Graeme High pupil wins multilingual poetry award

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The multilingual talents of budding poets from Graeme High and Moray Primary were celebrated in the 2018 Mother Tongue Other Tongue awards.

Graeme High pupil Danai Nikitea was crowned the winner of the Mother Tongue category during a prestigious ceremony at University of Strathclyde on March 17.

While Kole Murray from Moray Primary and Harely Ewen and Simi Singh, both from Graeme High, were Highly Commended in the Other Tongue category.

These students used their language skills to create and share poetry for the ceremony.

Winner of the senior phase, Dania submitted a poem in Greek as her competition entry.

She said: “I was delighted to hear my poem won.

“It gave me an opportunity to show and express my thoughts to a wider audience through this amazing experience.”

Mother Tongue Other Tongue, organised by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT), encourages children and young people aged 11 to 18 to use their language skills to create and share poetry.

The competition seperates into two award categories for youngsters to enter, Mother Tongue and Other Tongue.

Mother Tongue invites competitors who don’t speak English as a first language to write a poem, rap or song in their mother tongue while Other Tongue encourages competitors learning another language to use it creatively.

The competition, which saw over 100 entries submitted from across Scotland, will also publish the winners’ work in an anthology.

Fhiona Mackay director of SCILT said: “Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a celebration of the many languages that are spoken and learned by young people across Scotland.

“The collection of their poems weaves a rich tapestry of voices that honours cultural diversity and pays testament to the wealth of Scotland’s many languages and cultures.

“We were delighted to see such a high calibre of entries this year, submitted in 29 different languages.”

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is supported by creative writer Juliette Lee, the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland, Languages in Colleges and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Details of the winners and the anthology will be published on the SCILT website http://www.scilt.org.uk/MTOT/tabid/5841/Default.aspx.