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    Gazette 57

European Language Gazette n° 57

September – October 2021

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European Day of Languages 2021


“20 years celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity”

With 2021 being the 20th European Day of Languages – there are a host of activities taking place on this very special occasion, as well as a huge variety of new features, ideas, initiatives and resources to help celebrate the 20th edition in style!


What will you be doing on the 20th European Day of Languages?

With just a few weeks to go until the 20th edition of the EDL, there are lots of exciting and creative events foreseen all over Europe and indeed the world. Just have a look through the EDL calendar (https://edl.ecml.at/edlevents) to discover them! The European Commission alone is involved in over 80 events! (Video clip of the European Commission in 24 languages)

If you are involved in organising an event which does not yet feature in the calendar, please don’t forget to include it – no matter how big or small – and to promote it on social media by using the hashtags #coeEDL #20EDL or #happybirthdayEDL. The EDL calendar also allows you, as an event organiser, to generate an official certificate of participation in the Day (after the completion date of an event)!

And… if you are still looking for ideas for how best to celebrate the Day this year, have a look through our (soon to be) 20 suggestions on activities which you can organise in a safe way on or around 26 September. There are lots of innovative and fun ways to be actively involved for any age group!


What is new in 2021?

The ‘all new’ secret agent’s language challenge app 2.007!
Tackle a series of language challenges and quizzes, identify languages and countries and compete with budding fellow agents in your training to become a top agent!

Discover your true talent for languages… the challenges and quizzes contained within this app encourage learners – future international agents – to take advantage of the plentiful opportunities available to practice or learn more about a language beyond a classroom context. By passing through a series of levels you can rise from a lowly agent in training to become a master secret agent. You can compete with friends in achieving challenges, identifying countries and languages and completing quizzes (developed with the European Commission). The challenges go from the easy, such as, “count from 1-10 in 3 different languages within one minute” to ones that are a bit more demanding, “together with a friend, write the words to a song/rap in a foreign language”.
You can reward yourself after completing each level with a certificate available on EDL website.

New secret agent’s language challenge app. Available in 20+ languages from 10 September.


Welcome to a journey through Europe’s languages: discover similarities, differences and unique features!

This downloadable booklet seeks to encourage interest in Europe’s rich tapestry of languages from an early age. Children can accompany Lara on her journey to discover the different languages spoken across the continent. Sets of stickers and sound files covering the respective languages are also available for this resource. The resource will shortly be available in around 20 languages.


Two initiatives for the Day!

We are suggesting two challenges to celebrate the 20th anniversary that could be included within (almost) any event being organised (with further details on the homepage):

  • In how many different languages can you say/sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in 20 seconds? To take part in this celebration, send us a video saying/singing “Happy Birthday” in as many languages as you can using the form below. You can also post your video on any social media you like and send us the link. But there is a catch! You only have 20 seconds to do so…. (Address)
  • To whet your appetite… Bake a cake for the 20th anniversary and/or help others by sending a recipe of your cake to create a multilingual recipe book. The goal is to collect birthday recipes from different parts of the world and in different languages to then include the 20 most original (and tasty!) desserts in a special 20th-anniversary-edition recipe book. (Address)


New resources and features galore!

To celebrate this landmark, in addition to the materials showcased above there are a series of new resources and features now available on the EDL website.

  • An EDL poster with 20 things you might not know about Europe’s languages. Currently downloadable in EnglishFrenchGermanMontenegrinSpanish.
  • Language tree poster (accompanying the Language journey booklet) (to be available in 20+ languages).
  • Word of the Day feature – from 1 September and throughout the month of September we will be highlighting a word each day from among Europe’s languages on the EDL home page which has a special, unique or just amusing background!
  • The “Which language is it?” game tests your ability to identify individual languages (currently 23) through listening to conversations in an everyday setting. This game really sharpens your listening skills!
  • The “ICT resource of the week” presents some of the best current apps available that can be used for language teaching and learning. Explore more of these freely available online tools in the dedicated ECML database!
We are also delighted to announce that the EDL website is available in Ukrainian and Montenegrin for the first time this year. We are very grateful to the volunteers who have carried out this work. We are always looking for volunteers who, together with the National Relays for the Day, can help in keeping the site updated in 42 languages (which is not always possible). If you would like to volunteer, please contact us (information@ecml.at).


  • An online poll on ‘the most effective ways to learn a language’ is running on the EDL homepage until 23 September – with the results to be announced on 24 September.
  • EDL t-shirt design contest: this year’s winning design (of a plurilingual parrot!) for the European Day of Languages was made by Tímea Svetková from the Slovak Republic. The t-shirt is currently available for sale online in 35 language versions. Designs can already be submitted here for the 2022 edition of the Day – with the contest closing on 31 December 2021.
  • The most innovative European Day of Languages’ event was won in 2020 by Romania’s Școala Gimnazială nr.1 Unțeni, with the activity “A new language is a new life”. The competition, with a small reward, will be organised again for 2021 from 20 September to 20 October. Please don’t forget to vote! https://edl.ecml.at/edlevents

Last minute materials

Event organisers who enter their activities in the EDL calendar can spice up their event with a range of promotional items from their National EDL Relay: EDL wristbands made from fabric; a special 20th anniversary ‘limited’ edition of ‘Talk to me’ stickers; EDL language journey sheets of stickers linked to the booklet with ‘Hello’, ‘How are you?’, ‘Thank you’ in over 40 languages; the ‘Write with me’ pencils in 7 different language sets and colours.

