26 January 2017

Announcing of Many Languages, One World® Contest 2017

ELS Educational Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the fourth year of sponsorship, in conjunction with the United Nations Academic Impact, of the Many Languages, One World® Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum for 2017. This year welcomes Northeastern University as the host of the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum and the sponsor and organizer of the Northeastern University Global Youth Conference. The contest will qualify contestants for the opportunity to win a trip to participate in the Global Youth Forum, present their ideas in the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations in New York City, NY followed by the Northeastern University Global Youth Conference in Boston, MA.

The goal of the Many Languages, One World Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum is to support multilingualism and to recognize the continued impact of the United Nations’ six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. As such, students are being asked to write their essays in one of the six official languages, that is neither the contestants' first language (language(s) spoken at home) nor the medium of instruction in either their primary or secondary education, or a medium of instruction if attending a bilingual school. The essays should reflect the student’s personal, academic, cultural and national context and discuss global citizenship and cultural understanding and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these. For full contest details, rules and entry guidelines, please visit ManyLanguagesOneWorld.org.

In reference to the event, Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact, Department of Public Information, said, “In recent months, through resolutions of its General Assembly and in the definition of the world's sustainable development goals, the United Nations has affirmed the principle of global citizenship; of the international individual proud of her national and linguistic identity, and the pride enhanced by sharing it with others who choose to make the effort to listen and to learn. We are honored to welcome sixty of these young and receptive minds again this year.”

For this year’s contest, 10 winners will be selected from entries in each language for a total of 60 winners. ELS Educational Services, Inc. will award each winner with an all-expense paid trip to Boston and New York City between 15-26, July 2017. Students will attend a Global Youth Forum in preparation of presenting their views at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. At the Global Youth Forum, the students will create plans of action addressing selected topics. These international delegates will also have the opportunity to interact with invited international scholars and tour Boston and New York City. The deadline for essay submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, 16 March,2017.

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that 65.3 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict or disasters. Most of them will need to learn a new language in order to participate in education and work in any country that offers them asylum. Core values of global citizenship include tolerance and respect of other cultures and advocacy of peaceful coexistence, intrinsic to MLOW and the UNAI. These will be central themes of the 2017 MLOW Global Essay Contest and Youth Forum,” said ELS President Emeritus and co-founder of Many Languages, One World, Mr. Mark W. Harris.

Northeastern University President Aoun said, “In our globalized world, there has never been a greater need for mutual understanding, and language remains our foremost tool for expression, connection, and creation. Northeastern is pleased to support this event that champions the written word in our global dialogue, and elevates understanding between students of all cultures and nations.”

2017 will mark the fourth edition of Many Languages, One World. In 2016, more than 9,000 people from 165 countries took part in the initial phase of the contest. 60 students from 36 countries, representing 54 universities were selected as winners from an essay pool of over 3,600. Winners attended prestigious international universities such as University of Pennsylvania (USA), Xi`an International Studies University (China) and Bologna University (Italy).