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Summer's in the air

Bernard Adams highlights key events in this European Year of Languages

The European Year of Languages has been a striking success so far. There are many more events - big and small - to come. Here are some of them. Perhaps they will help to beef up the falling numbers of students taking language courses at universities.

June 20 Languages Fair, University of Surrey, Guildford. Largely for 15- to 16-year-olds. Seminars on choosing a language at university, translation, careers in languages. Taster classes in six languages. Book before attending. Contact Irina James, tel: 01483 876 200, or e-mail:

June 20-21 Seminars at Queen's University, Belfast, given by freelance trainer Martine Pillette. Wednesday: teaching the first three years of secondary school. Thursday: success at A-level. Contact Wendy Phipps, tel: 028 9033 5955. E-mail:

June 22 Languages Festival, Manchester Town hall. From midday to 9pm languages take over the civic seat. Language careers advice from Manchester's universities. Half-hour taster classes in languages, including Bengali, Arabic and Somali. Drama and poetry competitions. Talks about the importance of language skills in the workplace: for example a Manchester police officer tells how and why he learned Urdu. Also music in the open air. Contact Mike Crompton, tel: 0161 247 3926. E-mail:

June 23 Festival of languages, Ashington Leisure Centre, Northumberland. 21 local schools join in a celebration of languages from 10am to 2pm. French folk-dancing, boules, storytelling in Spanish, German and French. Contact Susan Day, tel: 01670 528205. Web:

June 29 Comenius Festival, named after the 17th-century Czech educator. The Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research's 14 local centres will each celebrate dfferently: Leeds Trinity and All Saints College, for example, will mark the half-way stage in the European Year of Languages with performiances of poetry, plays and songs by local schools. Contact Simon Green, tel: 0113 283 7176.

25 June to 31 July Get by in Spanish, Portuguese, German. Five weekly classes at Goldsmiths College, London, starting on 25 June and running to end of July. Tel: 0207 919 7200.

August 23 Languages for the the Global Age, a conference at Stirling University. This is focuses on pupils starting out in the secondary school, but topics will include teaching languages to the very young. For more information contact Lottie Gregory, tel: 01786 466 290, or e-mail:

September 8 "The Intrepid Traveller", Guildford House Gallery, Guildford, Surrey. Costume and accessory exhibition featuring clothes worn by European travellers over the past two centuries. Take the Orient Express, go to Deauville, Baden Baden ... Open until December 1. Tel: 01483 444740.

September 26 European Day of Languages The big day! There will be celebrations across the country and the European continent - with balloon launches from capital cities. Also, in London, an awards ceremony at the Spanish Embassy for the winning entries in the European Awards for Languages competition, which rewards imaginative and replicable language-teaching projects. And the Language Challenges taken up so enthusiastically by the likes of Sir Trevor McDonald continue. If you want to set yourself a target in EYL contact Learn Direct, tel: 0800 100900.

October 1 L'Avare A one-hour version of Moliere's play, aimed at sixth formers, performed by the European Theatre Company. Cast of four. Some English spoken during performance. Book early. Touring until November 30. Contact Jennie Graham, tel: 020 8544 1994.

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