World Day of Mother Tongue 2018
On the occasion of the “World Day of Mother Tongue”, which was first announced by UNESCO in 1999 and has since been celebrated every year on the 21st of February, Omladinska organizacija Svitac (Firefly) organized two workshops, which were adapted by age groupings, and attended by several groups of participants. The workshops were hosted in the Youth Centre of Brčko District. The first group was hosted from 11am to 1pm, and the second group from 2pm to 3:30pm.The aim of the workshops was to promote an importance of the World Day of Mother Tongue, and the importance of cultural diversity, equality and multilingualism.
The first workshop was attended by 12 participants aged 4-7 years. During this workshop, younger participants had the opportunity to hear the languages spoken by the international volunteers of Omladinska organizacija Svitac (Firefly) – English, German, French and Spanish. As an exercise they did a didactic task adapted to their age, which consisted of cut out letters which the participants needed to combine to make words such as love, dog, cat and Svitac (Firefly). In the last part of the workshop, the youngest participants played a game where they should consider a certain solution in their mother tongue starting with the one letter.
The second group had the opportunity to watch a short video clip adapted to their age on the number of different languages in the world that are actively spoken today. There was a discussion on the subject of the language and it was very positive that the participants actively participated in the conversation. Participants also had a non-language communication exercise to demonstrate how much their ability to speak should be appreciated. At the end of the workshop, the participants, together with international volunteers, created a short video clip, where they all shared said “Together learn and grow in Svitac (Firefly)” in different languages. The workshop was attended by 5 participants aged 8+.
Svitac (Firefly) also participated in a special event hosted in our community. We worked with BZK Preporod Brčko, who are a local organization officially founded in 1997. The main goals of their organization are youth education and promotion, and organizing cultural activities. We were grateful for their consideration to include us in their event, and we had an amazing time.
For our contribution, we hosted a workshop called “Four Languages” in the early afternoon. We worked with a large group of youth from ages 9-14, and we divided them between four stations where a different language was taught at each. Our international volunteers (Manja, Kim, Camila and Hanna) were able to each teach one workshop in either English, German, Spanish or French.
The English workshop hosted by Manja included learning English words for things the participants like and dislike, and words to describe themselves. The German workshop hosted by Kim focused on basic questions like ‘how are you?’ and words to describe themselves. The Spanish workshop hosted by Camila included learning basic greetings, colours and their favourite animals. The French workshop hosted by Hanna included basic greetings and numbers. In each workshop, there was time reserved at the end to let the participants take what they learned and make something creative and fun. For example, some groups decorated papers with information about themselves, and other participants created a large poster including new words they had learned.
Thank you again to BZK Preporod Brčko for hosting this event, and for inviting us to be a part of it.