fb-pixel International Mother Language Day Tutorials - Mill Hill Schools


International Mother Language Day Tutorials

This week our tutorial theme was languages in recognition of International Mother Language Day which is marked on 21 February.

International Mother Language Day, is a chance to reflect on how our mother language makes us who we are. But it is also an opportunity to think about how learning other languages can broaden our horizons and help us grow. Studies show that speaking multiple languages makes us more compassionate, expands our worldview and even gives us a better understanding of our own native language.

In tutorials we discussed how our mother language is integral to our sense of identity. Our pupils also taught each other their mother tongue, learning to sing happy birthday and how to greet one another. Finally, we explored how languages evolve and even become extinct.

The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan claimed that the unconscious mind is structured like a language. For him, our mother language was simultaneously a blessing and a curse: it gave us the ability to interpret and ultimately control the world, but at the cost of constricting our understanding of reality to a set of pre-determined concepts. This also means that our first language can be essential to how we understand ourselves. It can shape the way we think and engage with other people, and root us in a particular place and culture.