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Don't give up on languages

Friday 26 September 2003

Don't give up on languages

ASTON UNIVERSITY will be holding a languages quiz for local school children as part of the European Day of Languages on Friday 26 September.

The day, organised by staff in Languages for Life at Aston, will celebrate the wealth of languages (over 200) in Europe and hopes to raise public awareness of the existence and value of all languages spoken in Europe. It also hopes to encourage lifelong language learning in response to the economic, social and cultural changes in Europe and as a factor in personal fulfilment.

The European Day of Languages is held on 26 September every year in Europe and elsewhere to celebrate linguistic diversity and promote language learning. Launched by the Council of Europe during the European Year of Languages 2001, the EDL has since built up a momentum and thousands of activities were organised throughout Europe to mark the Day in 2002.

In addition to the event at the university, staff from Languages for Life at Aston visited Swanshurst School and Moseley Language College with a challenge for year 9 students to identify a variety of languages spoken across Europe.

Annie Bannerman, project officer for Languages for Life said: "Many of the pupils are learning two European languages - French, German and Spanish for example - but we also found pupils fluent in Hungarian, Bulgarian, Swedish and even Welsh. It is vital that this rich diversity of linguistic ability continues for the future development and careers of the children and for the good of the city."

ENDS

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

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