More than 20 AEGEE antennae organized a local event last autumn around the European Day of Languages. The Golden Times asked five of them about their activity: AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Cagliari, AEGEE-Kyiv, AEGEE-Minsk and AEGEE-Voronezh.

Minsk: Belarusian in Belarus

An interview with Katsiaryna Yakushyk, President of AEGEE-Minsk

Minsk1
Katsiaryna Yakushyk during the EDL
Minsk2
Inna Mezentseva was the main teacher.

How was your EDL event in general? Are you satisfied with it?
Our EDL event was great! Nice people, cozy place and interesting topic – what can be better?
When did it take place?
It took place on the 16th of November 2014.
How many and which languages did you teach?
I think we had a quite untypical EDL event. In our country we have two official languages, Russian and Belarusian. We mostly use Russian, but it isn’t our native one. So we decided to make an event on Belarusian language, to increase awareness on it and to try get our members more interested in this topic. What is more, we also discussed some endangered and rare European languages and dialects.
Which presentation did you find most interesting or surprising?
We had several topics of discussion about our language. I can say that for me the most interesting part was: “How to sound like a Belarusian”. It was about the features of Belarusian pronunciation.
Who were the teachers? Members or externals?
Our great member Inna Mezentseva was the main teacher. Moreover, teaching languages is also her job, so we had a professional trainer!
How many people participated? How did they like it?
There were nearly 10 participants. All of them were totally satisfied with the event!
Did they say they want to start learning a language now?
No, because we all already know it. However the biggest success was that after the event we all became very enthusiastic to use it in our everyday life.
Any nice or funny story you can tell about the EDL?
Maybe the nicest was that Inna came especially for this event from another city where she is living. Although the funniest was how we suddenly got the idea and made a multilanguage promo video for our winter event “Time Travelers in Belarus: True Story”.

 

Cagliari: EDL with Additional Conference

An interview with Francesca Zorcolo, AEGEE-Cagliari, EDL Cagliari Coordinator

Cagliari Zorci
Francesca “Zorci” Zorcolo
Cagliari12
AEGEE-Cagliari organised a big conference around the EDL.

How was your EDL event in general? Are you satisfied with it?
We divided the day in two parts, one, more formal, with the conference and one with a happy hour and a little surprise for our participants. The topic of the conference was “Polylingualism and European Identity: could we be a community even if we speak different languages?” Polylingualism is a neologism that meaning: “to speak lots of languages”, so we asked ourselves if it could be the tool to build a strong European identity. The speakers, teachers of different branches of knowledge, tried to answer this question from their point of view, giving participants important sparks to reflect on. In the second part we prepared a little surprise! We organized a quiz show about Europe: our participants had to answer funny questions about European curiosity, also to test their skills. So yes, we are satisfied
When did it take place?
On the 2nd of December 2014.
How many and which languages did you teach?
Well, we have been lucky because our speakers were polyglot teachers that spoke French, English, German, Spanish, Romanian and even a little bit of Japanese and Arabic.
Which presentation did you find most interesting or surprising?
Every speech was really interesting, probably the ones which created most curiosity were that of the English and German teacher, who showed how these languages that seem so different are in fact similar.
Who were the teachers? Members or externals?
They were externals: from the University of Cagliari and another group from a multicultural association.
How many people participated? How did they like it?
About sixty, the conference took place in the most popular library in the center of the city and that’s why it was so easy to participate. I think that the participants appreciated that the speeches weren’t ordinary and for sure they had lots of fun during the European quiz show!
Did they say they want to start learning a language now?
Oh yes! Exactly one week ago we had a vox-pop among our members to discover which language they want to learn the most … Russian won!
Any nice or funny story you can tell about the EDL?
Well the funniest moment for me was at the beginning of the quiz show when the guys were divided in teams and they had to choose the name of each team. Absolutly, for their originality, won “Dirty Deb”, “Old Pig” and “Big Bamboo”. Guess who was “Dirty Deb”!

