Wednesday, 30 July 2014

UN in your language

International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2012

motherlanguage 21febThe theme this year for United Nations International Mother Language day is “Mother tongue instruction and inclusive education”. It highlights the importance of mother tongue as part of the right to education and encourages its member states to promote instruction and education in the mother tongue.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. International Mother Language Day’s objective is to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education, and to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

The observance was decided at the 30th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999.

Some practical suggestions for:

Schoolteachers:  

  • Do pupils know that many children in their schools may have mother language(s) that are different from the languages used in their schools?
  • Teachers can get these children to introduce themselves and talk about their families and their cultures, and teach a little of their mother language to other children.
  • They can read poetry, tell a story or sing a song in their mother language. Paintings and drawings with captions in mother languages can be displayed inside and outside schools.


University students
:

  • They may know that their fellow students come from a different culture and use a different language but they don’t take the time to find out more. This is the opportunity to do so.
  • They can make a survey on mother languages existing on the campus by interviewing fellow students and publish the results on internet.
  • Cultural activities such as films, plays and music that celebrate different languages can be organized.

Weblinks:


 

LANGUAGES LOST AND FOUND TRAILER
from Jon Davis & Iris Brooks.


Source: UNESCO / UN Observances

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