The “Celebrate the European Day of Languages” event took place at the Central Library on Monday 26th September, attracting more than 250 visitors. This event aimed to support cultural diversity, promote the importance of learning languages and encourage learning various languages for study, work or leisure interests.
The event started with the brand new performance called “Three” aimed at primary school children. 90 children and their teachers enjoyed music, storytelling and live art, as well as learning counting to 3 in the different European languages. This performance was presented by Wrongsemble with support from West Yorkshire Playhouse and Arts Council England.
Later on the public had the opportunity to browse a range of stalls from local language course providers to find out about different courses at the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Language College, Swarthmore Education Centre and Insituto Cervantes. The Migrant English Support Hub and Learning Partnerships talked to visitors about ESOL classes in Leeds. The Leeds City Council Translation and Interpreting Team answered enquiries about community languages and services available for customers.
The Central Library’s Europe Direct Information Centre displayed materials about citizenship, languages, travel, employment and education in Europe. Many people registered with the Language Exchange scheme, which enables participants to share, learn or improve their language skills.
The language taster sessions in British Sigh language, Italian, Latvian, Russian and Spanish were popular with visitors and gave a chance to discover languages which may be new to them. Everyone enjoyed learning new languages. There was a selection of language study books and books in other languages to borrow.
The European Poetry workshop invited attendees to explore the world of three poets who changed the landscape of European poetry and listen to poems in the original languages. The session was focused on The Russian Romantic – era poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin, Spanish Surrealis poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca and Modernist Northumbrian bard Basil Bunting. There was a range of poetry and drama books in European languages and books in translation to browse and borrow.
The European Day of Languages Arts quiz ran during the event with the lucky winner of a book voucher being from Leeds Beckett University.
The European Craft workshop was well attended. Participants discovered how to make beaded jewellery and learned key words in French, German, Italian and Hungarian. Everyone engoyed it!
We would like to thank everyone who came along and celebrated the European Day of Languages with us.