EDL Events From Aachen to Kyiv: AEGEE Celebrates the Languages

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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: http://www.aegeegoldentimes.eu/european-day-of-languages-2014/

Check the Face­book site of the LWG: www.facebook.com/LWG.AEGEE

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