European Day of Languages

With the new school year already in full swing, there are always lots of exciting trips, events and activities to be planned and executed alongside the everyday teaching, marking, planning and assessment that makes up our busy lives as a teacher. 

As a Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) enthusiast, I always think that we are super lucky that European Day of Languages is at the start of our busy academic calendar.  Everyone is still fresh and mega-enthusiastic after the nice long summer break!

In my school I take full benefit of this and get everyone involved in the celebrations. Whether you are fluent or a complete beginner at the language, the important thing is that you enjoy it and have a good go (or rely on technology, in the form of visual or audio clips, to help you if you really don't feel confident).

European Day of Languages (officially on the 26th September but celebrated as near to that as possible in our school) is a time for the whole of the school to get involved in language learning.  We encourage parents (or anyone that would like to really!) to come in and help to make the day memorable and a great success.

Our celebrations last the whole day.  We split the school into their four "houses" and rotate with 4 different European countries activities. These four houses are made up of mixed year groups, so it is a great opportunity for the younger children to be supported by the older year groups and vice-versa. 

The day begins with an assembly from me all about European Day of Languages, highlighting the benefits of language learning and usually includes a little song and video clip.  There are all sorts of wonderful clips on You Tube that the children love. 

Each country activity lasts about an hour and begins with teacher input, where the European country is discussed and highlighted on the map. The children are encouraged to think about what they already know about the country.  Interesting places, flags, languages, general facts and any other exciting or useful information is then shared.

After this, it is time for the fun to really begin! There will be one or two activities for the children to take part in, this always links really nicely with the country and encourages language learning too.

Examples of this are:-

  • Art work linked with or inspired by a famous artist -games in the playground that might use language skills and/ or are specific to that country.
  • A café, where the children role play and also get to sample some country specific food.
  • Dance and songs linked with the country
  • Puppet shows
  • Games that help to reinforce language skills already learnt in MFL lessons 

As Reception class have only just begun at school, they have their own little European Day of Languages in their classroom. This is usually based around our schools subject language -Spanish- and includes songs, rhymes and food tasting. It is also a chance for me to introduce myself to the class before I teach them in their weekly Spanish session.

The day ends with a very interactive whole school assembly to the parents.  Each house presents a little bit of information about the country that they were in for the last time slot of the day.  In the past, this included songs, dances, art work and taste testing.  The parents love to participate too and enjoy hearing a little bit about their child's day for European Day of Languages. 

There is a wealth of information readily available on the internet and support groups that can help to make your day a success.  Whatever you decide to do with your school this European Day of Languages, make it fun and memorable and get as many people involved as possible.

Invaluable support/ resources: – a website with lots of information and free resources

Have you read our recent 'KM Kent Cooks - Get Cooking!' blog post? 

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