- International Mother Language Day celebrated on February 21
- McGowan Labor Government supports language learning in Western Australia
Western Australian schools and community groups will be holding activities to celebrate International Mother Language Day on Wednesday (February 21).
International Mother Language Day has been celebrated annually around the world since 2000 to promote speech and linguistic diversity, and to protect all mother languages.
The date of International Mother Language Day was chosen to recognise Bangladesh's Language Movement Day, and WA's Bangladeshi community regularly hold events to mark the day.
More than 240 languages are spoken in Western Australia - including Aboriginal languages - and 17.7 per cent of Western Australians speak a language other than English at home.
The McGowan Government is committed to supporting language learning and maintenance through the mainstream schools and community language sector. The Community Languages Program, administered through the Office of Multicultural Interests, funds 50 community language schools, which teach 36 languages as well as an in-school insertion language program.
The McGowan Government has also supported the Modern Language Teachers Association of WA to host a public event on February 21 at the State Library of Western Australia.
More information about International Mother Language Day events can be found at http://www.omi.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia:
"Language is the key to our identity - it influences who we are, forms what we think and expresses what we say.
"The McGowan Government recognises the importance and value of the diversity of languages spoken in this State, and is committed to maximising the benefits of language maintenance, teaching and learning for the benefit of the whole community."
Minister's office - 6552 5600