English Language Day – History | Significance | Themes: English Language Day is observed on April 23rd every year, which is also the birthday of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights and poets in the English language. The day is celebrated to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity, as well as to raise awareness about the importance of English language as a means of communication and a tool for development in many parts of the world.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is used as an official language in over 50 countries. It is also the language of international business, science, and technology, making it an important language to learn for global communication and success. English Language Day is an opportunity to celebrate the richness and versatility of the English language and to encourage people to learn and appreciate it.
English Language Day History
The history of English Language Day dates back to 2010, when the United Nations (UN) Department of Public Information established the day to celebrate the role of the English language in promoting global communication and cooperation. The date of April 23rd was chosen to coincide with the birthday of William Shakespeare, one of the most famous and influential writers in the English language.
English Language Day is one of six language days celebrated by the UN, each of which highlights the importance of a different official language of the organization. The other language days are Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.
English Language Day provides an opportunity to promote the importance of English as a means of communication and a tool for development in many parts of the world. It also serves as a reminder of the need to preserve linguistic diversity and to promote multilingualism as a means of understanding and appreciating different cultures.
English Language Day Significance
English Language Day has several significances. Here are a few of them:
Promoting Multilingualism: English Language Day highlights the importance of multilingualism and the value of being able to communicate in different languages. This helps to foster better understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and communities.
Recognizing the Role of English: English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and plays a significant role in international business, politics, and diplomacy. English Language Day recognizes the importance of this language and its contributions to global communication and cooperation.
Celebrating English Literature: English Language Day falls on the birthday of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights and poets in the English language. The day provides an opportunity to celebrate the richness and versatility of English literature and to encourage people to explore the works of great English writers.
Encouraging Language Learning: English Language Day encourages people to learn and appreciate the English language, which can lead to greater opportunities for education, employment, and personal growth.
Overall, English Language Day is significant as it promotes linguistic diversity, cultural understanding, and global communication, and celebrates the contributions of the English language and its literature to the world.
English Language Day Themes
The United Nations has designated a different theme for English Language Day each year since it was first celebrated in 2010. Here are the themes for the past few years:
2021: “English for Inclusion”
2020: “Languages Without Borders”
2019: “English Language Learning for Sustainable Development”
2018: “Promoting English language learning and linguistic diversity”
2017: “Engaging English – Opportunities and Challenges of English Language Learning”
2016: “English as a Global Language”
Each of these themes reflects the importance of the English language in global communication and cooperation, and highlights the need for continued efforts to promote language learning, linguistic diversity, and cultural understanding.