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Students embrace diversity on European Day of Languages
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05/11/2013 00:00:00

Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast celebrated European Day of Languages today with a special event which embraced the growing diversity of languages and cultures in Northern Ireland. 

During a special multilingual assembly at the school, students gave performances in song, dance, a medley of music and a poetic reflection using an array of European languages including French, German, Irish and Spanish.

European Day of Languages is celebrated annually on 26 September in 47 countries across Europe to raise awareness of the value of languages and to promote language learning. 

The celebration of language learning and cultural diversity will continue in October with the annual 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond' fair and exhibition  which takes place in St. George's Market, Belfast on Tuesday 22 October - Wednesday 23 October.  Organised by the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond' – now in its 10th year - has a vibrant programme of events which encourages greater intercultural understanding and highlights Northern Ireland's European and international links.

    Students embrace diversity on European Day of Languages

    Speaking on European Day of Languages Colette FitzGerald, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, said:

    "Europe has a remarkable linguistic and cultural diversity and with so many opportunities for people to work, study and travel throughout the European Union, it has never been more important for people to learn a language.  On European Day of Languages we celebrate Europe's diversity and encourage people of all ages to take full advantage of language learning and the opportunities that it offers.  We will continue our celebration of language learning in October with the annual 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond' fair and exhibition, which gives people a unique opportunity to explore languages further."

    Councillor Guy Spence, Member of Belfast City Council's Development Committee, said:

    "As we celebrate European Day of Languages this week, we as a council also recognise the importance of competing on a European stage and equipping our young people with the right skills to avail of the opportunities that exist in Europe and further afield. We are honoured to bring 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond' to St George's Market this October along with the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland. Now in its 10th year, the two-day programme promises to be as vibrant and interactive as ever, exploring opportunities of living, travelling, studying and working in Europe".

    Wendy Phipps, NICILT Executive Officer, said:

    "As European Day of Languages celebrates its 12th birthday this year, we at NICILT are proud to be the local coordinators in Northern Ireland. This special day, which celebrates languages and lifelong language learning, is being marked in 47 countries across Europe over the next few days. We are delighted that Rathmore Grammar along with many schools and other organisations across Northern Ireland joined so enthusiastically in the European Day of Languages celebrations."

    Paul McGlone, Coordinator of Modern Languages at Rathmore Grammar School said:

    " It is a great honour for us in the Languages Departments at Rathmore to host this special assembly to celebrate the European Day of Languages 2013. It is a great opportunity for us to display the extent of our language provision and the depth and variety of the enrichment experiences we provide for our pupils in order to foster a life-long love of language learning as a means of communication and expression."

    Related Links

    • 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond' is organised by the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council and is supported by Northern Ireland CiLT, Volunteer Now and the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

      For a full programme of events for 'Opportunity Europe and Beyond', go to www.ec.europa.eu/northernireland or www.belfastcity.gov.uk/europe .

      For more information contact Catherine McShane, European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, Tel: 028 9024 0708, Email: catherine.mcshane@ec.europa.eu.

    Last update: 06/11/2013  |Top