The ‘Mother Tongue Other Tongue’ Celebration Event took place last night at Manchester Children’s Book Festival. Schools from across the country gathered to celebrate the winners of the multilingual poetry competition led by Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, and to meet world boxing champion Amir Khan, who is patron of the competition.
“I think it’s amazing. It’s an honour to be here at the Mother Tongue Other Tongue event. Being a Pakistani, obviously I’ve always been learning another language. I think it’s good that kids are learning their mother tongue as well as other languages, as it helps you in later life.”
“We’re a city of multiculturalism. People in this city are open-minded enough to accept any culture. I was lucky to be born here.”
“The competition allows pupils to express themselves through poetry and their personal identity. It gives them a sense of belonging. They can be creative with language and can share their cultural heritage with their peers.”
“It’s been a great celebration and it’s great to have Carol Ann Duffy and Amir Khan supporting the project. It’s great to inspire children to write creatively in a foreign language, and to show that poetry isn’t boring!”
“I think childhood is where you fall in love with poetry. We have nursery rhymes read to us at a young age by our parents. Children in primary schools and junior schools sometimes feel self-conscious about using language and I think you get a little bit more self-conscious about poetry as a teenager. So it’s very important to do some poetry right through the spectrum as we do, from children to teenagers, that helps them engage with their own writing.”