Since 2000, the UNESCO International Mother Language Day is celebrated on around the world every 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism and to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue.
As a two-prong celebration, today we honor language variety and diversity but also commemorate the students killed during a protest in Bangladesh that happened on February 21, 1952. They were part of the group that was campaigning for the official use of Bengali as their mother language.
Languages provide us a good way to keep our culture alive. The thorough knowledge of a particular culture can be attained by just knowing the mother language. People can stay connected to roots of their culture by using their mother tongue. However, and despite their undoubtedly importance, more and more languages disappear each year. In fact, around around 1,500 known languages may no longer be spoken by the end of this century. Linguistic diversity, which is key to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others, is increasingly threatened.
This celebration help us remember languages are the most powerful way to preserve and develop culture and to promote it all across the world.
International Mother Language Day 2022
During COVID-19 school closures, many countries around the world employed technology-based solutions to maintain continuity of learning. This pandemic demonstrated that in today’s world, technology is key to address some of the greatest challenges in education today by accelerating efforts towards ensuring equitable and inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for all.
For that reason, the theme of the 2022 International Mother Language Day, “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”, will discuss the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.