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International English Language Day brightens up our calendars every April 23rd. This special day, celebrated globally, is not just any day—it marks the birthday and death anniversary of William Shakespeare, one of English’s most iconic figures.

It’s a day to appreciate the vast reach of the English language, which connects people across the world.

Why do we celebrate this day? English serves as a bridge between cultures, promoting understanding and communication on a global scale.

The United Nations established this observance in 2010 to highlight the importance of multilingualism and cultural diversity and the significant role English plays in international diplomacy, business, and media.

This celebration encourages everyone to learn more about English’s history and ongoing evolution.

English’s impact is undeniable. It’s the language of international air traffic control, the primary language of the Internet, and the medium for major scientific publications.

With millions speaking it as their first or second language, English has carved its place as a truly global language. Whether through reading books, watching films, or participating in educational activities, people around the world engage with and honor the language on this unique day.

History of ​International English Language Day

International English Language Day has a relatively recent origin, having first been celebrated in 2010. The United Nations initiated this special day as part of a broader effort to honor multilingualism and cultural diversity across its six official languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and English.

The choice of April 23rd for English Language Day is significant as it coincides with the date traditionally observed as William Shakespeare’s birthday and death anniversary.

The United Nations introduced this day to promote equal use of its six official languages. The aim is to enhance awareness and respect for each language’s history, culture, and achievements.

Celebrating International English Language Day helps highlight the importance of English in global communication, its role in the United Nations, and its status as a “world language” used widely in international diplomacy, business, and media.

The impact of English around the world is vast, and its influence continues to grow. It serves as a practical tool for global communication and enriches those who engage with it through literature, science, and cultural exchanges.

The UN’s establishment of English Language Day acknowledges the language’s historical significance and contemporary relevance in connecting people across continents​.

How to Celebrate International English Language Day

Unleash Your Inner Bard

One quirky way to dive into International English Language Day is by hosting a Shakespearean soliloquy showdown.

Friends and family can perform their favorite monologues from the Bard’s plays. This celebrates English and brings a dramatic flair to the festivities​​.

Host a Literary Feast

Imagine a book club but with a twist—each member brings a dish inspired by a favorite novel or a famous English author.

It’s a perfect blend of culinary delights and literary discussion. Whether it’s tea cakes from a Jane Austen novel or a Dickensian beef stew, the combination of good books and tasty treats is sure to delight​.

Poetry Slam

Another engaging activity is to organize a poetry slam where participants can recite famous English poems.

This celebration of poetic expression can highlight the emotional power and rhythmic beauty of the English language​​.

Movie Marathon

Organize an English film festival at home. Pick films from different English-speaking countries to showcase the diversity of the language in cinema.

Between movies, you could quiz each other on famous quotes or discuss the cultural nuances showcased in the films​.

These playful and engaging activities offer a unique way to connect with the English language on its special day.

Whether through Shakespeare’s timeless words or cinema’s storytelling, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate International English Language Day.

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