Cilt: National Centre for Languages

On 26 September, schools across Europe will be celebrating the vast number of languages spoken around the world and recognising all the different ways in which learning another language can enhance people’s lives. CILT, the National Centre for Languages is encouraging schools across the UK to join in the festivities for the European Day of Languages.

The European Day of Languages was set up by the Council of Europe in 2001, and now has around 45 countries involved. It’s an opportunity for schools, colleges and the wider community to kick-start language learning, or to introduce some fun into the process by planning activities like singing contests, market days or competitions.

CILT has all sorts of ideas to help teachers and parents along the way. Resources, downloads and general advice can all be found on our EDL pages, along with the Council of Europe events calendar, which schools across the continent are encouraged to use to promote and share their own ideas for activities and events.

This year CILT has produced a new collection of resources aimed specifically at MFL teachers. The ‘Discover a World of Languages’ collection of posters, stickers, and class sets can be used across both primary and secondary and is perfect for getting pupils thinking about different cultures and picking up words that they could use on holiday.

CILT has also recently launched the Language and Film Talent Awards (LAFTAs), which is an ideal way to celebrate the day. 13 to 21 year olds are being encouraged to produce a two-minute film on why languages are important. Last year the competition received 165 entries and the teenagers walked away with some excellent prizes, including trips abroad.

To find out more about the LAFTAs, visit our Languages Work website. The website also has plenty of resources to help teachers do something a little different to celebrate the day, and to show young people how important languages can be when it comes to entering the world of work.