PRESS RELEASE: Mother Tongue Other Tongue Celebration

National celebration of multi-lingualism through poetry

Young Welsh winners of national multi-lingual poetry competition attend prestigious celebration event at Manchester University

The winners from Wales’ Mother Tongue Other Tongue Competition were cordially invited to take part in a very special celebration event held at Manchester University on Thursday, 7th November. Winners from England were joined by Wales’ Kaya Jones from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern in Cardiff, Sam Brookes from The Cathedral School in Cardiff and Isabel Libut for St. Joseph’s Catholic & Anglican High School in Wrexham who took part in language workshops, taster sessions and were presented with certificates by Wales’ National poet Gillian Clarke. They enjoyed a performance by Musicians without Borders and an address by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Naeem ul Hassan who said:

“It is wonderful to see so many people come together to celebrate languages. For many people across the world languages can be seen as a barrier, however I believe that language is quite the reverse. To be able to speak more than one language is a gift and the ultimate key to communication.” (Quote from post by Yasmin Hussain on the Routes into Languages blog)

The Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2013 multi-lingual poetry competition has given young people, aged 9 to 18 years, across the country the rare opportunity to celebrate their home languages (not Welsh or English) and also the chance to get creative in other languages being learnt at school (French, German, Spanish or Italian). This competition was created by Manchester Metropolitan University and due to the success of the pilot last year, Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, adopted the project as a UK Laureate Education Project thus encouraging all young people across the whole of the UK to get involved. In Wales, we are very lucky to have support from our National Poet, Gillian Clarke and multi-lingual poet, Mererid Hopwood. Our other winners included Barbora Kandurova from Cathays High School in Cardiff and Ermine Geoghan from Ruthin School in Ruthin.


Press enquiries to: Ani Saunders, Routes Cymru Project Manager and Coordinator, email:, tel: 029 2026 5408
Interviews with Ceri James, Director of Routes Cymru are available on request from Ani Saunders.
Routes into Languages Cymru website:
Notes for editors:
Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2013 is a UK Laureate Education Project.

The Routes into Languages programme was developed by three organisations working in partnership: the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML), the HE Academy Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) and CILT, the National Centre for Languages. The Routes into Languages programme is coordinated by a team at the University of Southampton, directed by Professor Michael Kelly.

Routes into Languages Cymru is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).

Led by CILT Cymru in partnership with 9 universities across Wales, the specific aim of the Routes into Languages Cymru project is to increase the take up of languages from school to university. It encourages young people to have a positive attitude towards their language learning and promotes languages as an essential skill.

CILT Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government and is managed by WJEC.