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Mother Tongue Other Tongue

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Friday, 26 May, 2017 - 16:00 to Friday, 21 July, 2017 - 16:00
Event Type: 
East of England
Eastern Region

A tried and tested multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoken in secondary schools that was crested by Routes into Languages North West and is run in the Eastern region this year by Routes into Languages East and the Cambridge University Bilingualism Network.



Open to: 11-18 year olds (Years 7-13)

(There is a charge for private/independent schools - email for details)

Age categories are as follows:

*    KS3 (Secondary years 7,8,9)

*    KS4 (Secondary years 10,11)

*    KS5 (Secondary years 12,13)

Each school can enter the 2 best entries from each year group.


The deadline is Friday 21st July.

Shortlisted entries will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive certificates. Winners of KS3, 4 and 5 will also receive Amazon vouchers



Routes into Languages East invites young writers to send in their poetry and verse for this multi-lingual poetry competition.  There are two categories:

  • Mother Tongue – pupils whose first language is not English are encouraged to submit a poem or song in their first language.  It can be an original piece, or a ‘remembered’ piece.  It can be written in any language.  The entry will be judged on a short paragraph (written in English) that explains the piece and its significance to the pupil. 
  • Other Tongue – pupils learning another language are encouraged to get creative with this language and submit an original poem for the competition. 


Mother Tongue / Other Tongue is open to all mainstream and supplementary secondary schools in the East and pupils can enter as individuals or groups of any size.

Mother tongue:

This can be an original, creative piece, or a poem or song that is ‘remembered’ – i.e. something in your first language that you recall, or that has been told to you by a relative. This can be in any language but English and pieces must also include a short explanation of the inspiration behind the piece, where it comes from, or why it is important to the person submitting it. (No more than half a page)

Other tongue entries must be original poem and written in a language that is not the first language spoken by the person writing it.  This can be any language, including English (if it is not the writer’s first language)

All entries must be accompanied by a Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2017 Entry Cover Sheet (see below).



To submit by email, send your entry to, with the entry form (see below) and with the subject heading MTOT.

To submit by post, send a copy of your work, remembering to include the entry form to:

T Parodi

fao Sarah Schechter - Mother Tongue Other Tongue

Routes into Languages East

English Faculty Building

9 West Road



NOTE: no responsibility will be taken for lost or wrongly addressed entries and entries without fully completed entry forms risk not being accepted for the competition