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Celebrate International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day is an annual observance sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization) to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The mother language is the language(s) in which first words are spoken and thoughts expressed. #motherlanguageday

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Celebrate International Mother Language Day

Explore the diversity of languages in our world through a variety of resources.

World Language Map More than 6,000 languages are used on Earth! Some are written, some are signed and most are spoken. Click on the continents to explore some of the world’s languages.

Borrowing Words Game  It’s common for languages to adopt words from other languages. Many English words come from other languages. For example, the word safari is borrowed from Swahili – a language spoken in parts of Africa. Match English words with the language that it was borrowed from.

Langscape  An interactive map that allows you to zoom to any spot on the globe and see what languages are natively spoken there. Clicking on a language name will display an information window below the map containing basic data about the language and its speakers. Clickable icons allow you to load sounds and recordings, references, and texts. You can also search for a language by name. A teachers’ guide includes suggested activities as well as connections to Common Core and state standards.

Encourage students, parents, and staff members to share their mother language.

Books & Free Printable Activities

The Hello Atlas   This book features more than 100 languages and comes with a free, downloadable app for iOS and Android that allows you to hear the phrases in the book, each recorded by a native speaker.

How to Count 1 to 5 in Five Languages  Count to 5 in French, Japanese, Mandarin, English, and Spanish with this press-and-listen board book.

My Language, Your Language  A new girl in Romelie’s class named Camila speaks Spanish, and she’s teaching it to Romelie. Romelie is interested in learning what other languages do people speak. Her family uses English and American Sign Language. Her mom’s friend knows Somali and Arabic. Romelie discovers and compares languages in her city.

Sign Language: My First 100 Words  Learn 100 basic signs for everyday use in helpful categories, such as food, colors, animals, classroom, and more. A full-size poster of the ASL alphabet is also included.