International Mother Language Day 2024

International Mother Language Day 2024 is a worldwide annual observance held on February 21st to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

It was first announced by UNESCO on November 17, 1999, and was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of UN resolution 56/262 in 2002. Mother Language Day is part of a broader initiative “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world” as adopted by the UN General Assembly on May 16, 2007, in UN resolution 61/266, which also established 2008 as the International Year of Languages.

The theme for International Mother Language Day 2024 is “Using Technology to promote multilingual learning: Challenges and Opportunities”.

Here are some of the reasons why International Mother Language Day is important:

  • To celebrate the diversity of languages and cultures in the world. There are over 6,000 languages spoken in the world today, and each one represents a unique way of seeing and understanding the world. International
  • Mother Language Day is a day to celebrate this rich diversity.
    To promote multilingualism. Multilingualism has many benefits, including cognitive, social, and economic benefits. International Mother Language Day is a day to encourage people to learn and use more than one language.
  • To raise awareness of the threats to languages. Many languages are endangered or dying out, due to factors such as globalization, urbanization, and language discrimination. International Mother Language Day is a day to raise awareness of these threats and to work to protect endangered languages.

Why is International Mother Language Day celebrated?

International Mother Language Day is celebrated for several important reasons:

  1. To promote linguistic and cultural diversity: The day aims to increase awareness and appreciation for the vast array of languages spoken around the world, recognizing their significance in shaping cultures and individual identities.
  2. To protect endangered languages: Unfortunately, with globalization and assimilation pressures, many languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. This day highlights the need to actively protect and revitalize endangered languages before they are lost forever.
  3. To advocate for multilingual education: Research shows that learning in one’s mother tongue leads to better understanding, stronger critical thinking skills, and improved educational outcomes. This day aims to promote access to education in mother languages and encourage multilingualism.
  4. To commemorate historical events: The specific date, February 21st, was chosen to commemorate the tragic events of 1952 in Bangladesh, where students advocating for the recognition of Bengali as an official language were killed by police. This serves as a reminder of the importance of language rights and the sacrifices made to protect them.
  5. To foster understanding and tolerance: Celebrating diverse languages encourages greater understanding and respect for different cultures and ethnicities, promoting peaceful coexistence and social harmony.

Overall, International Mother Language Day 2024 is a reminder of the rich tapestry of languages that make up our world and the importance of preserving and celebrating them.

What is the theme of International Mother Language Day 2024?

The theme for International Mother Language Day 2024, which will be celebrated on February 21st, is “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education.”

This theme emphasizes the importance of incorporating multiple languages into educational systems as a powerful tool for enhancing overall learning. UNESCO, the organization leading the celebration, highlights that multilingual education contributes to:

  • Improved learning outcomes: Research suggests that learning in one’s mother tongue first can lead to better cognitive development and academic performance compared to starting directly in a second language.
  • Inclusion and equity: Ensuring education in local languages promotes access to education for marginalized communities and fosters their cultural identity.
  • Intergenerational learning: Multilingual education enables knowledge and traditions to be effectively passed down between generations.
  • Sustainable development: This approach supports cultural diversity and contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 of quality education for all.
  • Important point to consider: There seems to be some conflicting information circulating online regarding the theme for 2024. Some sources mistakenly reference an older theme. The officially confirmed theme, as stated by UNESCO and the United Nations, is “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education.”

Also Read: All World Days

By Admin

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