Lord Mayor, speech at Manchester Talks Many Languages event

21 February 2017


Manchester has a rich mosaic of well over 150 languages;

37% of schoolchildren in Manchester speak a language other than English in their homes;

this opens up exciting opportunities to benefit from an appreciation of diversity; and to benefit from language skills to develop the city, it culture and its economy

There are also challenges in reaching out to new arrival populations and making sure that they can communicate effectively with the city’s institutions and services, and become an integral part of the city’s social and cultural fabric

On this day we should therefore recognise the contribution of interpreters and translators, and of EAL and ESOL instructors, to building bridges and to facilitating the inclusion and integration of new arrivals;

we should recognise the importance of sharing good practice among the city’s key service providers in regard to the gathering of data on language needs and on strategies to respond to such needs;

supplementary schools and community organisations who help promote their language heritage play a key role in providing the city with a resource of language skills

Many Manchester based businesses harness these language skills in order to maximise Manchester’s potential for global outreach;

the city’s further and higher education institutions have a role in promoting and developing language skills by including languages in their portfolio of teaching and research programmes;

Finally, on this day, which is called International Mother Language Day, we should to the city’s many mothers as well as fathers who make efforts to pass on their home languages to the generation of children born and raised in Manchester, thereby enriching the city’s cultural fabric and pool of valuable skills.