English Language Day

English Language Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateApril 23, 2024
2025 DateApril 23, 2025

English Language Day

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English Language Day History

English Language Day seeks to increase awareness about the history, culture, and achievements of the English language. English is a Germanic language, and it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It has even earned the name lingua franca of the modern world, which means it is a universal language used for communication. This day makes up one of six UN language days. The aim is to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity by exploring main languages.

English Language Day was established in 2010 by the United Nations to promote the organization's six working languages. This day is observed annually on April 23rd. This date coincides with William Shakespeare’s birthday. Shakespeare is one of the most famous and well-celebrated English play writers and authors in history.

Facts about English Language Day

  • There are six total working languages among the UN community and five other language days. They are: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • There are approximately 106 total countries that use English as a first-language and some 339 million first-language speakers (i.e. it is their first and primary language spoken) worldwide.
  • The English language can trace its origins back to the year 450 when invading German tribes spoke a similar language. The language of this time period came to be referred to as Old English. Native English speakers today would have trouble understanding it, as it has many differences to what we now consider the English language.
  • The current English language spoken at present is referred to as Late Modern English. It originated around the year 1800 and the biggest difference between it and early modern English is that it has more words, which were created in order to name new technology during the industrial revolution.
  • There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so - William Shakespeare

Top things to do in the US for English Language Day

  • Volunteer at a local English Second Language center that provides incoming immigrants with language training. Many of these centers operate with volunteers and you can help the learners practice their English.
  • Read one of William Shakespeare’s many plays. Some of his most popular plays are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello and King Henry IV.
  • Watch a movie in a different English accent than you are used to. Here are our suggestions:
    Irish accent: The Field (1990), Intermission (2003), and Once (2009)
    Scottish accent: The Decoy Bride (2011), Brave (2012), and The Angels’ Share (2012)
    Indian accent: Monsoon Wedding (2001), Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
    Australian accent: Crocodile Dundee (1986), The Babadook (2014)

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