Plans to mark European Day of Languages

25 Sep 2014

A wealth of activity up and down the country will mark the European Day of Languages this year. We’d like to share with you the press release from Speak to the Future, issued today, listing the main activities the campaign is supporting. Why not let us know about any activities YOU are involved in, or know about, by filling in a short form on our website? We’d love to hear from you!


Plans to mark European Day of Languages 2014

 A wealth of activity up and down the country will mark the European Day of Languages this year. Bernardette Holmes, Campaign Director of Speak to the Future, said:

‘This year’s rich range of activities highlights the success and enjoyment of language learning across the UK, and the way that languages underpin so many aspects of our lives. As well as the exciting events listed here, we know that many schools will be celebrating the day in special ways with their pupils, showcasing their ability to communicate in many different languages from many different cultures.   There are still too many people who think that languages are not for them, and that you need special aptitude to speak another language. We hope this will be a day when some of these misconceptions can be overturned and that many more people of all ages will be inspired to take up the languages challenge!’

A selection of events that will be happening on and around 26 September to mark the European Day of Languages:

  • With language learning a part of the new primary curriculum from this September, the British Council will be holding an event to showcase successful practice in language teaching including English as an Additional Language, ‘Modern Foreign’ and ‘Community’ languages and CLIL. Every learner a language learner, every teacher a language teacher will also be streamed live online, beginning at 6pm on 26 September. Schools with outstanding practice will share their work in these areas and to demonstrate how it greatly benefits their learners.
  • The British Library, in conjunction with the European Commission UK office, will be holding an International Translation Day including talks, workshops and panels all about translation and languages
  • Newcastle University presents LanCook: The European Digital Kitchen at a drop-in session between noon and 7pm on Thursday 25 September at Europe House, London.   Learn how to cook and learn a language at the same time!
  • Speak to the Future’s partner Vocab Express will be running a League of Champions vocabulary-building challenge for schools, linked to the 1000 word challenge (25 Sept to 1 Oct)
  • The British Academy will be announcing the winners of the 2014 British Academy School Languages Awards. 14 Awards of £4,000 each will go to schools across the UK for projects that promote language learning at higher levels.
  • The Crystal. Over 400 Newham children from local primary and secondary schools will take part in an exciting range of activities based on the winning ‘Double Club’ combination of languages and football.
  • Wordkeys:  The 4D Translation Game. An interactive journey in and around Belgrave Square for the curious and adventurous on Saturday 27 Sept. A collaboration between literary translator Rosalind Harvey, the European Commission Representation in the UK, and the Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Italian cultural institutes.

  • Inspiring the future continues to promote its free service matching employee volunteers with careers-related activities requested by schools. Schools are invited to request one of the many volunteers from the database who use a language in their work.
  • The Council of Europe is promoting a Europe-wide photography competition on the theme of language learning – with a public vote for the best one.

  • Language Show Live will announce the winners of the Strictly 1000 words competition run in conjunction with Speak to the Future.



Teresa Tinsley, Speak to the Future

Tel. 0781 8028021

Notes for editors

  1. Speak to the Future is an initiative funded by the British Academy which aims to highlight the importance of languages, language learning and professional language activities for the UK. Targeting the public, media, government and policymakers, it intends to unify the nation around a strong public message that every language counts and that English alone is not enough.
  2. The European Day of Languages was initiated jointly by the European Commission and the Council of Europe in 2001 to provide a focal point for celebrating the world’s languages and the fun and enjoyment of speaking different languages. Since its inception it has grown to encompass a wide range of events and activities across the world, including competitions, school-based activities, public events, performances, charity events, debates and conferences. Further information at:


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