As it is not always possible to send materials, particularly at short notice, event organisers and schools can also reproduce themselves a number of resources such as posters, postcards, images, banners, flyers and logos for social media from the Downloads section of the website.


Selection of 20 events taking place in celebration of the Day – Get inspired!

School exhibition of students’ works (20 September – 4 October 2021, Split, Croatia)
Type of event: exhibition
Target audience: pupils, children, language teachers, parents

European Day of Languages (19-27 September 2021, Hlučín, Czech Republic)
Type of event: language day
Target audience: language learners, pupils

Euroopan harvinaiset kielet – Language Day (1st-30 September 2021, Tampere, Finland)
Type of event: celebration
Target audience: adults (in general), language learners, pupils, children, students, general public, young people (in general), media, participants in adult education programmes, tourism

Journée européenne des Langues (24-26 September 2021, Dax, France)
Type of event: language day
Target audience: adults (in general), language learners, general public, young people (in general), media, policy deciders/politicians, parents

European song contest (26 September – 17 December 2021, Marignane, France)
Type of event: challenge
Target audience: children

Discussion on the linguistic future of Europe (28 September 2021, Berlin, Germany)
Type of event: conference
Target audience: adults (in general), language learners, researchers, pupils, language teachers, students, language experts, young people (in general), media, participants in adult education programmes, policy deciders/politicians, parents

20 Hoorays for EDL (24-27 September 2021, Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece)
Type of event: presentation
Target audience: language learners, pupils, children

Language tree (20-29 September 2021, Rhodes, Greece)
Type of event: poster campaign
Target audience: pupils

All the languages are you and me! (4-30 September 2021, Fusignano, Italy)
Type of event: dissemination of good practice
Target audience: language learners, pupils, children, language teachers, students, general public, young people (in general), parents

Why learning languages is important? (26 September 2021, Warsaw, Poland)
Type of event: language classes
Target audience: children

A step towards your citizenship! (16-26 September 2021, Póvoa de Lanhoso, Portugal)
Type of event: school project
Target audience: students, general public, media

European languages dictionary (23-28 September 2021, Comuna Puchenii Mari, Romania)
Type of event: competition/tournament, Target audience: language learners, pupils, language teachers, students

Idioms of the world (24 September 2021, Buzau, Romania)
Type of event: language exchange
Target audience: pupils

Тhe beauty of words – Лепота речи (24 September – 1st October 2021, Lipe, Serbia)
Type of event: language week
Target audience: language learners, pupils, language teachers

Language newspapers (10-30 September 2021, Uzice, Serbia)
Type of event: school project
Targent audience: language learners, pupils, language teachers, general public, parents

European Day of Languages (26 September 2021, Brusnice, Slovenia)
Type of event: language day
Target audience: language learners, pupils, children

Storytelling – Same stories, same emotions but different languages (19-26 September 2021, Brenes, Spain)
Type of event: workshop
Target audience: students

Let's learn European languages (26 September – 1st October 2021, Diyarbakir, Turkey)
Type of event: celebration
Target audience: language learners, pupils, children, language teachers, students, media, parents

European Week of Languages at NLLA (20-24 September 2021, Maidstone, United Kingdom)
Type of event: language week
Target groups: children, students, young people (in general)

Meet people and learn languages. European day of languages (26 September – 31 October 2021, e-Twinning project)
Type of event: school project (schools from different European countries)
Target audience: children


Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter!

The ECML is running a series of posts promoting the Day in the build up to the 26 September on a dedicated EDL Facebook page and on Twitter – using the hashtag #coeEDL, #20EDL and #happybirthdayEDL to publicise activities taking place on the Day.


Belgium becomes a member state of the ECML!

Belgium has become the 34th member state of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the European Centre for Modern Languages! The Belgian authorities notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, of the country’s accession on 20 July 2021.

Belgium, which is one of the founder members of the Council of Europe, has been invited to nominate ECML national contacts and will henceforth be able to fully participate in the Centre’s programme of activities.

Belgium is set to host its first activity as an official member state of the ECML on 7-8 October in Brussels – a “Supporting Multilingual Classrooms” national training event, wihin the framework of the Centre's joint action with the European Commission.


ECML programme developments 2020-2023 – “Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences”


Participate in a survey on the place of home languages at school available in 9 languages: open until the end of 2022

The RECOLANG team (Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils) is carrying out a European survey on the place of home languages at school, particularly within different education programmes or curricula involving migrant adolescents aged 11-18. This survey focuses on the practices of assessing home language skills and their role in different European education systems. The survey is made up of two complementary sections targeting different target audiences:

  • A section aimed at pupils aged between 11 and 18 (or their families), who are from a migrant background and with one or more home languages other than the language(s) of the school. This section is available in Arabic, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Persian (Dari/Farsi), Portuguese and Turkish: https://surveyforlearners.questionpro.com.
  • A section for schools and educational institutions, teaching and supervisory staff in schools, reception centres and organisations involved in initial and further professional development of teachers working with this age group (11-18 years). This section is available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Portuguese: https://enqueteinstitutionseducatives.questionpro.com.

