European language initiatives

The European Day of Languages and the European Language Label are two well-established initiatives which help to promote the teaching and learning of languages, and Europe's rich linguistic diversity.

The European Day of Languages

The European Day of Languages is a yearly event held on 26 September. It's a chance to:

The European Day of Languages was established by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, which represents 800 million Europeans from 47 countries. Many language and cultural institutes, associations, universities and, in particular, schools take part. Established in 2001 - the European Year of Languages - the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since.

Language classes, games, talks, conferences, radio shows and more will take place across Europe on and around 26 September.

More information on the latest events can be found on the European Day of Languages website. The European Commission representation offices organise a large array of events in collaboration with their partners in all Member States.

The European Language Label

The European Language Label is an award encouraging the development of new techniques and initiatives in the field of language teaching and learning, as well as the enhancement of intercultural awareness across Europe. 

The Label is awarded annually or biannually to the most innovative language learning initiatives in each Erasmus+ programme country participating in the scheme. The Label covers all sectors of education and training. 

By supporting such initiatives at both a local and a national level, the Label seeks, in particular, to raise the standards of language teaching across Europe. The European Language Label is typically awarded by the Erasmus+ national agencies.

Here are some examples of language initiatives that have been awarded the European Language Label:

Recent research suggests that multilingualism is one of the best ways to keep the brain alert. Those who are multilingual tend to be better at multi-tasking, have a better memory and are more accurate in their language use. This is the basic premise of the initiative 'Wise words' (Denmark), which aims to inform pupils, parents and teachers about the advantages of being multilingual and to recognise advanced language skills. As part of the campaign, pupils recount their own experiences of being multilingual, the challenges and opportunities this competence provides in a school and educational context.

The initiative ‘Happy together’ (Malta) seeks to help students of all abilities to strengthen their knowledge of the Maltese language. The school has 1,100 students and 170 members of staff. The students have 55 different nationalities from across the world. Over 70 per cent of the school’s students are non-Maltese natives. Since this has always been the reality of the school, they have developed an atmosphere and polices which make everyone feel comfortable, and represent a source of inspiration to other schools. 

The ‘Limba nostra’ initiative (Italy) is led by a consortium of schools, which have created new curricula of Sardinian and Gallurese languages implemented in consecutive school stages - from pre-school to primary and secondary schooling. The project offered a multi-disciplinary approach, which allowed students to learn geographic, environmental, historic and anthropological content through language learning.

To address the challenge posed by increasing immigration and to achieve deeper integration, the Region Umbria has a long-established network of university, adult schools and non-profit organisations, which share aims, tools and funds to develop language programmes for migrants and foreign citizens: ‘Corsi Integrati di Cittadinanza - Conoscere l’Italiano per Comunicare!’