On the 16th of May Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library (Lithuania), in order to promote the linguistic education of youth and adults, invited to the first meeting of the Language Café. The library staff who initiated the event were happy that more than twenty people of different generations were interested in the opportunity to improve their foreign language skills.

The moderators of the event, Malvina Zimblienė and Virginija Švedienė, introduced the idea of the Language Café and invited those who came to the event to introduce themselves: to say their name, to list the languages they can speak, and to depict the emotion they came with through a particular movement. Later, language enthusiasts gathered in groups based on their chosen foreign language, where they talked about themselves, their family and country’s traditions and culture over a cup of tea in German, French, and English. The moderators of the event had a discussion in Lithuanian with Joe, a Brittish guy who lives in Panevėžys and is improving his Lithuanian language skills.

When asked what impression they take away from the first meeting, the participants of the Language Café said that they value this idea very much and are already looking forward to the next session. People liked the democratic atmosphere and format of the event, the opportunity not only to improve foreign language skills, but also the possibility to discuss with like-minded people, and maybe make friends in the future.

The next meeting of the Language Café will take place in June. The topic is “Summer. Vacation. Travel”. People of all ages, youth from 14 years old and adults who want to communicate in a chosen foreign language and improve their speaking skills, meet like-minded people and improve their foreign language skills together, share interests or just communicate are welcome. The purpose of Language Café classes is not teaching, but practice. Foreign guests staying in the city are also welcome.

In the next session of Language Café, it will also be possible to chat in Spanish, as the event will be attended by teachers and students from Spain from the Alcala de Henares Adult Education Center. The employees of the Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library brought the idea of the Language Café exactly from Alcala de Henares, where they visited in March together with other librarians of the Panevėžys region under the Erasmus+ program.

Text by Virginija Švedienė
Coordinator of Adult Education Activities