July 14, 2009
INSTITUTIONALIZING MOTHER TONGUE-BASED
MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MLE)
Bureau Directors, Directors of Services, Centers and Heads of Units
Regional Directors, Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools
1. The lessons and findings of various local initiatives and international studies in basic education have validated the superiority of the use of the learner’s mother tongue or first language in improving learning outcomes and promoting Education for All (EFA).
2. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education, hereinafter referred to as MLE, is the effective use of more than two languages for literacy and instruction. Henceforth, it shall be institutionalized as a fundamental educational policy and program in this Department in the whole stretch of formal education including pre-school and in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
3. The preponderance of local and international research consistent with the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) recommendations affirms the benefits and relevance of MLE. Notable empirical studies like the Lingua Franca Project and Lubuagan First Language Component show that:
a. First, learners learn to read more quickly when in their first language (LI);
b. Second, pupils who have learned to read and write in their first language learn to speak, read, and write in a second language (L2) and third language (L3) more quickly than those who are taught in a second or third language first; and
c. Third, in terms of cognitive development and its effects in other academic areas, pupils taught to read and write in their first language acquire such competencies more quickly.
4. Relatedly, the study of the Department of Education Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) entitled “Double Exposure in Mathematics: a Glimpse of Mother Tongue First” has provided the local validation of the fundamental observation that top performing countries in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) are those that teach and test students in science and math in their own languages.
5. All Regional Directors and Superintendents are hereby enjoined to promote and encourage local participation in the following essential support systems of the MLE within the framework of School-Based Management (SBM) with the support of the local government units:
a. Formulation of region-specific schemes. to recognize and institutionalize the initiatives of schools and localities through appropriate incentives or policy support in bringing about and developing MLE towards financial and instructional self-reliance and excellence;
b. Provisions of orientation and training opportunities along with exposure to successful models of MLE that have been developed. The gradual integration of MLE in all subject areas and at all grade levels (beginning in preschool and continuing by adding a grade level per year) in the school improvement plans (SIPS) and district ALS program is likewise enjoined effective immediately;
c. The utilization of Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), school board funds, and other education improvement funds is hereby authorized for the planning and implementation of MLE programs in the following sequence of priority: (1) advocacy work and community mobilization; (2) development of a working orthography of the local language; (3) MLE orientation and teachers training; (4) developing, printing and distributing teachers’/facilitators’ guides; (5) reading materials and other instructional materials; (6) development of assessment tools; and (7) evaluation and monitoring of learning outcomes; and
d. An MLE technical working group at the regional and division levels shall be established to facilitate MLE planning, monitoring and evaluation.
6. During the first three years of implementation, the enclosed “MLE Bridging Plan” may be used for reference for both teaching and curriculum development. For the ensuing years, adjustments may be made based on monitoring and evaluation results.
7. For all learning programs of the Alternative Learning System (ALS), the learners’ first language shall be used as primary medium and thereafter, depending upon the previous level of functional literacy and pedagogical requirements of accreditation and equivalency, the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) shall determine the suitable second and third languages that will maximize the educational benefits and competencies of the ALS clients. Enclosed is the Fundamental Requirements for a Strong Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MLE).
8. This Department with the help of MLE specialists shall incorporate an MLE certification process and retain the privilege of establishing MLE certification procedures in order to maintain quality MLE programs wherever they may be implemented.
9. All orders, memoranda, issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby rescinded, amended, or modified accordingly.
10. Immediate dissemination of and compliance with this Order is directed.
(Sgd.) JESLI A. LAPUS
Enclosure No. 1 to DepED Order No. 74, s. 2009
FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A STRONG
MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MLE)
For the long-term methodological, substantive and curricular guidance of teachers, school managers, instructional quality assurance staff and other education officials, an MLE Framework has already been prepared. The Framework establishes that MLE is not merely changing the medium of instruction. It is not about code switching or translation of materials. Strong MLE entails the following 10 fundamental requirements.
- A working orthography (spelling) for the chosen local language that is acceptable to the majority of stakeholders and promotes intellectualization of that language;
- Development, production and distribution of inexpensive instructional materials in the designated language at the school, division, and regional levels with a special priority on beginning reading and children’s literature. These materials should be as much as possible, original, reflecting local people, events, realities, and appropriate to the language, age, and culture of the learners;
- The use of the learner’s First Language (L1) as the primary medium of instruction (MOI) from pre-school until, at least, grade three. During such period, L1 shall be the main vehicle to teach understanding and mastery of all subject areas like Math, Science, Makabayan, and language subjects like Filipino and English;
- Mother Tongue as a subject and as a language of teaching and learning will be introduced in grade one for conceptual understanding.
- The inclusion of additional languages such as Filipino, English and other local or foreign languages shall be introduced as separate subjects in a carefully planned pacing program, or no earlier than Grade two.
- In the secondary level, Filipino and English shall be the primary medium of instruction (MOI). The learner’s first language (L1) shall still be utilized as an auxiliary medium of instruction.
- Other than English, Filipino, or Arabic for Madaris schools, the choice of additional languages shall be at the behest of parents and endorsed by local stakeholders and as resources permit. When the pupils are ready, Filipino and English shall be gradually used as MOI no earlier than grade three. However, L1 shall be effectively used to scaffold learning.
- The language of instruction shall also be the primary language for testing in all regular school-based and system-wide examinations and in all international benchmarking and assessment exercises. It shall be maintained that the focus of educational assessments shall be specifically on the learner’s understanding of the subject content and not be muddled by the language of testing;
- There must be a continuing in-service training (INSET) in partnership with MLE specialists on the effective use of L1 as language of instruction–to facilitate reading, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, and the development of cognitive and higher order thinking skills (HOTS) of the learner. INSET shall likewise equip educators to develop cultural sensitivity and enhance appreciation for cultural and linguistic diversity; and
- Ensuring critical awareness, maximum participation, and support from the LGU, parents, and community for the implementation of the language and literacy program strategy.