work in small groups of 5-6 students This is a game where a number of chairs one less than the number of players are arranged facing outward with the players standing in a circle just outside of that. The first player,who’s standing, asks the person sitting next to him ” How are you” in one of the languages on the handout. He has to reply by using any of the three phrases above, in the same language!
If he decides to reply ” Well”, nothing happens and the standing player asks the same question to the very next student. If he answers ” So and so”, he changes chairs with the student sitting on his left. If he replies “Bad” , all players run around the chairs! Usually, music is played while the players in the circle run in unison around the chairs. When the music stops, each player attempts to sit down in one of the chairs. The player who is left without a chair is the next player to ask ” How are you ” and start the game again.
My students had so much fun playing this game and asked me to play it again and again! The result was that, they finally managed to remember most of the phrases on the handout and use them with confidence during the breaks, as well….
Whole school languages survey
I carried out a survey of languages spoken amongst school community – included staff, pupils and family members. I collected, displayed and interpreted data. I created a display for a prominent location in the school.
An exchange of students’ photos for the European day of languages.
We took a photo of our students holding the poster and sent the photo by email. My students were thrilled to see the name of our school in all the photos-cards we received, in return !!
Creating a poster : ” Write Good morning in another language “
A number of students in our school, speak a foreign language. I thought it would be good to make the poster below, and display it in school!I decided to display it in a long , busy corridor . Students loved adding new words on it, during the breaks!
And…don’t forget: WE ALL SMILE IN THE SAME LANGUAGE!