I was delighted to speak at Manchester’s International Mother Language Day event, discussing what it means to be ‘a city of languages’. I was joined on the panel by Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Becky Swain, Maaike Virrips and Yaron Matras.
We discussed the various implications of multilingualism for policy and practice and how Manchester has brought together communities and cultural institutions to value languages as an important economic and cultural asset.
International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO believes education, based on the first language or mother tongue, must begin from the early years as early childhood care and education is the foundation of learning.