THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

701 Reasons to Study a Foreign Language

European Day of Languages

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated every year on the 26 September. It is a Council of Europe initiative that was first celebrated in 2001, the European Year of Languages.

This post is our way of joining this celebration. Why join? Because the aims of the EDL are part
of the spirit of this blog. They are also at the heart of my writing mission here.

The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are to:

  • alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversify the range of languages learned 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.

European or not, aren’t all of us -language learners- part of this?

Why learn languages

With so much preparation for the FCE exam we tend to forget other reasons to study languages. Language is part of our identity, our own peculiar way of seizing the world around us and making sense out of it. No matter how many words and structures you have mastered –or how many certificates you have collected- communication will always be closely linked to the degree of intercultural competence you have.

So language learning becomes learning to think and feel again. Expand yourself. This is definitely my own reason for learning other languages. What are your reasons?

Here is an inspiring site with a search engine full of reasons:
Notice that exam preparation is not included on the list. So FCE would be num
ber 701!

How you can learn languages

A bit of reflection on this point is a must for any good language learner. Here is a guide written by the Council of Europe on how you can learn languages. It includes short notes on how to plan your studies, how to choose a school or method as well as practical tips to practice writing, reading, listening and speaking. It also deals with a few myths about learning such as ‘Am I too old for succeeding?’

You can download the Pdf here (6 pages, very fast read).

Or from the EDL official site here

Let’s celebrate!

Online learning, lifelong language learning...

This is my favourite quote from the guide:

...learning a new language also means learning to understand other ways of thinking and doing things.

I don’t know you, but I feel like tasting a new language today. Mmm.... I’ll choose one here:
BBC Languages

Till next post!


  • Dear Claudia!

    Thank you for this post and the links!
    Now I shiver to think what my life could have been like if I hadn't connected my life with languages...
    Knowing a language is like opening a door to the sunshine!


    By Blogger Elena Nikolaenko, At 12:42 pm  

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