Jour des langues

Jour des langues

The 26th September is European Day of Languages, which is celebrated across 45 countries in Europe to celebrate linguistic diversity and the benefits of being able to speak another language. Through celebrating this day, it is hoped to increase awareness and appreciation of other languages and to encourage lifelong language learning. Learning other peoples’ languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome differences. Language learning brings many benefits, there have never been more opportunities to work or study abroad and many businesses now insist that employees have knowledge of a second language.

Learning other languages helps to improve communication skills and thinking skills, it improves intercultural understanding and promotes European citizenship. We live in a multi cultural and multi lingual world and speaking another persons’ language can help us to understand their culture and outlook on life. Language learning is an excellent way to break down the barriers that divide people and begin to build bridges. Trying to learn new languages is a way to spread tolerance and mutual understanding. Linguistic diversity is a reality and is one of Europe’s strengths.

It is part of our cultural heritage and our identity. Did you know that almost two

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thirds of the world’s population are bi-lingual and there are over 225 different languages spoken in Europe? Many of our friends here in Queen Elizabeth High School are lucky enough to have a second, or even third language. They are going to say a few words in their native language now- listen carefully and see if you can work out the language… EG- French / Spanish / Turkish / German / Polish etc… (Ask for volunteers) We are not the only ones who think that it is important to learn other languages.

Some very famous people appreciate the linguistic and cultural benefits of language learning… Did you know that: Gary Linekar can speak English, Spanish and Japanese, JK Rowling can speak English, French, Portuguese and Spanish Shakira can speak Spanish, English and Arabic Arsene Wenger can speak English, French, Japanese, German, Italian and Spanish Europe is a mosaic of cultures, traditions and languages. The wealth of Europe stems from this diversity and so does it’s future. Let us pray… Dear Lord, In love you have fashioned the human family

In a variety of races, languages, and cultures. Do not let our diversity divide us, But help us to welcome gifts We can give and receive from one another. Save us from prejudice, arrogance and fear, And teach us how to live together As members of one family,sharing one home, And the children of one God. Amen. POEM: By Olivia Mcmahon, about how it feels to learns a language… learning a language Learning a language is like doing a jigsaw puzzle of a million pieces with a picture that keeps changing. It’s like getting lost in a foreign city without a map.

It’s like playing tennis without a ball, like being an ant in a field of grasshoppers. It’s being an acrobat with a broken leg, an actor without a script, a carpenter without a saw, a storyteller without a middle or an end. But then gradually it? s like being out in the early morning with the mists lifting. It? s like a chink of light under a door, like finding the glove you were looking for, catching the train you thought you were going to miss, getting an unlooked-for present, exchanging a smile. And then one day it’s like riding a bicycle very fast downhill. Olivia McMahon