Mother Tongue Other Tongue Project

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.

"When you are learning another language, you learn to think in that language, you learn to speak in that language and you learn to believe in that language and it allows you to think from a completely different perspective: it's not just about the words and the grammar but the culture and the language it is associated with.

"It's a skill - a talent - and I hope those of you learning a new language continue to do so because the more you learn, the broader your mind becomes and allows you to think big."

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 creative piece, 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.

Each year between March and July, we look for student ambassadors to judge the competition and support with running the national celebration event in June/July.

Please visit Mother Tongue Other Tongue

Student Opportunities