International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2017 | United Nations

The 21st February 2017 is International Mother Language Day, a day observed by the United Nations every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

To foster sustainable development, learners must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages. It is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. Local languages, especially minority and indigenous, transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus playing an important role in promoting sustainable futures.

United Nations, International Mother Language Day

In 2017, the theme is “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.” The infographic below explains what multilingual education is, and why it is being promoted by the United Nations as an important step towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


For more information about International Mother Language Day, head to:



Source: United Nations, UNESCO


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