middle school students in classroom wearing masks

Students Celebrate Linguistic Diversity

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Landmark High School students celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21, participating in events to showcase the many languages spoken on campus.

international mother language dayThe International Group hosted a booth during milkbreak and lunch, where participants:

  • Spoke their native/other languages. Speakers received a sticker saying, “Ask me what language I speak,” to prompt further discussion among community members.
  • Responded to a survey that illustrates how many languages are spoken or understood at Landmark.
  • Wrote the equivalent of the words “love,” “food,” and “thank you” in other languages they speak.
  • Played word games in their own mother language and other languages.

Landmark’s ever-eager enthusiastic kitchen staff prepared cinnamon sticks topped with choice syrups, and members of the group served their teachers and peers, speaking in their native languages and prompting participants to repeat the words.

History of International Mother Language Day

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established International Mother Language Day in 1999 to "promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world." International Mother Language Day commemorates the February 21, 1952, killing of four college students by police in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) who were protesting for the right to speak Bengali, their mother language. The government had declared Urdu the only official language. After years of protests, the government made Bengali the official language of the country in 1956.