Do we all speak the same language in Europe? The IDEA Program at Geitonas School

DIKTIO-Network for Reform in Greece and Europe, held the event "Do we all speak the same language in Europe?" on Thursday December 13th at the premises of Geitonas School. This informative and entertaining event an integral part of the Jean Monnet Project "IDEA Aurora Through European Identity and Integration" was attended by students of the third grade of Gymnasium and the first grade of Lyceum along with their teachers and the School principal.

Ms. Vicky Flessa, a well-known and popular TV journalist coordinated and participated as well. After the welcoming remarks, Ms. Flessa and Dr. Evi Hatziandreou presented the rational and the Project’s concept emphasizing the need to truly understand how being part of the European Union improves our daily lives, that those improvements should not be taken for granted and that for the next 60 years of the EU the helm is at their generation hands, hence the imperative of active participation in the European public sphere and the upcoming EP elections.  Then, Professor Christopher Charalambakis, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Athens introduced the Indo-European language, its origins, importance and influence stemming from the common roots of so many words we all share in our national languages.

Following this eye-opening introduction Ms. Flessa introduced the word guessing game and outlined the rules of the game. The game consisted of two rounds with 2 teams of 3 students each, playing each time.  The game’s impetus is the drive for introducing key EU policies and common root word etymologies, a dual learning exercise serving the Project’s objectives. The game is actually a quiz regarding identification each time of selected words from the Project’s Thesaurus.

 All throughout the game, there was a great degree of interaction and participation of the audience in the efforts to guess the right words for each round. When a word was identified, Prof. Charalambakis. Furthermore, their association with European Union policies that directly affect the students’ daily lives was discussed and further explained by the DIKTIO-Network’s Special Advisor and Project Manager, Dr. Evi Hatziandreou.

All members of the Project Team utilized “hooks” to emphasize in many different ways the need for students to be active as European citizens and participate in the 2019 European Parliament election.

Last but not least, attending students of Geitonas School heard an Erasmus student Ms. Lydia Vaiopoulou, in plain and convincing way of the opportunities that the EU offers on the grounds of mobility for young people within the framework of the Erasmus+ program, from School participation to student exchange and the European Voluntary Service (EVS).  

Lydia by her example and sharing her experience, stressed the benefits she had gained and the opportunities to expand her horizons and enrich her professional and personal live by being an Erasmus participant. 

The event closed with a short humoristic video mocking the negative argumentation behind Euroscepticism in order to demonstrate what the EU has really done for its citizens and the positive impact of its policies for all of us!

In the end of the discussion and the event, the students who participated in the groups of the word-guessing game as well as three students from the audience who were selected following a lottery, were awarded with commemorative gifts of power banks with the logo of the IDEA program.

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