Language Bus: Get on the Bus and Learn!

If you’ve ever ridden public transport, you know that brain-dead feeling that washes over you as you sit down and succumb to the boredom.

A novel program in Vilnius, Lithuania aims to make productive use of this period of mental lapse by injecting some forced education into the commute.

Passengers, whether they like it or not, are subjected to a two-minute language lesson during which phrases are repeated over the trolleybus intercom in Lithuanian, Polish, and English. The phrases are also written on signs posted within the trolleybus so that passengers can learn some of the grammar as well.

“Learning by Moving” is a three-year program sponsored by the Soros International House and is in response to an EU mandate that every European should know at least two languages.

What a great idea! If things go well in Vilnius, the program is expected to move on to other Baltic cities where other captive students will have to endure this repetitive rattle until they too learn how to say “shut the F up!” in three different languages.