HLE Network Meetup for European Day of Languages
September 23, 2021
On the evening of Thursday, September 23, several representatives from heritage language (HL) programs in the Eindhoven region met up at Pand P to catch up with each other. There were ten people who showed up, representing seven different language groups.
This was a special meeting because it was the first one that could take to place face-to-face in a long time, due to the pandemic. Also, it was the first Meetup to take place since HLE Network became an official foundation. Finally, Europe is celebrating this year its 20th annual European Day of Languages. Our Meetup appeared on a list of events related to this celebration and received a certificate. At our Meetups, there is no agenda, but we talk about whatever we want to share. We met the new head of one of the HL programs, and heard about some interesting project-based learning taking place with teenage-aged students. We also talked about the work of Taal naar Keuze, which is a foundation in the Netherlands that helps students drop German or French during secondary school in favor of one of their home languages (so far only for languages for which there is a Dutch Staatsexamen). We also discussed some new opportunities for visibility in the community, for example, we have received an invitation from a local journalist to participate in a news segment about our organizations' work.
We reminded the "HLE Network Affiliates" that they are able to use the HLE Network logo on their website or in documents if they would like. Everyone was interested in this, so we disseminated the logo via email after the event. Finally, we talked about the International Children’s Book Collection at the Eindhoven Library. The project has been such a success that we are looking for additional language groups to participate by holding a collection at the public library at Witte Dame. In 2021 there were five languages added and in 2022 there is the possibility to add even more. The next Meetup will be online on Thursday, February 24, 2022, via MS Teams, in honor of UNESCO Mother Language Day. Follow our newsletters for updates!