International Mother Tongue Day is observed 21 February "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world".
The date commorates the deaths in 1952 of two Pakistani/ Bangladeshi students who were killed while protesting for the right to speak their native language. On this day, people around the world call attention to the need to show unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.
For the IB, learning to communicate in a variety of ways in more than one language is fundamental to the development of intercultural
understanding. IB programmes, therefore, support complex, rich, dynamic learning across a range of language domains. All IB programmes mandate that students learn at least two languages and support development of students' mother tongues.
At the 2011 IB Asia Pacific Conference, linguist David Harrison and ethnologist Wade Davis made a strong case that language and culture must be conserved as carefully as other vanishing resources.