MLE Book: DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 Emerges

Here’s the  new MLE book, copies of which are available (for 200 pesos a copy) at 170+ Talaytayan MLE Inc., with offices at Room 2115 Faculty Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. For orders outside the Philippines, write to

4 thoughts on “MLE Book: DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 Emerges

  1. Commentary: Starting from where the children are

    By Butch Hernandez
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    Posted date: December 04, 2010

    DO YOU remember your child’s first day in school? Of course, because an event like this belongs right up there on any self-respecting parent’s list of “Most Memorable Family Moments.” Remember that nice, warm glow you felt as you handed off your squirming youngster to the teacher in charge? That’s the sense of pride enveloping you for having taken the first of many steps to put some certainty in your son or daughter’s future.

    Now, can you imagine what the your child’s first school year must have been like? If you are at a level of affluence that enables you to send your child to a good private school where the teachers are well-trained and the classrooms are bright and cheerful, you would most likely be right in thinking that your child’s initial classroom experience was by and large quite pleasant. When the little one comes up to you one day and starts to read from his Big Book, tentatively at first and with confidence a little bit later, you just know you’ve done something good.

    However, for the parents of the millions of children enrolled in one of the 41,000 public schools across the nation, the preceding scenario might as well have been a scene from their favorite telenovela: pretty but highly unlikely. The inconvenient truth is that the early years of schooling tend to be as frustrating for these parents as it is for their school-age children.

    The UN Education For All Global Monitoring Report says that “how well pupils are taught and how much they learn, can have a crucial impact on how long they stay in school and how regularly they attend.

    “Furthermore, whether parents send their children to school at all is likely to depend on judgments they make about the quality of teaching and learning provided—upon whether attending school is worth the time and cost for their children and for themselves.”

    “Starting From Where The Children Are” is a collection of essays seeking to investigate why our schoolchildren are not learning as well as they should, when they should, and how a no-nonsense mother-tongue based multilingual education policy can significantly help address the festering issue of poor education quality in Philippine schools.

    Arnold Azurin, the poet and scholar of note, introduces the book with an intriguing premise: the primary schooling of children is both facilitated and filtered by their prior knowledge template, acquired in the home and community, not excluding the mass media (emphasis supplied).

    It stands to reason that the knowledge that children bring with them when they first step into the classroom serves as the staging area that teachers must build upon. Because the young learner expresses this prior knowledge in the language that he speaks at home (i.e. L1 in academic parlance), Azurin argues that using L1 enables the teacher to connect with the young learner. In fact, Azurin says, “the result of such use of an auxiliary language is clearer and almost spontaneous understanding of the lessons and more active class participation. And with the use of L1 altogether, better scores in the national achievement tests. Moreover, other essays by eminent educators, social scientists, legislators, mass media commentators, advocates and stakeholders, like the classroom teachers, point to a very clear consensus: the MTBMLE [Mother-Tongue Based Multilingual Education] is the most vital reform for this country’s benighted basic education and school system as a whole. It is the tested stratagem to insuring a teaching-learning set-up whose positive impact has been verified in various places, here and abroad.”

    Diane Dekker of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, together with her husband Greg Dekker, are MLE [Multilingual Education] pioneers in the Philippines. They are responsible for putting together the landmark Lubuagan study that provides incontrovertible empirical evidence that children taught “the MLE way” perform significantly better in school.

    In her essay simply titled “What is Mother-Tongue Based Multilingual Education,” Dekker says that “MTBMLE provides a strong foundation in the learners’ first language, enabling them to build on the knowledge and experiences they bring to the classroom. MTBMLE also provides a good bridge to listening, speaking, reading and writing the second languages (L2, L3) of the classroom using sound educational principles for building fluency and confidence in using the other languages for life-long learning.”

    Dekker contends that “simply changing the language of instruction will not produce the same results as a theoretically based, well-planned program.”

    “Starting From Where the Children Are” cites MLE implementations from all over the archipelago, as documented by academics like FWWPP trustee Dr. Jose Abueva, Dr. Ricardo Ma. Nolasco, Ched Arzadon, Francisco Datar and Manuel Lino Faelnar, to name a few.

    On the other hand, Dr. Yolanda Quijano and Ofelia Eustaquio’s study titled “The Mother Tongue Language as a Bridge of Instruction in Two Schools in La Paz, Agusan del Sur” will surely be noteworthy for researchers and policymakers alike.

    Butch Hernandez ( is the executive director of the Foundation for Worldwide People Power (FWWPP).

  2. Hi Ched,

    Thank you for the information. We are out next week for the workshop on current review and mapping in preparation for the K+1 curriculum development activities. Please reserve at least 2 copies for DepED. Will the authors give discounts for DepED? This will be a good background material in the content mapping exercises that will start next week. Thank you.

    Lita M. Esdicul
    BEE, DepED

  3. By the way, I opened the file again and thought that maybe the title might be limiting. Since DO 74 states MLE shall also cover ALS, not only the children but also adults, therefore the title should be “Starting Where the Learners Are”. However, it can be more compelling to present MLE as a child rights issue.

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