– By Jaleh Shambayati , YES Abroad 2016-17, Macedonia ( Skopje)
The European Day of Languages is an event sponsored by the Council of Europe that is dedicated to recognizing the diversity of languages spoken throughout the world. This year the European Day of Languages was September 26, and schools all over the continent planned events meant to engage students in learning about a variety of international languages. Several Macedonian schools participated in the day, including Gymnasium Josip Broz Tito (JBT) where two YES Abroad students Kyra Jasper and I are enrolled for this academic year.
At JBT, the 3rd year IB students and the school’s various language departments (including English, Macedonian, Turkish, French, and German) were responsible for planning activities centered around different world languages. Each language represented got its own booth to showcase aspects of the language and the cultures of the countries it is spoken in.
As native English speakers and exchange students from the United States, Kyra and I were responsible for helping with the English language booth. We presented pictures of the UK, Australia, and the US as well as books in English. We also served English tea and American apple pie, which were a big hit.
There was also an elaborate scavenger hunt where each clue was in a different language that was planned and executed by our class. The scavenger hunt was a huge success, and crowds of students were running around the school trying to decipher each of the clues for over an hour!
The main event of the day was a foreign language spelling bee where participants tried to spell out words in French, English, and German. At the end of the event, prizes were given out to the top spellers and the winners of the scavenger hunt. Overall the day was a big success; there were over 100 participants in total, and we all left knowing a little more about European languages.