Celebrating International Mother Language Day

Hilda Heyde News

In Language Friendly Schools!

This past International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was a huge success for all the Language Friendly Schools! The theme for IMLD 2023 was ‘multilingual education – a necessity to transform education. Multilingual education that utilises mother-tongue languages facilitates wonderful access and inclusion. Languages play a vital role in building inclusive societies, preserving cultural heritages and strengthening sustainable development. 

We are so proud of all our Language Friendly Schools this IMLD 2023 and are excited to highlight a few Language Friendly IMLD 2023 celebrations!

The Optimist International School in the Netherlands, celebrated by having a Mother Language Parade. Parents read, played and held dance and yoga sessions in their mother tongue. They ensured the success of the day by writing encouraging messages in different languages outside of their building. 

Also in the Netherlands, DENISE (the first language friendly school in the world) invited parents and children to bring a text that had special meaning for them in their mother tongue. The day encompassed the sharing of poetry, lullabies, cartoons and additions of warm wishes to their “Growing up tree”. 

Dulwich College Suzhou in China marked the IMLD 2023 by having students discuss language rights and responsibilities in the hopes of coming together across the College to create a school-wide Charter that will guide inclusive approaches to ensure all languages at the school are valued. Furthermore, they spent the day singing, sharing stories, creating lovely displays for their classrooms and learning to say “hello” in other languages.  

On the other side of the world, the Silver Creek School in Canada honoured the day by utilising a bulletin board, sharing a graph made by their Ambassadors of the 33 languages spoken at Silver Creek, and by having their first ever language challenge (say hello in any language other than English)! Watch this video to learn more about their new Dual Language Book project.

Our other Language Friendly School in Canada, Glendale Secondary School held a fantastic Language Friendly School Flag-raising ceremony with the students, Language Friendly Ambassadors and teachers that garnered special media attention

Lastly, in honour of the De Sint Antonius School in Suriname being the inspiration for the whole Language Friendly School Initiative, our Co-Founders Ellen-Rose and Emmanuelle welcomed them as an honorary school into the Language Friendly School fold! We are so excited to have their wealth of knowledge! Read more about this school here:

What did your school do to celebrate International Mother Language Day? Feel free to share your activities with us!