International Mother Language Day 2022: History, theme and significance

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International Mother Language Day is observed across the world on 21 February to highlight the significance of linguistic diversity and multiculturalism. The day focuses on how languages hold strategic importance for people and can advance the process of education and development.

International Mother Language Day promotes the existence of multilingualism in societies and aims to preserve traditional knowledge and cultures through sustainable methods.

History

Bangladesh had first come up with the idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day. UNESCO approved this initiative of Bangladesh in 1999 at the 30th UNESCO General Conference. International Mother Language Day was then celebrated for the first time on 21 February, 2000 and has been observed throughout the world since then.

Significance

According to the United Nations, an estimated 6000 languages are spoken in the world and around 43 percent of them are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have been recognised in the education system.

Hence, International Mother Language Day is observed to understand the importance of multilingualism, along with promoting and preserving it.

Theme

Each year, this day is observed through a specific theme and the theme for 2022 is “Using Technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities”. Since COVID-19 has led to a closure of schools, most countries around the world have now employed technology-based methods to impart education.

This year’s theme will therefore focus on the potential of technology to build and improve multilingual education. Ways to develop quality teaching and learning for all will also be discussed. A webinar will be organised by UNESCO on 21 February to celebrate this International day of Mother Language.
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International Mother Language Day 2022: History, theme and significance
International Mother Language Day 2022: History, theme and significance
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