International Mother Language Day Celebrations

Mother Language Day is a worldwide, annual observance held on 21st February, to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to celebrate multilingualism. International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education with focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO believes education, based on the first language or mother tongue, is the foundation of learning. At MIS, our mission states “We recognize that language is an important part of culture and encourage the power of language in building and communicating understanding”, and in keeping with these values, we celebrated Mother Language week across the school from 15th to 19th February 2021. Preparations started in January and the entire school community participated by contributing to the celebration, showcasing our rich language demographic. In Primary, the Student Leadership invited all learners to celebrate Valentine’s Day by recording “I love you”, to a Flipgrid in their mother language. This resulted in a beautiful video that celebrates our multilingual learning community through a single message. In P2-5, teachers posted morning check-in questions in the mother languages of our learning community as learners used Google Translate to discover the meaning; many learners also responded in the same language, with the help of technology. Across the Primary, learners shared jokes, stories, artefacts, memories, book reviews, and poems in their mother languages as evidenced in Seesaw activities and through sharing on Google Meets. In the Early Years, some of the engagements included choice boards and sharing our languages. Some examples are, Ms. Chantelle’s song in Turkish and Ms. Dhanashree counting in Telugu, inviting learners to also share songs and counting in their mother languages. In the Secondary School, homeroom time was dedicated to mother language discussions and activities. The homeroom prompts were given in different languages and discussions on importance of mother language were encouraged. Students selected IB learner profiles they related to the most, and recorded videos about their significance, in their mother languages. Parents and teaching staff recorded and shared songs, poems, stories and games in their respective mother languages. The Student Council contributed by recording translations of our school’s Mission and Vision Statements into different languages. The support staff at school presented dance performances representing different Indian cultures and languages. Students explored the staff, parent, support staff and Student Council contributions in the different languages, gave feedback and showed their appreciation for the contributions. Many teachers across the school used translanguaging in their lessons and encouraged students to speak in their mother languages. Mr. Praveen and Ms. Lila conducted activities in their Design and French language lessons and encouraged all students to present their work in their mother languages. We thank all our families, teaching staff, and support staff for their contributions and help in making the mother language week a success.

Examples of student activities done in Ms. Lila’s lessons
Mission, Vision. “Vision And Mission – Mahindra International School”. Mahindra International School, 2021, https://misp.org/discover/vision-and-mission/. Accessed 22 Feb 2021.
Nations, United. “International Mother Language Day | United Nations”. United Nations, 2021, https://www.un.org/en/observances/mother-language-day. Accessed 22 Feb 2021.
“Sustainable Development Goals | UNDP”. UNDP, 2021, https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html. Accessed 22 Feb 2021.

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