Literacy and Multilingualism

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Since1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on the 8th of September. It is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in the world literacy rates, and reflect on the worlds remaining literacy challenges. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International Literacy Day 2019 is an opportunity to express solidarity with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages (link is external) and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education, at which the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education was adopted.  

International Literacy Day 2019 will focus on ‘Literacy and multilingualism’. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2019, the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s globalized and digitalized world will be discussed, together with their implications for literacy in policies and practice in order to achieve greater inclusion in multilingual contexts.