English Language Day is observed on April 23 aims to promote the history, culture and achievements associated with the language. April 23 was chosen as the popular English poet William Shakespeare passed away on the day. Traditionally Shakespeare's birthday was also celebrated on the same day, but later April 26, 1564, emerged as his birth date.
English Language Day was established by United Nation's Department of Public Information in 2010 "to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization".
The UN first celebrated English Language Day on April 23, 2010. The global observance is marked by several book-reading events, poetry sessions, literature exchanges and activities that promote the English language. Here is the programme of events scheduled to be held this year. English is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat and one of the organization's six official languages.
UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization's six official languages. The days are as follows:
Arabic- December 18
Chinese- April 20
English- April 23
French- March 20
Russian- June 6
Spanish- April 23
About 1500 years ago, English was used by only three tribes in the world. Today, the language has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over two billion. Over the years, English has been so widely used that it is now the Lingua Franca of the entire world. With the celebration of specific languages, the UN aims to increase awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements them.