After last year’s successful pilot of the MTOT competition in the Glasgow area, 2015/16 saw SCILT deliver four poetry workshops for teachers across Scotland to give them ideas and inspiration which they then took back to their classrooms. The popularity of MTOT had obviously grown with over 400 learners across a variety of age groups from P1 to S6 participating in the competition. The budding poets used their language skills to create poems, songs and rhymes in 36 different languages including, for the first time ever, British Sign Language and Gaelic - the hardest task was determining the finalists!
Twenty award winners received their prizes on the main Piazza stage at the SECC on Saturday 12 March 2016 as part of the wider Language Show Live Scotland event and took the opportunity to perform their poems and rhymes to the audience, showcasing the many languages used by children and young people both in school and at home. The event drew in a huge crowd, with passers-by stopping to also see and hear their work.
Juana Adcock, bilingual poet and translator, welcomed the audience and spoke passionately about her own experiences growing up as a bilingual child and also of learning Italian later on in life. She highlighted the power of words and how poetry helps us to discover more about ourselves.
Juana and Atta Yaqub, actor and Equity Officer for the Scottish Football Association, presented the pupils with their own copy of the MTOT Anthology as well as a SCILT goodie bag filled with multilingual gifts. The overall winners from each age group were also presented with MTOT trophies. Visit our MTOT 2015-16 Winning Entries page for the full list of winners and read their winning poems by clicking on the MTOT 2015-16 Anthology cover above. More photos from the event can be seen in our MTOT Flickr album.
Atta drew the event to a close by reflecting upon the importance of maintaining one’s home language and keeping culture alive for children who have English as an additional language. He also told the audience how learning German as an adult boosted his acting career and mentioned the benefits of learning a language in the 21st Century.
The award winners, their families, friends, teachers and Languages Show Live audience members were asked for feedback on the event and the competition in general. Below you can see some of them adding their voices to our Poet-Tree.
Comments on the Poet-Tree really praised the MTOT initiative: