26 September is the Day of European Languages, celebrating all the diversity of languages across the continent. For the 20th anniversary edition, there are some great teaching resources.
The general theme of the resources is interesting quirks and facts about the different languages, starting with a downloadable poster called “20 Things You Might Not Know About Europe’s Languages”.
This is one of our favourites (although it does deny the usefulness of our proofreading skills!):
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch sudty , it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltters in a wrod are; the olny iprmoatnt fatcor is taht the frist and lsat ltteres be at the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
There’s also a downloadable book called Lara’s Language Journey Across Europe. The main text is in the language you choose to download, so English in this case, and there’s a page on each language, interesting facts, the numbers 1-10 and simple greetings which you can scan to listen to. You could have groups work on different languages and report back what they’ve learned.
You can download the poster, the book and various other handy resources like stickers to print out in many languages, as well as cards giving the onomatopoeias used to express animal noises in different languages (a source of endless fascination!)
There are also 20 suggestions for socially distanced language-learning activities and a "secret agent" language app, but it's more useful as a source of ideas than to have pupils use it, because they don't actually complete the challenges in the app. (For example, it challenges you to say the numbers 1-10 in three languages in a minute, but you just tick that you've done it.)
You could also have your A2/B1 pupils participate in this multilingual dictation competition. The dictation video will be online on 24 September and you have till the 29th to send in your pupils' entries. There are prizes for the ten best entries in each class.
We'd love to hear about your European Day of Language activities!