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"Mother Tongue, Other Tongue" Competition (North East)

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Friday, 26 April, 2013 - 00:00 to Monday, 1 July, 2013 - 00:00
Event Type: 
North East

Led by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, 'Mother Tongue, Other Tongue' is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages currently spoken in the schools across the UK.


The Rules                                              

Mother Tongue, Other Tongue is open to mainstream and supplementary schools in the UK and pupils can enter as individuals or groups of any size.


Mother Tongue entries will be in two parts:

The first part is the poem. 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 other than English.

The second part should be a short explanation of the inspiration behind the piece, where it comes from, or why it is important to the person sub- mitting it. (No more than half a page). This part must be written in English and is the part your entry will be judged on.


Other Tongue entries must be an original poem written in a language that is not the first language spoken by the person writing it. The languages you write in should be studied in your school and can be any of the following: French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Italian.


For more details about the national Mother Tongue, Other Tongue project click here.


In the North East

In the North East of England the competition is open to all primary schools and secondary schools. Entries received will be judged in four categories:

1) Years 4, 5 & 6.

2) Years 7, 8 & 9.

3) Years 10 & 11.

4) Years 12 & 13.

The deadline for submitting your entries is July the 1st, 2013.


The winners will be announced at a special celebration event, which will be held on Friday the 12th of July 2013. In addition to competition results being announced, activities with local poets and workshops with Routes into Languages Student Ambassadors will be provided on the day. If you intend to enter your students into this competition please use the registration form below to ensure full details of the Celebration Event can be e-mailed to you in advance of your student's poems being received.


Winners in each category will receive prizes for winning the North East Mother Tongue, Other Tongue competition and be invited to attend a special event in early November 2013 where regional winners from across the country will convene at Manchester Metropolitan University for a national celebration of the diverse range of languages and cultures that make up the United Kingdom today.


Workshops led by Routes into Languages Student Ambassadors (with a background in Modern Languages or Creative Writing studies) are available to support the Mother Tongue, Other Tongue competition and can take place either in your school or at Newcastle University. These can be booked online by clicking here.



How To Enter the Competition

Each individual entry must include the student's name, school & year group along with their teacher’s name and e-mail address. Please note we cannot accept entries that do not include this information.

By email: Send your entries to

By post: Send a copy of your entries ato Mother Tongue, Other Tongue, Routes into Languages North East, FAO: Thomas Snell, Language Resource Centre, School of Modern Languages, Old Library Building, NE1 7RU.

The deadline for submitting your entries is July the 1st 2013.