International Mother Language Day at DCSZ

The classrooms, corridors, and assembly halls of Dulwich College Suzhou are alive with the sounds of children and staff happily sharing their mother languages and students engaging in thoughtful discussions about language rights and responsibilities in our school community! 

This week and next, all DCSZ students are engaging in activities to celebrate International Mother Language Day. This day has been commemorated around the world on the 21st of February each year since it was first introduced by UNESCO in 2000.  

As a Language Friendly School, DCSZ respects and celebrates all the languages and cultures in our community. Promoting multilingualism is a key part of our vision for all students to Live Worldwise. The global theme for this year’s International Mother Language Day is Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education, which recognizes the importance of all languages as part of the learning process.

Students throughout the College have been engaging in activities to celebrate their own languages and to learn more about the value of linguistic and cultural diversity.

In DUCKS, the children enjoyed stories read from a number of our parents in a variety of languages and participatedin a lesson focused on welcoming all languages into our classrooms. 

The children sang songs, listened to stories, learned to say “hello” in different languages and created displays for their classrooms to celebrate the languages in our school as part of their understanding of our College guiding statement “We respect and celebrate our differences.”

Junior and Senior School students began an important project to create a DCSZ Charter of Language Rights and Responsibilities. After reflecting on the meaning and significance of language rights and responsibilities in our assemblies, students will have the opportunity to work in their classes to suggest ideas about what they think are important language rights and responsibilities in our College community. 

Student leaders will then develop these ideas into a draft charter that will be further improved by input from all members of our College community. Through this collaborative process, we hope to create a meaningful document that will outline the rights and responsibilities we collectively value. This charter will guide the way we use our language(s) in school and help us to ensure all members of our community feel that their languages are valued and respected.

The following are the posters made by Year 7 students regarding International Mother Language Day:

Please use International Mother Language Day as an opportunity to continue sharing your own languages and cultural identities within your families, at home, and with others at school. As our DCSZ College Values state, “we value the rich diversity of our students and families and support all students to be multilingual learners.”