International Mother Language Day


Introduced by UNESCO in November 1999, International Mother Language Day aims to promote appreciation and conservation of languages around the world. The holiday was first observed in February 2000 and continues to be observed annually, encouraging people from across the globe to celebrate their cultural and linguistic differences.

For 2017, UNESCO has adopted the theme “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education,” emphasizing the importance of education in multiple languages. As defined by UNESCO, multilingual education offers opportunities that facilitate equality for speakers of minority or indigenous languages.

As many as 350 languages are spoken in the United States. More than 120 languages are spoken in the Metro Nashville Public School System alone.

Out of the two million people who immigrate to the U.S. each year, as many as half are unable to speak, read, or write English proficiently. These people can have difficulty finding jobs, applying for college, and passing their citizenship tests. They are also more susceptible to living in poverty.

At the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, we’re committed to providing the assistance that non-native English speakers need for a better life in the U.S. We provide basic English classes and Citizenship classes. Our dedicated volunteer tutors work one-on-one with English language learners on the things that are important to them in their daily lives.

Every day, we see the vibrancy that a diversity of languages and cultures brings to Nashville. Our volunteers get the chance to meet and work with people from all backgrounds, countries and cultures. Find out how you can join our team of volunteer tutors.

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