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International Mother Language Day

ACEI Recognizes International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2014

The Association for Childhood Education International recognizes the importance of promoting the right to education in the mother tongue and the value of multilingualism in today’s global world.

February 21st is celebrated as International Mother Language Day. First observed in 2000 by UNESCO, the day honors linguistic and cultural diversity for its role in strengthening the unity and cohesion of societies. The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) supports UNESCO’s mission to promote multilingualism and the importance of mother tongue-based education. This is especially relevant in today’s global world, asminority languages areincreasingly threatened by more dominant languages. We hope you will join us in embracing diversity in local and global communities by developing greater awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance, and dialogue. In order to be robust, changes need to take place at all levels of society. As a parent, teacher, business leader, policy-maker, or any concerned member of the community, each of us can contribute in our own ways to ensure a more just world in which diversity in languages and cultural traditions thrive. What could be a better way to achieve this than via education?

This year’s theme for the International Mother Language Day is “Local Languages for Global Citizenship: Spotlight on Science.” Aligned to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNESCO highlights the importance of the mother tongue as part of an individual’s right to education and encourages its member states to promote instruction and education in the mother tongue.

To learn more about the day, visit:

Note:  The January/February 2014 issue of Childhood Education features an article "Using Mother Tongues as Building Blocks in Childhood Education," by Anita Pandey.  pdfRead the article here.