Tomorrow is International Mother Tongue Day, a day which is supported by the United Nations and has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day encourages people to maintain knowledge of their own mother language whilst learning an additional language.
At EducationCity.com we offer MFL (Spanish, French and German) and Learn English as an additional language and we know it is important for children to embrace languages at an early age! Multilingual education is very important as not only does it help children develop a better awareness of their own language but it teaches children about both the linguistic and cultural diversity of other nations.
International Mother Language Day is known as Shohid Dibôsh, (or Shaheed Day) in Bangladesh, where it is a public holiday. This is because on the 21st of February in 1952, students in the capital city of Dhaka were killed by police whilst demonstrating for recognition of their language Bangla, one of the two national languages of the newly formed Pakistan. Therefore, people in Bangladesh use this day to celebrate the mother language which they speak and the other languages and cultures throughout the country.
We have highlighted My Passport / Mi Pasaporte / Mon Passeport as activities ideal for International Mother Language Day, as those who have never used Learn English, Spanish or French can learn basic words and phrases. They are ideal activities for beginners and covers basic concepts such as “My name is X”, “I am X years old”, “I am from X” and “I speak X languages” etc. Children can then create their passport in their chosen language and print it out to practise further. Each activity is accompanied by a Learn Screen and a Teacher Zone area.
The lesson might start by looking at the Learn Screen with pupils learning about Klara’s passport, with or without supporting text. Then, they predict where she is from and which language she is speaking. It's a really fun activity to help with identifying other languages and cultures!