Since 2001, the European Day of Languages (EDL) has been celebrated each 26 September. It was the result of a campaign launched by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, a group which decided to celebrate this event annually. Consequently, every year, in the Council's member states, many people participate in activities to promote linguistic diversity.
Taking advantage of the Europian linguistic and cultural richness, which must be encouraged and maintained, the Council's aim is to celebrate all of Europe's languages, including those that are less widely spoke, in order to extend the range of languages that people learn in an attempt to develop their plurilingual abilities and skills.
More specifically, the aims of this day are, according to the Council of Europe:
- raise awareness of the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
- promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
- encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.
The European Day of Languages activities take place not only in Europe, but also on other continents and are organised mainly by schools, universities, language and cultural institutes, associations, among others. As an example, last year more than 1100 activities were held around the globe.
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