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Next Monday, February 21 is International Mother Language Day. Started in 1999 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), International Mother Language Day “recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion” and how important mother tongue-based multilingual education is.


This year’s theme centers on how technology can advance multilingual education and support quality-teaching development. According to UNESCO, 40% of the world’s population “does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand.” Some of these languages include Welsh, Navajo, and Rohingya.

To give their children better economic opportunities, some parents choose only to teach their children a mainstream language. Unfortunately, without new speakers, communities can lose their native language in an alarmingly short time. UNESCO reports that at least 43% of the 6,000 world languages are already endangered. Once a language disappears, we lose much of the history, culture, and heritage of the people who spoke it. We lose important information such as geographical knowledge, local traditions, and unique ideas that could help us improve the way we communicate and make the world a better place.

Technology can help bridge that gap to bring quality, early education to those in distant locations or remotely connect qualified teachers to students who need them. Non-profit organizations and government entities are working together to develop multilingual education programs and foster online linguistic diversity.

Using technology to support communication in education

For those parents who prefer their children to be educated in a different language than their mother tongue, technology can also support parent-teacher communication, especially remote interpretation.

Many public, private, and charter schools rely on CyraCom’s phone and video interpretation services to communicate with limited-English proficient parents and students. Schools and districts use remote interpretation as an affordable option for:

  • Special education meetings
  • Disciplinary hearings
  • ELL/ESL parent meetings
  • Enrollment and welcome center inquiries
  • Health office and emergencies

For more information about how your organization can invite a professional interpreter to your teleconference or video call, click here.


Regina Wetzel

Regina Wetzel

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in how language works and translation services.