Multilingual education is the basis for learning and knowledge transfer between generations

Многоязычное образование — основа обучения и передачи знаний между поколениями

Schoolchildren in Kharkov, Ukraine. Multilingual education is the basis for learning and knowledge transfer between generations Culture and education

International Mother Language Day, proclaimed by UNESCO and approved by the UN General Assembly, is celebrated annually on February 21. This year the theme of the Day is “Multilingual education – the basis of learning and knowledge transfer between generations.”

In addition, 2022–2032 were proclaimed the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

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One of the indigenous languages ​​disappears every two weeks

In 2024, UNESCO emphasizes the important role of implementing multilingualism policies and practices as a basis for achieving universal, inclusive and quality education and training.

Multilingualism in Education

According to the UN, 40 percent of the world’s population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand, and in some regions this figure is 90 percent.

Use of mother tongue in education has a positive effect on student outcomes, increases their self-esteem and improves critical thinking skills, experts say. Also, the policy of multilingual education contributes to the transfer of knowledge between generations and the preservation of native culture.

Today there are about 7,000 languages ​​in the world, and 45 percent of them are in danger of extinction, the UN reports . However, only a few hundred languages ​​have a prominent place in education systems and in the public sector, and less than a hundred languages ​​are used in the digital sphere.

Technological developments

According to the head of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, modern technology can help preserve languages, for example by creating audio recordings of those that exist only in oral form. Technology also makes it possible to analyze local languages ​​and dialects and increase awareness of them, she said.

At the same time, Azoulay warns that the spread of the Internet is leading to increased linguistic uniformity and Progress will support multilingualism only with the focused efforts of the global community.


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