On the occasion of International Mother Language Day (IMLD) 2018, UNESCO reinforces its support for languages and invites its Member States to celebrate the Day in as many languages as possible because linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development.
The Organisation has been celebrating IMLD for nearly 20 years now with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.
Currently, linguistic diversity is more and more threatened because languages are disappearing. A language disappears on average every two weeks, with the loss of a whole cultural and intellectual heritage. Protecting linguistic diversity is a challenge. With regard to multilingual education based on mother tongue or first language, progress is made. Overall, however, there is a better perception of mother tongues, more commitment to the development of mother tongues in the domains of public life, and more measures taken for mother tongue education in the early years of schooling.