Latest from Europe Direct in  North East England - September 2013
View this email in your browser
Your monthly e-bulletin to keep you up to date with the latest news from your Europe Direct centre in North East England
European Day of Languages
26 September 2013
You may already know that the 26th September is the European Day of Languages, which is celebrated all over Europe to encourage language learning for all and increase intercultural understanding. There are many ways to get involved and this month’s e-bulletin will give you plenty of ideas to get started!
Did you know…?
  • More than 6,000 languages exist across the world?
  • There are around 225 indigenous languages spoken in Europe?
  • The most commonly spoken language in Europe is Russian, followed by German, English, French and Italian?
  • Experts have estimated that at least half of the world’s languages, maybe more, will die out over the course of this century?
The European Day of Languages (EDL) is all about getting people excited about languages, including those which are less widely-spoken – It’s a celebration of all the world’s languages, not just European ones!
Below is a list of activity ideas for you to use in your school or youth group to help your young people discover a new language and find out fun facts about Europe along the way:
  • Treasure hunt with a linguistic theme – why not try putting some of the clues into another language?
  • International food markets – a great way to inspire young people and get them talking about their favourite food and drink in another language;
  • Why not ask a group of pupils to perform a play in a foreign language or organise a fashion show with a commentary in French or German?
  • International sports day – combining physical activity with languages!
  • Songs from around the world – music helps make a foreign language more memorable!
  • Languages quiz – see how much your young people know about Europe’s languages and in which countries they are spoken.
Where to go for more information and ideas:
We hope you have been inspired to join in and celebrate the European Day of Languages on the 26th September this year, along with thousands of people from all the other European countries and beyond!

Competition !!

The Association for Language Learning, Network for Languages North East, Europe Direct North East and Crossroads Languages have come together to organise a special competition which has been designed to stimulate young people to use text written in a language other than English to create their very own illuminated page; in the style of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
The Gospels are famously highly illuminated of course and written in a ‘foreign’ language – a form of Latin. Our competition this year asks pupils to produce an illuminated page, in the style of the Gospels or in their own take on that style, using a language other than English. For Key Stage 1 and 2 we ask them to locate a text (poem, paragraph, verse of a song, etc.) in their chosen language of around 4-6 lines long and to present it as an Illuminated Page. For Key Stages 3 and above we ask them to locate or create a text (poem, paragraph, verse, story etc.) in their chosen language of around 10 lines long and to present it as an Illuminated Page.
Entries must involve words in a language other than English, and should be no larger than a sheet of A4 paper. (Please note that the judges tend to see a lot of flags every year, and these are not recommended!). Entries should be clearly marked with the pupil’s name, age, class, teacher and school, as well as any necessary information about the language chosen (i.e. if it is a less widely learned language) to facilitate judging. Please give teacher contact details for your bundle of entries so that we can contact winners. We reserve the right to use winning entries for display or promotional purposes and will inform you accordingly through newsletters or e-bulletins. Please note that entries cannot be returned.
Entries are to be sent to: EDL Competition, c/o René Koglbauer, Network for Languages, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU.
The intention is that this might form an activity around the European Day of Languages itself (Thursday 26 September), so the deadline for submission of entries will be: Monday 7 October.
vouchers will be offered to the winners; there will be one winner for each key stage, up to and including KS5. Runner-up prizes may also be awarded at the judges’ discretion. In the event of insufficient entries of good quality in any specific key stage no prize will be awarded; the judges’ decision is final.

