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Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2016

This Laureate Education Project is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a national Laureate Education Project, led by the Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy. Regional competitions and events take place throughout the year. The competition is co-ordinated by Routes into Languages.

The competition is officially endorsed by Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist.

‌Award winning boxer, Amir Khan, launched the 2015 competition on 2nd February. Amir had this to say about the competition;

"I think it's important to encourage more pupils in school to learn a language and this competition is a great way to boost children's confidence."

About the Competition

There are two separate parts to the poetry competition. Children from Year 4 to Year 13 can enter one or both parts of the competition.

The Mother Tongue part of the competition requires children who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a lullaby, poem or song from their Mother Tongue. They then write a short piece in English to explain the poem’s significance to them.  

The Other Tongue part of the competition encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively to write a poem.

The 2014 winning entries from the North West Region can be found in this anthology. http://mothertongueothertongue2014.wordpress.com/

The project was originally devised by staff in the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages North West. It has been running since 2012.

How to enter the competition