Resource type: Event
Price band: Free
Key stage: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, EYFS
Region(s): All of UK
International Mother Language Day was set up by UNESCO to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It is an annual celebration that takes place on February 21st.
Language is an integral part of the way we see ourselves, of our identity and culture. When languages disappear, cultural memory and traditions, unique modes of thinking and expression are lost, and the cultural diversity of our world is diminished.
At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered and every two weeks a language disappears. International Mother Language Day was set up in 1999 to recognise the vital role that language plays in promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, strengthening co-operation, and ensuring quality education for all.
About UNESCO: UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Its aim is to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development through international cooperation in the key areas of Education, Science and Culture.
- Download the International Mother Language Day poster from the UNESCO website.
- The United Nations Association – UK has a background Factsheet for teachers as well as activities for primary and secondary schools.
- Celebrate multilingualism with this Language Garden project from Mother Tongues, a social enterprise in Ireland. The website also has useful videos and articles to help promote inclusion and embed multilingualism in the primary classroom.
- The We are Multilingual website has free teaching resources to help develop awareness and appreciation of the range of different language backgrounds in classrooms across the country for both primary and secondary schools.
- Twinkl have resources to support International Mother Language Day for KS1 and KS2, available with their Core membership plan.
- Mantra Lingua publish dual language books and other resources to support multilingual learners.
- Find more resources to support your EAL students here.