Photos of the EDL: https://www.facebook.com/events/753436331416952/

Kyiv: The Baguette in the Bag

An Interview with Daria Bielinska, Events Responsible of AEGEE-Kyiv

Daria Bielinska
Daria Bielinska

How was your EDL event in general? Are you satisfied with it?
The event was great, one of the most successful AEGEE-Kyiv events last autumn. We were lucky to have amazing speakers. It wasn’t a classical language class, we created the concept of a Survival Language course, including useful phrases, traditions and habits. We asked them to tell us something useful that will help us to understand their mentality. This concept helped us to move this event beyond the language classes and promote interest about Europe among our Ukrainian participants.
When did it take place?
We couldn’t find a common date for all speakers for a long time, so we performed it with a delay. It took place on the 16th of December 2014.
EDL2014Kyiv1How many and which languages did you teach?
Four: French, Spanish, Slovakian, German. And our working language was English.
Which presentation did you find most interesting or surprising?
I think that the most interesting lecture was by the famous AEGEE member Julien Peñalba, who gave us not only information about the French language and dialects, but also about the life in Belgium. We had a lot of fun during his presentation and learned a lot.
Who were the teachers? Members or externals?
Unfortunately we had just one speaker from AEGEE: Julien Peñalba. The others were externals.
EDL2014Kyiv2How many people participated? How did they like it?
60% were members of AEGEE-Kyiv, the others were non-members. However, after this event the number of members grew! The participants liked it so mush, that they didn’t want to leave after the event finished and stayed to chat more with our speakers.
Did they say they want to start learning a language now?
We were interviewing the attending people to know what they liked and what they didn’t like and why they came. The majority answered to the last question that they wanted to chat with native speakers and that they knew the represented languages before. Only a small quantity of the interviewed people said that they want to learn some of represented languages.
EDL2014Kyiv4Any nice or funny story you can tell about the EDL?
All speakers started their presentation with talking about typical stereotypes about their country and people. During our event we had two French speakers, one of them was representing France, another Belgium. So, the guy representing France asked what’s the most popular food we know from France and …opened his bag where some baguette was inside! Because it wasn’t cut we all were sharing it. It was really sweet and the atmosphere was super friendly!
Anything else you would like to add?
The success of such an event depends on the efforts of speakers and devotion of the organizers team. And we were lucky to have both!

Voronezh: Participants from 8 to 50

An interview with Kristina Begesheva, President of AEGEE-Voronezh

Kristina Begesheva
Kristina Begesheva

How was your EDL event in general? Are you satisfied with it?
I was really satisfied with our EDL.
When did it take place?
It took place on the 16th and 22d of November 2014.
How many and which languages did you teach?
We had nine presenters from different countries: Italy, Greece, France, Indonesia, Germany, Estonia, Austria, Montenegro and Columbia!
How many people participated? How did they like it?
We had approximately 80 viewers. The youngest one was 8, and the oldest one about 50, so it’s a success!
Did they say they want to start learning a language now?
Most of the people who came were interested in studying some languages or they came just to practice it.
Anything else you would like to add?
After the second part of our EDL we went out to a bar, so it was a great opportunity to speak foreign languages and learn more about AEGEE.

Aachen: Teaching Sign Language

An Interview with Philipp Blum, President of AEGEE-Aachen

Philipp Blum
Philipp Blum
Poster-EDL-2014-aachen
The EDL poster of AEGEE-Aachen.

How was your EDL event in general? Are you satisfied with it?
For the people that attended is was definitely a good event. We didn’t have enough participants and some workshops were almost empty, which was sad. As soon as we started really working on it, we did what we could, but we figured we really have to start earlier with this.
When did it take place?
On the 18th of November 2014 from 10:00 until 16:00.
How many and which languages did you teach?
Eleven: French, Urdu, American English, Russian, German Sign Language, Greek, Chinese, Polish, Czech, Spanish, Dutch.
Which presentation did you find most interesting or surprising?
German Sign Language was definitely a good workshop, and I heard that Czech was very amusing and entertaining.
Who were the teachers? Members or externals?
The teachers were native speakers, mostly international students.
How many people participated? How did they like it?
We had between 2 and 15 people per workshop. Everyone who attended liked it.
Did they say they want to start learning a language now?
I have not heard of this, they just found it interesting.
Any nice or funny story you can tell about the EDL?
We had free cookies for people.
Anything else you would like to add?
The event can be pretty cool, but you definitely need to prepare the event better and think about when people actually want to come to such a workshop, otherwise everyone will be disappointed.

Read also the interview with Núria Fenoll, PR Responsible of the Language Working Group: https://www.aegeegoldentimes.eu/european-day-of-languages-2014/

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