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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Mother Tongue Other Tongue Poetry Competition (North East)

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Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 - 00:00 to Friday, 27 June, 2014 - 00:00
Event Type: 
North East
North East England

Running as part of the national competition led by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Routes into Languages North East are delighted to announce the return of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition for 2014!

***DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED UNTIL MONDAY 9th JUNE for all paper and/or digital submissions***


Routes into Languages North East will be providing a range of free Mother Tongue, Other Tongue poetry workshops to local schools over the coming months while the regional competition is now open to all primary and secondary aged pupils in the North East of England who can enter as individuals or groups of any size. The competition comprises two distinct categories:


The Mother Tongue category of the competition consists of two parts, the first of which is the poem itself. 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) and can be in any language other than English. The second part should be a short explanation (no more than half a page) of the inspiration behind the piece, where it comes from, or why it is important to the person submitting it. This part must be written in English and is the part your entry will be judged on.


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


There’s an added twist this year, however: as part of an additional optional category, we would like your pupils to showcase their creations using digital media. Entrants for both categories are welcome to create a short video of their poem being read aloud accompanied by images, film or text on the screen to be housed online, so get your cameras at the ready! Good old paper only submissions are equally welcome, though, and will also be featured digitally via an online blog. The deadline for entering the competition is now MONDAY 9th JUNE 2014.


Please email all entries to or send via post to:
Routes into Languages North East
Room 6.3 Old Library Building
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Winners will be shortlisted by 12th June and will be invited to attend the National Celebration ceremony at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday 27th June from 12.15-4.00pm. It will be a fun-packed day of cultural activities ranging from South Asian drummers to Arabic dance and, of course, a prize-giving ceremony including performances from winning pupils. Teachers: please do keep this date in your diary if your pupils are entering!


Please see the flyer provided below for full details of how to enter the competition. If you have any queries about the competiton please email Sophie Stewart at or Thomas Snell at We look forward to hearing from you!