English language day: 10 facts about the English language
If you didn’t already know, English language day was on the 23rd of April, and it’s never too late to celebrate. The English language is ever-changing and it’s hard to keep up with new words being added every day.
Celebrate English language day by learning a bit about its history, and words that may not be in use now – you can also learn about where it’s spoken, and how it’s used. Maybe take some time to help someone learning English get a little better at it, or even learn about the different variations there are.
What is English language day?
English language day was first celebrated on the 23rd of April 2010 and was chosen because it is the date traditionally observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare. This day aims to celebrate, entertain and inform about the culture, history, and achievements related to the English language.
So, we have put together 10 facts about English language day you may not know:
10 facts about the English language
1. English is the language of the skies
This means that all pilots speak English in the sky regardless of their origin and this is to it makes it to understand each other
2. There are words called pangrams
There is a sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” which is a pangram. This means it contains every letter of the alphabet. Can you and your class think of any other pangrams?
3. The word ‘girl’ means boy and girl
The word ‘girl’ actually used to mean small boy or girl. The word never used to be gender-specific so, if you were to talk about anyone in your class, you would call both boys and girls “girl”
4. The word butterfly changed its spelling
You may not know this but the actual name for the butterfly was flutterby.
5. New words every day
A new word is created approximately every 98 minutes – that’s around 4,000 new words that are added every year in the dictionary
6. There are certain words that don’t rhyme
The words month, orange, silver, and purple do not rhyme with any other word. See if your class can find a word that does! Or ask them to come up with as many rhyming words as possible. Try our rhyming sounds phonemic box and see if your class can match up the correct rhyming words.
7. Shakespeare invented many words
He invented hundreds of words such as birthplace, blushing, undress, torture and more. He was responsible for creating over 1,700 words and these words are still used today
8. The first English dictionary was written in 1755
That’s over 266 years ago! Can your class research anything else that may have happened in the 18th century?
9. There is a language spoken by only 8 people!
The Busuu language is spoken by eight people in the world! It’s the language of the Southern Bantoid of Cameroon. There were 8 speakers of the language in 1986 and 3 in 200
10. Did you know there are over 2,700 languages in the whole world?
See if anyone in your class can speak a different language and if so, why not learn more about it? Get the children to teach each other about different things and learn new words.
There are so many more amazing facts about the English language. Get your class to research different languages and even try and speak a few words. Getting them to learn about this can help their cognitive thinking and pique their interest in other cultures, religions and countries.