European Day of Languages

European Day of Languages Project


Basic information

Established in: 2001/2002

Main aims:

  • Coordinating the EDL action day
  • Raising awareness in AEGEE about the importance of language learning and multilingualism, the multilingual heritage of Europe and the linguistic rights and regional languages

Activities:

  • Communication, PR within the Network and assistance to the local organisers
  • Collection of results after the EDL, reporting to the Network
  • Workshops during statutory events about multilingualism and other topics related to European languages
  • Cooperation with Summer University organisers, in order to incorporate multilingualism in their programs
  • Other events related to language policy and language discrimination

History:

European Day of Languages event in Aachen

The EDL originates in the European Year of Languages project, from 2001. Since its foundation, AEGEE has been involved in projects related to languages and intercultural learning. The Building Language Bridges event is AEGEE-Europe’s celebration of the European Day of Languages, which takes place annually, during the fall season. By celebrating the European Day of Languages, AEGEE desires to promote the rich cultural heritage of Europe and to foster mutual understanding among different language communities all over Europe, with a special focus on young people. The project is aimed at motivating the European youth to learn different languages, especially the less common ones. By organising simultaneous language courses and different types of language related events with broad media coverage all over Europe, the EDL aims to bring international attention to the importance of language learning and raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers. The EDL team has managed to organise language courses in 30 to 40 languages on the same day all over Europe, with the official support of the Council of Europe.

Getting Involved

The ideal member of the EDL team is a member of AEGEE who loves language learning and thinks linguistic diversity is an important aspect of Europe’s cultural richness.

The current EDL team was appointed by the Comité Directeur. In order to join it, one would have to contact the team through the above mentioned means. There is not a fixed time frame for changes in the team. Applications are always welcome to enlarge the team. When a current team member resigns, there will be an open call to try to fill the gap. There are no official requirements to be fulfilled in order to join the team, simply enthusiasm and willingness to work are needed.

For fresh members, the best opportunity is to join their local EDL organising team. The EDL team encourages all locals to incorporate enthusiastic new members into the organisation of their local events. New members are also very welcome to join the EDL workshops during the statutory events. Anyone with an interest in language learning, language policies, or language rights is very welcome to cooperate with the team.

Useful skills:

  • Proficiency in more than one foreign language
  • Experience in working with intercultural teams
  • Basic understanding of the principles of inter-linguistics, communication in a group with people of different native languages

Working methods:

E-mails, Skype meetings, Facebook groups, sharing data systems (Google docs, Dropbox, etc).

Amount of work required:

Around the EDL action day, roughly 6 hours/week (3 hours meeting, 3 hours on other tasks) are necessary to spend working for the team. For the rest of the year, this will mostly depend on the ambition of the team and on what they plan to achieve.