21st February is celebrated worldwide as the International Mother Language Day. This year saw the PYP emphasize the importance of language in a weeklong celebration from the 18th to the 21st of February. The celebration kicked off with an Indian Languages Fair and culminated in a grand assembly followed by a gallery walk and reflection. This celebration showcased the close collaboration with the parent community when they came in to engage their children in mother language activities as well as a collaborative effort in the language department across the PYP, MYP, Admin and Support Staff.
The Indian language fair held on the 18th February had a range of languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujrati, etc. The students moved in mixed age groups to 9 different regional language and learned salutations, Tongue Twisters and some dance moves. The day was well received by the students who were open minded to engage in new experiences.
On 19th February students were excitedly looking forward to their parents coming in for mother language activities. Innovative learning activities that encouraged the learners to listen, speak, read and write in their mother languages were done. A glimpse into the different rooms showed learners playing with balloons, eating delicious “ Khandvi” and “Motichoor laddus”, making pendants inscribed with their own names, playing games like “kaangoshti”, calligraphy of their names and making origami to decorate their work, making Kollam with rice powder and dancing to the traditional drum beats. All the groups wrote and illustrated the story- Fox and the grapes with creative use of art and craft. This was put together to make a colorful story quilt that gave a visual depiction of the national and international diversity of our community. There was an energetic buzz around the PYP block as learners experienced their own culture through food, dance, songs, stories in their mother language.
On 20th the languages taught in the school was experienced by all the learners in the PYP. The French, German and Hindi language teachers rotated through the classes. First, they made short presentations on fun facts about the language and some basic phrases. Subsequently the learners had many differentiated activities to process the new learnings they had made during the whole week. In some classes, they made Venn diagrams, in others they had an interactive quiz, while in some they had to make posters. All these activities supported a multilingual learning and teaching approach.
Finally, on 21st it was time to reflect. The day started with an interactive assembly where the learners responded to the quiz with sign language. They were true risk takers as they explored new ways to become communicators. The learners were humming with excitement and anticipation to find out new interesting facts about different languages. They sang Frere Jacques in four different languages. A Gallery walk to prompt reflection and discussions was a fitting end to all the learning and enjoyment of the weeklong mother language celebration.
Below are some of the reflections.
To be happy and grateful about our mother tongue.
Learnt to write my name in Gujarati.
We must respect all languages.
I wish I knew more about my mother language.
It was fun and we learnt lots of new words.
We were openminded about learning a new language.
Nervous at first but then I started enjoying it.
Wish we could celebrate mother tongue day more frequently.