Information about the competition
The competition is split into two categories:
Mother Tongue encourages children, who do not speak English as a first language, to share a lullaby, poem, rap or song from their mother tongue and to write a short commentary in English about why this piece is important to them. Or, pupils may wish to submit an original piece, written in their mother tongue language, accompanied by a commentary in English detailing the inspiration behind their writing. In Scotland, pupils will be able to submit commentaries on Scots and Gaelic texts in this category.
Other Tongue encourages children learning another language in school (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Urdu, Gaelic, and Cantonese) to use that language creatively by writing an original poem, rap or song in that other tongue.
A short accompanying text should also be included outlining their inspiration.
Are you a teacher in a primary or secondary school?
September will see the official launch of the competition with poetry and creative writing workshops for teachers taking place at our HE partner institutions across the country (dates and venues tbc).
Registration to take part in the competition is open to schools from August 2015. Schools had until 9 October 2015 to register online - registration is now closed. The closing date for entries to the competition is Friday 18 December 2015, with judging taking place during January 2016.
The competition is open to all schools in Scotland and will be judged under the following categories:
- P1 – P3
- P4 - P6
- P7 - S1
- S2 - S3
- S4 - S6
The winning poems, as well as a wider selection of commendable entries, will be compiled and published in a Mother Tongue Other Tongue anthology. There will be additional prizes, so start thinking now about how you might get involved.
Mother Tongue Other Tongue is an ideal platform for pupils to be creative and to find their own voice. It may be used to support the following activities in school:
- Creative approaches to Primary Language Learning
- Centre run competitions
- Learning and teaching on existing units of work, e.g. Scots poetry or Gaelic song
- P7 to S1 Transition projects
- IDL projects between English, Modern Languages and other departments
- Cross-stage creative writing groups
- Overtaking Es and Os in Literacy and English, Literacy and Gaidhlig, Modern Languages and Literacy Across Learning
- EAL creative writing
These are just a few suggestions, but you may have ideas of your own. Why not visit our poetry resources page, where we have collated a number of downloadable poetry and language materials as well as links to useful websites. You could also read the 2014 wining poems featured in our anthology for some further inspiration or take a look at the MTOT website from Routes into Languages North West and Manchester Metropolitan University to see how the competition ran in England and Wales last year. This video they produced contains highlights from the MTOT celebration event held in Manchester on 29 June 2015 and features the boxer, Amir Khan, and Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, amongst others speaking about the benefits of the competition and having language skills.
Follow our MTOT Scotland blog for updates as the competition unfolds here in Scotland.