English Language Day – Update (April, 2023)

April 23 is a significant day for language enthusiasts all around the world. It marks the celebration of World English Day, also known as English Language Day, which commemorates the birth and death anniversary of the renowned English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established World English Day in 2010 to promote multilingualism, cultural diversity, and to recognize the importance of the English language in the world.

History of World English Day

The English language is one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe. It is referred to as the lingua franca of the modern era and serves as the working language of the United Nations. The Department of Global Communications began language days for all of the United Nations’ six official languages in 2010. This effort eventually resulted in the creation of English Language Day, also known as World English Day.

Significance of English Language

Approximately 952 million people speak English as their first language globally, with an additional 603 million people speaking it as their second language. This makes English the most commonly spoken language worldwide and a tool for communication in various fields such as business, science, and technology. Celebrating World English Day acknowledges the language’s power and significance, promoting its continued usage and growth, and fostering multilingualism.

Theme and Purpose of World English Day

The theme for World English Day changes every year, often representing a specific facet of the language’s importance. The United Nations has previously selected themes for World English Day, such as “English and Creativity” and “English as a Global Language,” to highlight the language’s impact on global communication, education, and culture. The aim of celebrating this day is to recognize the importance and influence of the English language, encourage its continued development and use, and promote multilingualism.



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