Celebrate: International Mother Tongue Day 2022

International Mother Tongue Day (IMTD) is a time to celebrate the cultural and linguistic diversity that we can experience everyday. Since 1999, it recognises that the need for multilingualism is fundamental. 


I am sure that after the past couple of years, no one needs much convincing to get on a plane to take a break and maybe soak up some language while they’re at it. While it is true that travel has been limited recently, the ability to pick up a new language has not. If anything, the restrictions posed by the last few years have only seemed to benefit technology, making this year’s IMTD theme of “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities” very appropriate. 


Why should we celebrate multilingualism?

Multilingualism deserves to be celebrated for a whole host of reasons. My favourite example is the opportunity that it creates for self-expression. It is important to remember that language goes far beyond having a conversation. It holds clues to who we are, and where we have come from. It is identity. De Luca (2017) highlights the connection between the use of language and the right to freedom of self-expression. If this is the case, using multiple languages opens the door to more enriched experiences and insight for everyone. 



How can we celebrate it?

There are many ways that we can celebrate IMTD, from embarking on our own multilingual journey, to supporting someone who already has. Why don’t you use today to reach out to a multilingual friend and learn something from them?


Take advice from this year’s theme and look towards technology- we are spoiled with such a wide range of apps, websites and online forums. Or why not book into a language lesson - whether face to face or online?


PLS are a language training provider based in London who are currently providing online lessons to a variety of corporate and government clients. Get in touch today to discover how we can help you or your colleagues reach your language learning goals.



Christine De Luca (2018) Mother tongue as a universal human right, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20:1, 161-165, DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1392606

Wei, L., Dewaele, J. M., & Housen, A. (Eds.). (2002). Opportunities and challenges of bilingualism. Walter de Gruyter. Page 3.

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