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International Mother Language Day

By FLcs 19 Feb 2021

On the 21st of February, it’s International Mother Language Day

The world is home to about 6,500 languages, and according to around 120 languages are spoken in Coventry.

What is the aim of the International Mother Language Day?

The purpose of International Mother Language Day is to raise awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity every year on 21st February.

 How did International Mother Language Day Start?

On November 17th, 1999, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) decided to make 21st February a global annual event after four young students were killed in Bangladesh during a protest because of a language dispute. A year after, on February 21st, 2000, the International Mother Language Day was officially observed for the first time.

Why is International Mother Language Day Important?

If it is unclear why you should be aware and celebrate the International Mother Language Day. Please, give us an honest answer to the following question. Did you know that every two weeks a language disappears? With every lost language, an entire cultural and intellectual heritage is lost. Due to globalisation, many languages are threatened to vanish. When this happens, the world’s rich heritage of cultural diversity fades, so do traditions, history, individual ways of expression and opportunities. It is essential to remember to celebrate all languages on 21st February making sure therefore that the world’s culture, diversity and history remains as we know it as long as possible.

Coventry University – Centre of Global Engagement – Linguae Mundi (World Languages)

As a Cov Uni student, you can explore languages and cultures with the university’s innovative foreign language programme, World Languages (Linguae Mundi). All classes are open for students, staff, alumni and members of the public. 

You can a new language or you can improve your existing language skills in a practical and interactive environment. Languages are delivered by professionally trained native speakers. You can get cultural insights and enjoy an authentic learning experience in a relaxed and friendly setting.

Have you worked hard to learn a language? Why not get an international qualification to prove it? CU Centre of Global Engagement is an official examination centre for French, Spanish and Italian, and they also offer preparation courses for these exams.

More than that, YOU CAN BECOME A TUTOR! You can gain a language teaching qualification (EUROLTA Language Teaching Certificate) that you can use anywhere in the world. There may also be opportunities for paid work as a Linguae Mundi tutor after successful completion of a course. You can find out more here:

Linguae Mundi offers over 30 languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Mandarin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, British Sign Language, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.


ways to get involved and show that you care

1. As mentioned, as a Cov Uni student, a primary way to show that you care is to get involved in Linguae Mundi.You can register here:

2. Watch this one-minute YouTube video for more insight and inspiration

It is very upsetting to know that 40% of the world’s population don’t have the opportunity to study in a language they can understand. Here, in this video, Oranee Jariyapotngam is involved in a project about mother-tongue based multi-lingual education. She helps indigenous children to receive a quality education in their first language.

3. Learn how to say “Hello” in different languages

You may know already how to say “Hello” in a few languages. Why not polishing this skill further? You can simply google “How to say Hello in different languages” and start your educational journey around the world there. This is not only a way to celebrate and cherish the world’s languages on 21st February, but it will also be a useful skill to have on your next holiday. 


4. Register to this year’s UNESCO zoom virtual event: 2021 International Mother Language Day "Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society" 

The theme of the 2021 International Mother Language Day, “Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society,” recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind.

The webinar will be held in English, French and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation, as well as in French sign language. It will be live on 19th February at 10:00 AM Paris time.

To finish on a positive note, we decided to give you a hand in your language learning. So, I strongly suggest checking out this link.

Written by Bogdan- 19th February 2021

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