Saturday, October 29, 2011
The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are to alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversify the range of languages learned in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding, promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe and to encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school. In keeping with these aims, people, young and old, are encouraged to take up a language, or take special pride in their existing language skills. Also, those responsible for providing access to language learning are encouraged to make it easier for people to learn a range of languages, and to support policy initiatives to promote languages. There is also emphasis on learning a language other than English. On the occasion of the day, a range of events are organized across Europe, including happenings for children, television and radio programs, language classes and conferences. The events are not organized by the Council of Europe or the European Union nor do they allocate special funding (i.e. apart from their existing language programs) for the day. Member states and potential partners are given a free hand to organize activities. To coordinate the activities organized at national level, the Council of Europe asks participating countries to nominate "National Relay Persons" for the day. The national relay in the UK is CILT, the National Centre for Languages.