European day of languages and bilingualism

The Council of Europe and the European Union created the international day of European languages on the 26th September 2001 to celebrate linguistic diversity and encourage people to learn a foreign language.

By Giulia Barjona / 27.10.2020

Learning a language allows you to discover and confront a new culture, to face the challenges that come with learning a new language, and to develop a part of your brain which is rarely used.

There are many children around the world who begin learning another language from birth. These are referred to as ‘bilinguals’, although this definition has changed over the years following research which has disproven many myths.

Firstly, experiments have shown that half of the world is bilingual. In other words, there are countries where families speak two or more languages either often or all the time. It is also very common for foreign languages to be included in school curriculums.

Secondly, these days the word ‘bilingual’ is used to describe those who use two languages regularly on a day-to-day basis. However, the idea that a bilingual is a person who can comfortably switch between two languages has changed; bilinguals may also speak with a foreign accent or maybe have mastered a foreign language only in certain situations or for different social environments.

Thirdly, researchers have dispelled the myth that bilingualism causes communication problems such as language delays; they discovered that the benefits for children learning a new language are numerous. For example, during studies, researchers found that bilingual children could distinguish between different sounds, had better cognitive flexibility, and more complex thoughts. Furthermore, a greater neuropsychological development helps to improve the level of concentration, intuition, and also prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, why not start learning a new language or using a foreign language you already know?


Giulia Barjona (Italy)
Studies: Pedagogical Sciences
Languages: Italian, English, French
Europe is... an immense source of inspiration and discovery.


Fern D (UK)
Languages: English, French, Russian
Study: MA in Applied Translation
"As conservative politics tries to push the UK further and further away from the continent, it's now as important as ever to make individual efforts to bring it closer."

Author: alessandra

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