09 Nov European Day of Languages at Whitley!
Written by Alesha S – Year 9 student reporter
Have you ever wondered how many languages are spoken over the world? Over 7000, that’s right. European Day of Languages is a celebration of different languages and cultures world-wide. It first started in 2001; and every year, on the 26th of September, we celebrate the languages spoken in Europe.
Here at Whitley Academy we celebrated this Day for the whole school week. Students learnt about the importance of learning languages and how they will be useful in their future lives and careers.
There have never been more opportunities to work or study in a different European country – but lack of language competence prevents many people from taking advantage of them. You may think learning a language is boring and useless, but they are vital to be able to communicate with other people from different countries and to emerge yourself into the new cultures which are not yours. We learnt that if you learnt Spanish to a conversational standard, you could visit Spain, Mexico or Peru or all Spanish speaking countries and be able to communicate with everyone there!
Do you know that…
Being able to speak more than just your native tongue is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it in tiptop condition?
In our lessons this week, we looked at where European countries are located on the world map and discussing if we have any ambitions to travel or live abroad in the future. This has made us all think about how the MFL (a.k.a Modern Foreign Language) lessons we have, could determine whether we get the job we set our goals for and how these lessons are as important as our usual English classes. Wow, who knew?
Throughout the lesson we also learnt some interesting facts about different countries around the world.
Do you know that Queen Silvia of Sweden can speak: English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish?
The Colombian singer, song-writer and record producer, Shakira is a native Spanish speaker who is fluent in English and Portuguese, as well as some Italian, French, Catalan and Arabic?
Even though most of the members of royal families speak at least two foreign languages, no one can beat Queen Silvia, who can hold speeches in six languages and is nearly fluent in Swedish sign language. Wow!
Do you know that…
– at least half of the world’s population are bilingual or plurilingual, i.e. they speak two or more languages?
– at the age of 18 months you can speak about 50 words? At the age of 5 you can speak several thousand?
To celebrate our school Canteen staff also added a menu dedicated to this Day, with different recipes from Europe for each day of the week!
Specifically the menu for Friday 25th was German Spätzle (egg noodles), Monday 28th was Spanish Tortillas (Spanish potato omelette), Tuesday 29th was Italian Pizza, Wednesday 30th was Spanish Paella (a classic rice dish), and Thursday 1st October was Italian Tomato Pasta Bake! What a creative European Menu!
Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans are represented in the Council of Europe’s 47 member states and all are encouraged to discover more languages at any age, as part of or alongside their studies. Our school celebrated European Day of Languages too! Do you speak any European Languages?
Looking back at the all the activities for the European Day of Languages created by Mr Hunt, Miss Kazzaz and delivered by our teachers, we even feel the very special meanings of all the activities for this year: the year 2020 with the sudden appearance of covid-19 and how much the disease has affected people world-wide. And in here; Whitley Academy – our school, we have daily face-to-face lessons delivered by our teachers and enjoy as much as we can! Merci beaucoup aux professeurs!
Whitley Academy October 2020