Since 2001, 26th September has been the European Day of Languages. The initiative was launched by the Council of Europe and the European Union to celebrate Europe's linguistic diversity, with its 24 official languages, about 60 regional and minority languages, and more than 175 migrant languages.
On this day events are organized all over Europe, from Graz to Prague, from Rome to Vilnius. You can visit fairs, play games, celebrate languages through music or take part in demo language lessons. Everybody is invited to have a try at languages!
To celebrate Europe's language wealth and the importance of language learning, on 25 and 26 September the European Commission will hold a Conference in Vilnius on "Unity in diversity: languages for mobility, jobs and active citizenship". The conference is organised by the European Commission, with the Institute of the Lithuanian Language, the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language and the Department of Translation and Interpretation Studies at Vilnius University. The Conference will also be a chance to mark the European Year of Citizens. More information on the event will follow, so stay tuned!
eurostat news release
European Day of Languages - Two-thirds of working age adults in the EU28 in 2011 state they know a foreign language - English studied as a foreign language by 94% of upper secondary pupils
In the EU28 in 2011, 83% of pupils at primary & lower secondary level and 94% of those in upper secondary level general programmes were studying English as a foreign language. The second most commonly studied foreign language at both primary & lower secondary level and upper secondary level was French (19% of pupils in primary & lower secondary level and 23% in upper secondary), followed by German (9% and 21%) and Spanish (6% and 18%). The importance of English as a foreign language in the EU is also confirmed amongst working age adults. In the EU28, English was declared to be the best-known foreign language in 2011 amongst the population aged 25 to 64. Among those stating English to be their best-known foreign language, 20% responded that they spoke it at a proficient level, 35% at a good level and 45% at a fair level. Considering all languages, two-thirds of the total population aged 25-64 stated they knew at least one foreign language.
Full eurostat news release STAT/13/138
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