Introduction

An Introduction by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
The Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition is a Laureate Education Project, set up to celebrate the many languages and cultures that make up the UK today.

Differences in languages and culture are often considered to be barriers to communication but the language of poetry is read all over the world and all cultures have their own poets and poetry. The young people represented here are poetry’s children and the way they see our world is fresh and inspiring. In appreciating the poetry of others, or in sharing original poetry in their own language or in a language new to them, these fledgling poets bring another perspective to an art form, which can break down such perceived barriers.

As Poet Laureate, I would like to thank the young people who participated in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue project for sharing their wonderful work. Reading the poems of these talented and inspirational children will, I am sure, open up connections and dialogues which will continue for years.

An Introduction by Dr Sharon Handley,
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of Routes into Languages North West
Mother Tongue Other Tongue aims to encourage the celebration of the many languages and cultures that make up the UK today. As Director of Routes into Languages North West I am passionate about promoting languages and encouraging pupils to learn new languages.

The Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition values all languages. Not only the Other Tongue, the languages that pupils are learning at school, but also the Mother Tongue, the languages that are spoken at home. Such languages are now part of the Manchester heritage rendering it a vibrant, multicultural, multilingual community.

I would like to thank Carol Ann Duffy for engaging and embracing this project with her creative leadership and making it something very, very special. I would also like to thank all the teachers and children involved.

An Introduction by Yasmin Hussain, Project Manager, Routes into Languages North West
Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a fantastic project. The competition is unique as it allows pupils to use their bilingualism creatively. The project has allowed pupils to explore their multiple identities through culture, poetry and language. Being multilingual has many advantages and it’s great that pupils learn to value this early on in their lives.

Each year the project has gone from strength to strength. We look forward to making this a trans-national project and celebrating multilingualism through poetry and culture.

 

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