Today Arqus is celebrating the European Day of Languages. By focusing on the advancement of multilingual and multicultural universities, the seven partner universities of the Arqus European University Alliance are united in their commitment to promote linguistic and cultural diversity.
This commitment has been shown through numerous activities which the Alliance has been able to carry out despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of this include the development of eLearning material for language learning, various workshops – for both students and colleagues – on language and intercultural competence, as well as the collective work on a common certification system. A bilateral exchange between Leipzig and Granada has been particularly fruitful. At this virtual summer school, over 20 students have been able to attain level B1 qualifications in German and Spanish at both universities, respectively. Chair of the Action Line ‘Multilingual & Multicultural University’, Prof. Olaf Bärenfänger, has highlighted the importance of the European Day of Languages:
Languages are the key to cultures, vehicles for teaching and learning, and the foundations of all types of communication. Especially during this year, when travelling for many is not possible, we have noticed just how important successful communication and mutual understanding are. As a result, the Arqus European University Alliance is working intensively across many departments to make use of the strengths of each individual location throughout the alliance, and to work closely together. One particularly impressive example of this are our virtual summer schools for German as a Foreign Language in Leipzig and Spanish in Granada. While we would have, of course, loved to host these courses on campus at the respective locations, the lecturers and students made the best out of the situation, taking part in a rewarding, linguistic and cultural exchange.
These are some testimonials of the students that participated in the summer school:
The course was excellent and very well led by Sophia, Vincent and Emilie. I would like to congratulate them because they did a very good job. If the course continues like this, it will certainly run for many years. Congratulations!
I am very happy to have participated in this course, even if it was online. The teachers are great and very professional, I learned a lot and had a great time. Sophia's feedback has allowed me to know what I can improve and what my failures are.
I feel that in a short time I have improved my German a lot. The classes were very dynamic and entertaining, so in spite of the many hours spent, they passed quickly. The teachers were very good, I am very happy with all of them.