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Up to 5000 Students to take part in #ThinkLanguages

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 07/12/2020. Up to 5000 Students to take part  in #ThinkLanguagesTags: Teachers Education

Almost 5,000 students from 70 schools across Ireland set to participate in #ThinkLanguages 2020. Languages Connect encourages students to ‘Think Global, Act Local’ by bringing languages to life in their schools this December 2020.

The Languages Connect flagship #ThinkLanguages event has been reimagined, from a bustling day of 3,000 TY students at the Convention Centre Dublin in 2019, to a school-run extravaganza with a virtual opening ceremony and online workshops paired with nation-wide in-school events. Languages Connect has pivoted its event plan, now bringing its language learning event to schools and classrooms nationwide. Languages Connect is encouraging all TY students to join in this year’s celebration which will include support packs, online workshops, virtual events, online support portal and downloadable plans, schedules and activities.

Schools from across the country will be joining the #ThinkLanguages celebration, which will see a streamed opening ceremony with opening address from Minister for Education Norma Foley TD, key note speaker Des Bishop, MC Zainab Boladale and other speakers such as Ruairí de Burca, multilingual Director General of Irish Aid, and Orlaith Tunney, Trinity College Careers Consultant. The language focused event will also host 14 engaging recorded culture-themed language workshops and activities throughout the day.

Schools have been encouraged to host their own language-based events locally with the assistance of Languages Connect from project management through to execution. Through a mix of supports, TY students, TY coordinators and Modern Foreign Languages teachers will bring foreign language learning to life for their school.

Workshops available range from Spanish Flamenco Dancing and Portuguese Capoeira to colourful beginner classes for Polish and Chinese. #ThinkLanguages will give students the opportunity to experience and understand how learning foreign languages can have a tangible, real-life impact socially, culturally and professionally.

As an awareness raising campaign, facilitated by Post-Primary Languages Ireland, Languages Connect aims to highlight the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of language learning. Students attending the #ThinkLanguages event are encouraged to think about global work opportunities, embrace diversity, be open to a wider circle of friends and the richer life experiences that foreign language skills can offer them.

Commenting on the event, Karen Ruddock, Director, Post Primary Languages Ireland, said: “#ThinkLanguages will follow a very different format this year, and we’re using this opportunity to open the language-learning doors to every school in Ireland. TY students are now considering what they will study for their Leaving Cert and beyond. By showing them the benefits that foreign language skills give them in their life and career, we encourage them to keep up their foreign languages and maybe even take on another language for the Leaving Cert. #ThinkLanguages is a language class with a difference – it should open student’s minds and really bring many different aspects of languages to life.”

Discussing the virtual atmosphere for #ThinkLanguages, Aoife Dungan, Marketing and Communications Manager, Languages Connect, said: “We would like to thank all the TY coordinators, teachers and TY students for helping us put on local events in 70 schools this week. It’s been a challenging year for everyone – but we hope that nearly 5,000 TY students will enjoy their own local #ThinkLanguages as much as the 3,000 who came to the Convention Centre Dublin did last year. There will be a festival of languages happening all over Ireland this December – with fun workshops and language classes organised and given by students and lots of local speakers getting involved. We have worked hard to support the schools with resources – a packed virtual opening ceremony and a great variety of brilliant online workshops. It’s now over to them to create the buzz and excitement we all were able to enjoy last year. We hope it will be a day these students never forget!”

Launched to support a strong, growing economy while also promoting a multicultural and inclusive society, Languages Connect asserts the necessity for Irish people to learn foreign languages.

For more information on #ThinkLanguages, please visit: here.


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