Tuesday 21 February was UNESCO International Mother Language Day—a day to celebrate the multitude of languages spoken across the globe and how they contribute to building a sense of global citizenship. “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education” was this year’s focus. The UNESCO site also reinforced the importance of one’s original language. “It is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. Local languages, especially minority and indigenous, transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus playing an important role in promoting sustainable futures.”
International Mother Language Day was a great opportunity for us to acknowledge all the multilingual students and staff at BSSC who make our college such a diverse and interesting place.
Students and staff took the opportunity to ask a student or colleague how to say something in their mother language (often something as simple as hello or thank you).
This simple act allowed us all to show our EAL and International students that we value their first language—and gave a small insight into the challenges that come with learning second or subsequent languages.