Today, 26 September, is (or was) the European Day of Languages.
The Council of Europe came up with the idea of a European Day of Languages in 2001, the European Year of Languages. The initiative has several goals:

  • Making EU citizens aware of the linguistic diversity in Europe. (There are over 200 European languages!)
  • To increase awareness of the importance of language learning; just knowing English is not enough.
  • To "encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school" (quoted from Wikipedia).

These goals should appeal to the users of Language Learning Stack Exchange.

However, language skills are something that can be evaluated, and this type of evaluation can be used to measure the effectiveness of this European initiative. Hence my question: is there any evidence that the European Day of Languages has motivated more EU citizens to learn foreign languages? Has the percentage of multilingual EU citizens increased since 2001 as a result of this initiative?

Tip: Resources for Researching Language Learning Questions.

Update: The European Commission's website about multilingualism has a page about Evidence-based policy which does not mention the European Day of Languages as part of this "evidence-based policy".

  • 2
    I don't understand what this has to do with actual language learning. You're asking whether a certain second language initiative was effective, which isn't in this site's scope.
    – fi12
    Sep 27, 2016 at 15:21
  • 3
    @fi12 If one of the goals is to motivate people to learn foreign languages, why wouldn't it be in the site's scope? Why should we artificially limit ourselves to techniques for learning or teaching languages?
    – Tsundoku
    Sep 27, 2016 at 16:31
  • 1
    This is not really sufficient to answer the question, but, I have never heard of a European Day of Languages, nor do I know of any schools or colleges which have incorporated it - and as I come from a currently European country, I think this says something about whether it was effective. Though OTOH, given that we're the UK and are terrible at language learning in general...
    – Lou
    Mar 27, 2017 at 1:26


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