Mother Tongue Other Tongue – Poetry Competition Launch

SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, based in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde has just launched its multilingual poetry competition Mother Tongue, Other Tongue.

After a very successful pilot in Glasgow last year, the competition askes non-native English speakers to write poetry in their first language, and requires young people to write poetry in the additional language they're studying in school.

As well as entries in foreign languages, SCILT is looking forward to receiving entries in British Sign Language, Gaelic, Scottish and Braille from schools who have signed up already. 

The broad aims of this competition are to celebrate and promote people who can speak more than one language, to switch between them. We hope to promote the use of first languages, to give all children and young people an opportunity to really enjoy using their language learning in a creative and expressive way. 

Pupils from P1 – S6 can enter poetry, raps, rhymes or songs and have fun working collaboratively or individually.

This year, SCILT offered four poetry workshops to primary and secondary teachers who worked with Juliette Lee, a poet and creative writer, for a half-day workshop to develop their own creativity, exploring poetry and the impact of languages we use. 

The events in Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Inverness saw over fifty teachers leaving inspired and ready to take back some ideas to their schools to help them work their pupils who will submit their competition entries in time for the December deadline.

The Mother Tongue, Other Tongue blog has started up again giving weekly updates including resources, advice and practical ideas for poetry for teachers.

Find out more about this competition.