Discover Germany 2013

The Modern Foreign Language department at St John’s School and Sixth Form College in Bishop Auckland was delighted to learn that they were successful in gaining one of only four places nationally on this year’s Discover Germany trip organised by the UK-German Connection.  This year’s trip had a high number of very good applications and so it was a great achievement for the St John’s students to have been selected.
The focus of this year’s trip was regeneration in the Ruhr area of Germany and in advance of the trip, students had completed project work based around the film “Das Wunder von Bern” which is set in the Ruhr area in 1954.  Our project hoped to look at the history and socio-economic development of this industrialised area of Germany through the eyes of Matthias, the eleven year old main character in the film, as he grew into adulthood, and to reflect on the changes that he would have seen during his lifetime between 1954 and the present day.
Whilst in Germany, students had the opportunity to visit a German school where they enjoyed some lessons with German students.  There were also many excursions such as a tour of the Ruhr valley, a visit to a mining museum, an afternoon at the zoo where students were able to feed the polar bears as well a visit to a German market with some of the German students they had met where they were able to sample some authentic German foods.  A highlight of the trip was climbing to the top of a regenerated “Gasometer” which gave the students an amazing view over the re-landscaped Ruhr valley.
The four day trip was a fantastic experience for all of the students and they have all developed a greater understanding of German history and culture which they can now share with their classmates in September as they report back on their findings.
Susan Graham
The partnership with County Durham and the City of Tuebingen in Germany was established in 1969.  
Poet Doctor Keith Armstrong, who gained his doctorate at the University on Durham in 2007, following on from Bachelor's and Master's degrees there, first visted Tuebingen in November 1987, with the support of the County Council and the Kulturamt in Tuebingen, to give readings and talks there for a period of a month. Since then he has visited the city over 30 times and helped arrange for Durham poets, musicians and artists and their counterparts in Tuebingen to visit their respective cultural twins.
And the literary twinning continues to go from strength to strength. Most recently, poet Keith and folk rock musician Gary Miller, lead singer of Durham band the Whisky Priests, travelled to Tuebingen in March 2013 for performances in pubs, cabaret venues and schools where they performed with Tuebingen poets Sara Hauser and Tibor Schneider (who visited Durham in October 2012 as part of the ongoing exchange). Tibor joined his Durham counterparts for readings at the German Department, Durham University and at the Half Moon Inn. He was also interviewed on BBC Radio Tees concerning his Durham visit.
Keith will be back in Tuebingen in November 2013 to participate in a symposium about writer Hermann Hesse, who lived and worked in Tuebingen in the 1890s, and there are plans for Sara Hauser to come to Durham in 2014.
A highly successful series of events were held in 2007 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the literary/arts twinning established by Keith Armstrong when he first visited Tuebingen in 1987 for a month’s residency, supported by Durham County Council and Tuebingen’s Kulturamt. Since then, there have been readings and performances in pubs, universities and castles, schools, libraries, book festivals, jazz and cabaret clubs, even in Hermann Hesse’s old apartment, involving poets, writers, teachers and musicians from the twin partnerships of Durham and Tuebingen.
Tuebingen’s music duo Acoustic Storm, poet/translator Carolyn Murphey Melchers and Cultural Officer visited Durham and the North East in October/November 2007. The musicians performed in Durham schools and pubs and there was a special evening in Durham’s Clayport Library to celebrate the twinning, with Keith Armstrong launching his new Tuebingen poetry booklet and performances by poets Carolyn Murphey Melchers, Katrina Porteous, William Martin, Michael Standen, Ian Horn, Cynthia Fuller, Hugh Doyle and musicians Acoustic Storm, Marie Little and Gary Miller. Margit Aldinger of the Kulturamt in Tuebingen and Brian Stobie of the International Department, Durham County Council, also addressed the audience.
For the record, here's a list of those who have made it happen so far:
Tuebingen visitors to Durham since 1987:
Carolyn Murphey Melchers, Karin Miedler, Gerhard Oberlin, Uwe Kolbe, Johannes Bauer, Eva Christina Zeller, Simone Mittmann, Florian Werner, Juergen Sturm, Mary Jane, Wolf Abromeit, Christopher Harvie, Eberhard Bort, Marcus Hammerschmitt, Henning Ziebritzki, Andy and Alessandra Fazion Marx, Otto Buchegger, Tibor Schneider.
Durham visitors to Tuebingen since 1987:
Keith Armstrong, Michael Standen, Julia Darling, Andy Jackson, Fiona MacPherson, Katrina Porteous, Marie Little, Ian Horn, Alan C. Brown, Linda France, Jackie Litherland, Cynthia Fuller, Margaret Wilkinson, Jez Lowe, Jack Routledge, Gary Miller, Matthew Burge, David Stead, Hugh Doyle, Peter Dixon.
These events were supported by Tuebingen’s Kulturamt and Durham County Council.


The Lefèvre Trust is offering funding to support school to school joint projects between schools in the UK and France. The programme is open to all schools who teach 11-19 year olds. The grant funding will enable reciprocal visits between young people and educators from UK and France and aims to give young people the knowledge, skills and understanding to work not only bilaterally but in a global context. Grants are available for programmes starting this term. Apply for your grant by 30 September.
Copyright © 2013 Durham County Council, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp