Ched Arzadon’s report from the Multilingual Education training camps:
May 8, 2009. We have an ongoing 22-day MLE training at UP. Simultaneously, we are conducting a similar training/workshop at Valenzuela City attended by all the Grade I teachers from 5 chosen schools. We hope that Valenzuela City will be our first urban-based MLE model.
Next Monday we will meet with the district supervisors to discuss the re-sequencing of their budget of work (based on the PELC) and the shifting of the language of testing for the 5 MLE schools.
During our training at Valenzuela, each teacher participant is to produce one big book, 3 charted stories, riddles/rhymes, and advocacy plan/materials. Each participant will also do a teaching demo. It’s a novel idea for them to teach English through the mother tongue. There will be some 150 original stories submitted and the good ones will be reproduced for others to use. Those interested are invited to attend the open house on Friday, May 15, where the participants will display and present their outputs.
There is a dearth of instructional materials (can you imagine Grade I pupils being deprived of hearing and reading children stories?) even at these Metro Manila based schools. And so the teachers are so thrilled that they will start the school year with an ample supply.
Since MLE starts with the familiar and moves into the unfamiliar, the participants were required to make colorful and original stories about people, places, things, and events in Valenzuela. We told them it should be “very Valenzuela.” One teacher conducted her own research about why their barangay is called Ugong and she made a captivating story about it. Another teacher created a gripping story about a mother who was treated for free in a nearby hospital. There is a story about the industries found in the area, about a barangay that is known for their rice cakes, and many more. And so when the pupils listen and read the stories about familiar items around them, they would easily connect and they would feel that their family and community are important enough to be featured in a book. They see themselves as the main actors and not just mere consumers or spectators of stories that took place in alien places.
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education has began [sic] a summer program to train primary school educators on using their mother language as a medium of instruction.
About 50 teachers from grades 1, 2, and 3 from Luzon and Visayas schools joined the month-long training.
The training program enables teachers to prepare action plans to teach in the local dialects while enhancing their competencies in preparing curriculum, teaching materials and strategies.
Workshop outputs include lesson exemplars using Multilingual Education strategies for teaching beginning reading and for integrating content and language lessons for elementary grades, production of a multi-lingual “Big Book,” microteaching and advocacy plan.
Teachers will also be given lessons in English and Filipino.
DepEd partnered with the University of the Philippines College of Education, Reading and Teaching in the Early Grades Areas, Summer Institute of Linguistics, and Translators Association of the Philippines.
It is part of the DepEd’s Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education project, which is itself a continuation of the Lingua Franca Education Project conducted in 1999.
In a statement, DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus cited studies that pointed to better learning skills of primary students who are taught in their mother tongues.
Lapus said students are able to conceptualize and think deeper when being taught in their mother languages. Conversely, they find it difficult to learn when the medium of instruction is a language not familiar to them.