European Day of Languages


Following the success of the Year of Languages, the Council of Europe declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated on 26th of September each year. The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are:The European Year of Languages 2001, jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union, was successful in involving millions of people across 45 participating countries. Its activities celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.

  1. Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  2. Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered;
  3. 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.

26 September 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Languages (EDL) celebrated at the Council of Europe and throughout its 47 member states.


The Council of Europe is hoping that this Day will be celebrated both by authorities in its member states and potential partners at the following levels:

  • among policy-makers (specific measures or discussions on language policy issues, for instance)
  • among the general public (awareness-raising on the overall objectives of the Day, including the importance of lifelong language learning, starting at any age, in educational establishments, at work, etc);
  • in the voluntary sector (specific actions by and/or for NGOs, associations, companies, etc).


PUPILS/STUDENTS: In order to learn more about language diversity, pupils and students can take part in our fun online activities. Through our games and quizzes, you can get a taster of the various languages of Europe. If you like music, why not organise a musical event to promote the various languages and musical genres in Europe? You could even share such performances with others via our website.
EVERYONE can get involved in some way in the European Day of Languages! 

Whether as an individual or in a group, within an organization (school or association) or just among friends, people of all ages can get involved in the Day. Everyone can contribute to the success of the EDL - either by taking part in the activities organised or by getting together with others and setting up events (please don't forget to enter details of the event into the EDL calendar of events). Just a few possibilities are listed below:

TEACHERS: For teachers of languages or, indeed, of other subjects, the Day offers multiple possibilities: the opportunity to learn about other cultures, traditions and languages which are not normally presented in the classroom; the opportunity to promote the pupils' creative talents by putting on sketches illustrating the languages they can speak, set up language cafes, highlight all the languages spoken in the school.
UNIVERSITIES/SCHOOLS: The European Day of Languages is a great opportunity to view the university/school and the surrounding city as a place where people from diverse backgrounds meet, live and interact and where languages flourish. Why not set up discussion groups between people from different language backgrounds? Online social networks are a good way to generate such interaction and you can even become a fan of the European Day of Languages on Facebook. Universities or schools bordering on other countries could organize trips to meet students from across the border. Schools could also run competitions for their pupils focusing on the acquisition and improvement of language skills.

EVERYONE really can get involved in the European Day of Languages, even if it is just about inviting neighbours from different cultures for tea or decorating the house with the European Day of Languages posters and stickers. You may not become a polyglot in the space of a day but it is likely to widen your horizons and it will almost certainly be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience!

Please click here to access the European Day of Languages website and resources

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