The survey will be online until the end of 2022. More detailed information on the survey can be found on the ECML website.


Publication quoting the work of the ECML


Beyond CLIL: Pluriliteracies teaching for deeper learning

Coyle D. & Meyer O. (2021), Beyond CLIL: Pluriliteracies teaching for deeper learning, Cambride University Press, available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/beyond-clil/31AB585997E6B5F90E7326BE16F68443.


National developments


Austria – European Day of Languages 2021: share your actions with the EDL event padlet

Would you like to find out more about the EDL or promote your EDL initiatives in Austria, be up to date on events or order promotional material for your own event? Then have a look at the brand new EDL padlet, which has been developed by the Austrian Centre for Language Competence to keep you updated.


France: recent resources

Courriel européen des langues

Issue No. 45 focuses on the impact of Covid-19 on language education, the ECML projects on “Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment” and “Digital citizenship through language education”. It includes an interview with Mr Onno van Wilgenburg, the National Contact Point for the ECML in the Netherlands, on national developments of language education. Finally it presents a selection of recent educational resources.

LISEO: latest newsletters of France Éducation International

LISEO is the documentary portal of France Education International – the national contact point for the ECML in France. It provides resources in the field of education, teaching and promotion of French around the world.


Switzerland: web portal on plurilingualism – Babylonia now online and open-access

Research Centre on multilingualism, University of Fribourg: web portal on plurilingualism

This virtual part of the Documentation Centre includes a bibliography on research on plurilingualism in Switzerland, a “web guide to plurilingualism” and a research data archive which is intended to preserve, index and make available to the public some of the research data of the Scientific Competence Centre. In addition, thematic files provide press, radio and television reports, as well as other documents and grey literature.

Babylonia, the Swiss review of language teaching and learning, now online and open-access!

Babylonia features articles written by language teachers, teacher trainers and researchers in English, French, German, Italian and Romansh. Its aims are to promote quality foreign, heritage and local language instruction, to increase knowledge on research in multilingualism, and to bridge gaps between theory and practice in language education.
More on upcoming issues and the new Teaching Tasters rubric: https://babylonia.online

Author: Karine Lichtenauer
Picture: Babylonia


Professional Network Forum of the ECML


Forthcoming events of the Forum members

The Professional Network Forum of the ECML is comprised of international associations and institutions that share common values and have overlapping expertise in the field of language education and assessment. Under the auspices of the ECML, the members of the Forum share their know-how and work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.



Eaquals 30th Anniversary Conference (21-23 October 2021, Belfast, United Kingdom)

The conference is open to all, both members and non-members, and provides a rich programme of professional development for centre owners, directors, academic managers, teacher trainers as well as researchers and teachers alike. The programme of this hybrid event addresses issues at the forefront of the 5 conference strands: language teaching and learning; course design, CEFR and assessment; staff development; leadership and management; business and marketing.


News from other organisations


United Nations

COVID-19 pandemic: language matters
A collection of useful resources has been created in relation to the role of languages in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“The world in faces”: towards a decade of action for the world’s indigenous peoples and their languages
“The world In faces” exhibition celebrates the rich diversity of the world’s indigenous peoples, their unique knowledge systems and understanding of the world, and their languages, cultures, traditions and histories.


European Union

Pathways to school success: EU open public consultation until 30 September 2021 (midnight Brussels time)

The objective of the consultation is to gather input from a wide range of stakeholders on the scope of the Commission's proposal for a Council Recommendation. It aims at identifying: main priority areas where new or reinforced action is needed at various level and in different education and training sectors to reduce low-achievement and increase secondary education attainment for all.

European Network for Junior Researchers in the Field of Plurilingualism and Education: ENROPE launches its Member Directory

ENROPE is an international, cooperative project aiming to provide high-quality qualification and networking structures for junior researchers in the field of language education and plurilingualism. ENROPE operates at the interface of language education research, language teaching and professional development to develop more plurilingual mind-sets and practices. The platform offers an Intensive Study Programme with opportunities for transborder collaboration and professional qualification, as well as spaces and tools for international and field-specific collaboration.
Everyone who wants to be included in the directory of researchers working in the field of plurilingualism in education and related fields can register in the recently launched ENROPE Member Directory.

Source: ENROPE

Listiac Project – Linguistically Sensitive Teaching in All Classrooms

The Listiac Project develops and experiments a theoretically informed reflection tool aimed at making (future) teachers more linguistically sensitive in their beliefs, attitudes and actions.

Latest news:

  • Young migrant origin students as language teachers: collaboration between AFEX project and ITE at UAB
  • Collaborative project with student teachers: student teachers as LST trainers


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