International Mother Language Day takes place on 21 February.  It was created by UNESCO to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism: “Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.”

Looking to mark this event in your school and celebrate multilingualism? Read how Noelia Rivas (ALL Primary Language Teacher of the Year 2017) celebrates Mother Language Day in her school here.  Noelia says, “appreciating and promoting the mother tongue of your pupils will not only encourage linguistic diversity and build tolerance but also make them feel proud of their culture and identity.”

Find further information about International Mother Language Day on the websites below:

United Nations website

Global Dimension website 

Newbury Park Primary School – Language of the month

Mother Tongues website

UNESCO website

The London School of Economics and Political Science – the educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

Head to the ALL shop for specific resources linked to cultural diversity and multilingualism:

Languages Today: Shared Voices.  This edition celebrates the power of multilingualism.

How to develop intercultural understanding through play.  This article explains the benefits of taking language learning into the playground.

Are you planning anything special in your school?  We would love to hear about it if you are. Please get in touch with our Education Officer. 

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