#ThinkLanguages 2020 – Think Global, Act Local
#ThinkLanguages gives TY students the opportunity to experience and understand how learning foreign languages can have a tangible, real-life impact socially, culturally and professionally. This year the event has been reimagined and is happening in 70 schools all over the country. Nearly 5,000 TY students will put their own festival of languages on in their schools under our theme for 2020 ‘Think Global, Act Local’. Through a mix of supports from Languages Connect, TY students, TY coordinators and Modern Foreign Languages teachers will bring foreign language learning to life in their school this week.
What’s happening in schools for #ThinkLanguages 2020?
Schools from across the country will join the #ThinkLanguages celebration and watch 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 students have also been offered the choice to take part in 14 engaging pre-recorded culture-themed language workshops and activities throughout the day. Workshops available range from Spanish Flamenco Dancing and Portuguese Capoeira to colourful beginner classes for Polish and Chinese.
Schools have been encouraged to host their own language-based events locally – with some inviting local speakers, past-pupils of the school or teachers/parents/friends in the local community speaking about their own expereince of using different languages. Some schools are putting on International Christmas Fairs, giving their own hertitage language workshops, salsa classes, arts and crafts and many more creative and interesting ideas.
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.”
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!”
Social Media Competition
We have already seen some great photos and videos of the preparation for #ThinkLanguages – but don’t forget if your school is involved to share your photos and tag us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to be in with a chance to win €250 of vouchers for your #ThinkLanguages Champion Team!