Arsenal’s Double Club Language Scheme was recently honoured at the European Commission’s first 'European Language Label of the Labels Awards' for demonstrating outstanding performance in promoting the teaching and learning of languages.

The Arsenal Double Club was nominated for the best UK Language Project of the last 10 Years by CfBT Education Trust, a UK charity providing education services for public benefit in the UK and internationally. 

This success comes on the back of the scheme earning the title of Best UK project in 2008 and Outstanding Commitment Award for 2010 awarded by CILT, The National Centre for Languages.

The nomination and final shortlisted awards were presented to representatives of the projects by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, at the 'Multilingualism in Europe' conference in Limassol, Cyprus. It was one of nearly 500 events taking place across Europe to mark the European Day of Languages.

Mrs Vassiliou paid a visit to Arsenal earlier this year and met with Arsenal’s Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Gazidis, who showed the Commissioner some of Arsenal’s work in its local community.

Arsenal’s Double Club was originally devised in 1998 to improve pupils’ numeracy and literacy skills by using the Club as a hook to engage young people who require additional support at school.  The 45-minute classroom sessions using football and Arsenal-themed exercises and resources are followed by a 45-minute football coaching session.

The scheme has grown over the years to incorporate a wide variety of school subjects - including modern languages - which includes video content of Arsenal players speaking in their native tongue to aid the sessions and motivate and engage young language learners.

The UK judges said: “The context of football is relevant all over Europe, the project is high profile, it brings together ‘real life’ and education, it raises awareness of languages, internationalism and mobility, it interests youngsters as it’s cool and it’s replicable. It definitely has the European dimension and it has had a very broad impact.”

Alan Sefton, head of Arsenal in the Community, said: “We’re incredibly proud to receive this recognition for our language scheme.  We understand the power the Arsenal name has to reach young people in a special way and through the Arsenal Double Club initiative we use this influence to engage young people who need extra encouragement in certain areas.”

Since it began, 8,532 pupils from 372 schools have taken part in the Arsenal Double Club Languages programme for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

For media enquiries, please contact Kate Laurens in the Communications Department at klaurens@arsenal.co.uk

If you are a teacher interested in taking part in our programme visit www.arsenaldoubleclub.co.uk

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Oct 2012