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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility


Wales / Cymru


Celebrating multi-lingualism through poetry

Working in partnership with Cardiff University, Cardiff Library, WOS and OUP, we are launching a competition that celebrates the linguistic diversity and talent amongst young people in Wales.

This multi-lingual poetry competition called Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2014 will give young people across the country the opportunity to celebrate their home languages and also to get creative in the languages that they are learning at school.

This competition was launched by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2012 and was such a success that Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy adopted it 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 also multi-lingual poet, Mererid Hopwood.

Open to young people aged 9 to 18 years, the competition will run in two parts. Mother Tongue will allow entrants to write or perform an original creative piece in their Mother Tongue. It can also be an interpretation, adaptation or inspired by a poem or song that is ‘remembered’ in their home language (not English or Welsh) and important to them. Other Tongue allows entrants to get creative with a language being learned at school (French German, Spanish or Italian).

Over the next few months, young people across the country will have the opportunity to receive creative writing workshops that will be delivered by students of Modern Foreign Languages at Bangor and Cardiff University and our partner in the project Wyas of Sieeng who are a human rights organisation that specialise in holding workshops for young people within the arts to encourage creativity, unity and understanding of other cultures.

The winners of the competition will have their work published in a book, due to be launched in July and will also be showcased at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod later that month.  Prizes for winners will be provided by the Oxford University Press.


Press enquiries to: Ani Saunders, Routes Cymru Project Manager & 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:


  1. Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2014 is a UK Laureate Education Project.


  1. 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.
  2. Routes into Languages Cymru is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).


  1. 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.


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