Lisa's week: Celebrating language
Did you know that the European Day of Languages was celebrated this week on 26th September? Well, you might have missed the day itself (although here at Lingua Solutions, we were certainly promoting it) but you don’t need to have missed out on some of the fun.
Originally organised as the “Year of European Languages” in 2001 by the Council of Europe and the European Union, it proved so successful that in 2002, the Council of Europe was decided to set 26th September as the European Day of Languages and it has been celebrated each year since.
According to the website (see site here), the general objectives for the day are:
- “Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;”
- “Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered;”
- “Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchanges.”
If you head over to the website, there are a lot of fun activities such as language trivia, “language treasures” (which are words that are almost impossible to translate from their original language), a self-assessment tool, unique words and much more. You could very easily spend an hour or two over there checking things out in English in order to support your language learning.
Obviously, I concentrate on the teaching of English itself (vocabulary and grammar etc), but I was interested to see the objectives listed above and to think about what I also try to bring to my lessons.
I spend quite a lot of time bringing the ideas of intercultural understanding to the table, which can help students to react well in multi-cultural situations. Just one example: it helps to understand that in a business meeting, the Brits might want to look at the topic at a high level, talking more about concepts and ideas and taking a broad view. However, Germans attending the same meeting might be frustrated with this because they are all about the detail, the progress, next steps and the procedure that must be followed. What intercultural differences and complications do you come across at work?
I’ve also read a lot in recent times about the health benefits to life-long learning and especially languages which can keep the brain active and healthy. Yes, as we get older, it’s harder to learn new things and languages can be particularly tricky with all those words and the grammar that doesn’t match one’s own mother tongue, but it genuinely does us good and should be encouraged from young to old.
And how about some fun? I try to make sure there’s a lot of that and thanks to the internet and modern technology, there are so many ways of bringing fun into your own language learning – whether it’s watching TV in original, catching up on fun YouTube videos, connecting with others around the world on social media, finding and taking quizzes – specifically for language learners or those funky internet types that are difficult to resist! – or reading articles on any subject you can think of.
Learning a foreign language might seem like something “important” to do for your job or your personal development, but I think there can be a whole lot more to it.
So why not spend a little time this week finding ways to bring some other aspects of the process into your experience of the language and turn the European Day of Languages into a week - or even more!
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?
Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!
Episode 13: Up in the Highlands
Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends
Episode 15: Pie in the sky
Episode 16: Through the tunnel
Episode 17: Keep left!
Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise
Episode 19: How do you say that?
Episode 20: Back to School!
Episode 21: Sweet cravings
Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?
Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"
Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)
Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?
Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.
Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!
Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot
Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?
Episode 30: Bless you!
Episode 31: What are you thankful for?
Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?
Episode 33: What's behind the door?
Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!
Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?
Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year
Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?
Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2
Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?
Episode 40: Sweet Valentine
Episode 41: A Reminder
Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!
Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils
Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question
Episode 45: The whole world's going green!
Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs
Episode 47: The joke's on you!
Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!
Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings
Episode 50: We use German words too
Episode 51: Celebrating St George
Episode 52: The perfect start to the day
Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)
Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)
Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)
Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!
Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1
Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2
Episode 59: Summer Solstice
Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20
Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live
Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Episode 63: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Episode 64: Stick a stamp on it!
Episode 65: Idiom of the week - Water under the bridge
Episode 66: I say QWERTY, you say QWERTZ
Episode 67: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 1)
Episode 68: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 2)
Episode 69: Joking around in Scotland
Episode 70: The first day of school
Episode 71: Let's go down to the Wiesn!