Mother Language Day 2023

Today is International Mother Language Day! In celebration of the day, we’re sharing this blog post from 2020 that highlights a wonderful multilingual resource!

“Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. But progress is being made in multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.” – UNESCO

Check out this blog post, Multilingual Early Literacy, to learn even more about the importance of mother languages.


Global Storybooks is a free multilingual resource for children and youth. Through the storybook portal you can read, listen to and download illustrated stories in more than 50 languages. Developed at the University of British Columbia, this portal hosts multilingual open-licensed books for over 40 countries and regions on five continents.

While most of the stories originate from the African Storybook, the themes are universal. The Storybooks Canada site makes the stories available in English, French and the most widely spoken immigrant and refugee languages in Canada. It also includes information for teachers on how the stories align with the BC curriculum and 20 suggestions for incorporating Storybooks Canada into their classrooms.

A separate Indigenous Storybooks site hosts stories inspired by the open source Little Cree Books in Indigenous languages as well as English, French and the most widely spoken immigrant and refugee languages in Canada.

To learn more, read Global Storybooks: From Arabic to Zulu, freely available digital tales in 50+ languages and take time to visit the Global Storybooks site.

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