Mother Tongue / Other Tongue

Work with poets and schools on a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity in UK schools.

Key Information
  • Mother Tongue Other Tongue – national and award-winning Education Project
  • Make a difference – supporting in the classroom, developing activities and at events
  • Use your confidence – working in a school context or in multilingual writing
  • Commitment … two days of training with one of Manchester Met’s poets and then the equivalent of two weeks of full-time engagement to be negotiated with project partners. This will be negotiable, but expect to be working between mid-March and May

Important: As this activity begins earlier than the rest of the Third Term, it has an earlier closing date. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 20 March.

Detailed Information

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a national Laureate Education Project, led by Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE (UK Poet Laureate 2009-2019) with regional competitions and events taking place throughout the year. The competition is officially endorsed by Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist and Imtiaz Dharker, award winning poet, artist and documentary film-maker. The project recently won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education (2019).

There are two separate parts to the poetry competition which is aimed at children from Year 4 to Year 13: ‘Mother Tongue’ requires children who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a lullaby, poem or song from their Mother Tongue. They then write a short piece in English to explain the poem’s significance to them. The ‘Other Tongue’ part of the competition encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively to write a poem.

This Third Term activity gives students the chance to support the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition in a variety of ways that may include; supporting poets in the classroom, developing writing activities, helping at community events, and collecting feedback and evaluation. You will be given some training working alongside one of the project poets and there is scope for the parts of the project to expand creatively under your own direction. Whilst you don’t have to have lots of experience in schools to apply, you should confident operating professionally in a school context (we’ll make sure we send you somewhere really friendly, of course) and an interest in multilingual writing is desirable.

Additional Information

All students accepted to complete this activity will be required to complete an Enhanced DBS check, fully funded by the University.

A stipend of £30 will be paid to all students who complete this activity, to support with transport costs and expenses.

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