Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3

young_boy_28480_mthManong Joe,

Here is a copy of a PowerPoint Presentation about late-exit or extended Mother Tongue (MT) education, which you may find useful.

It includes extensive research about the role of MT in upper primary grades, possibilities for extended MT in the Philippines, and constraints.

I presented it as a plenary session at the K-12 International Research Conference in Bicol last week. My goal was to make a comprehensive summary of extended MT education and related issues.

Kind regards,



Click on the title, Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3, to view the PowerPoint Presentation. When PowerPoint opens, choose “Slide Show”  on the menu bar and click on the green arrow to have the presentation on full screen. Tap on the space bar to advance to the next page, or if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, you may have to scroll from page to page.

Use of Mother Tongue Beyond Grade 3

By Firth McEachern
Consultant on Language and Education

A More Compelling Option: Invest in Data-Driven Planning/Preparation and Technology, NOT in K+12

Schools Make Double-Digit Gains in Math and Writing on State Tests… Students with Disabilities Achieve a 31% Gain in Literacy and a 30% Gain in Math in One Year

What we’ve been saying all along is for DepEd and Pres. Aquino to pause and consider other options, especially those based on research, instead of rushing headlong and largely unprepared into an expensive, unproven K+12 program just because the Joneses are doing it. Pearson urges that we “transform school operations and build cohesive, data-driven, technology-supported leadership and instructional practices.”

At Pearson, they develop and refine their services and programs based on research and evaluation to ensure that their solutions are effective. Forged in partnerships with more than a 1,000 schools, their new Schoolwide Improvement Model (SIM) is built on two decades of verifiable research and experience in implementing Pearson’s Learning Teams and the school improvement model of America’s Choice, a company acquired by Pearson in 2010.

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LA UNION: Effective Language-in-Education Policies

Gov. Manuel C. Ortega


Filipino children have the right to high-quality education that:

  1. is accessible;
  2. provides knowledge, skills, and wisdom for students to become active, thinking, useful, and compassionate members of society;
  3. is a partner—not a saboteur—in the cultural diversity of the country;
  4. empowers individuals to appreciate, adapt, and contribute to local, national and international life; and
  5. facilitates sustainable development.

Backed by various international legal instruments and copious research, mother tongue education is vital for achieving accessibility and equality in our education system, preserving our cultural diversity, and raising achievement levels. English, meanwhile, is critical in opening doors to further opportunities in business, science, technology, and communication. Filipino, meanwhile, is the national language for which the Government has taken steps to initiate and sustain. A multilingual basic education system is the only sensible system that takes these conditions into account. With numerous conflicting Congressional bills related to medium of instruction filed, however, and the Department of Education proceeding with the K-12 plan, the ideal sequence of languages is one that finds balance between the main interest groups without undermining basic research-validated recommendations on education in multilingual societies. The balance is difficult but not impossible.

Analyzing the features most vital to a would-be Medium of Instruction (MOI) policy in the Philippines, we present an example language sequence that seeks to enhance the role of English and our native languages.

It envisions the use of the mother tongue as the primary medium of instruction until Grade 6, with a bona fide transitional period of 2 years (grades 5-6), similar to House Bill 162 (An Act Establishing a Multi-Lingual Education And Literacy Program, And For Other Purposes”).

At the secondary level, our province-mates stress the importance of English and therefore we advocate its use as a medium of instruction for the majority of subjects, similar to House Bill 93 (“An Act to Strengthen and Enhance the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Philippine Schools”).

Filipino meanwhile should be retained as the medium of instruction in select subjects (for all pupils), and of course as the MOI for elementary pupils in native Tagalog areas.

We hope policy makers and implementers may find this concept paper useful in reconciling the competing proposals on the use of languages in our education system. At the very least, may it provide insight to some of the concerns and wishes of Filipinos beyond the National Capital Region.

For the complete document, click onEffective Language-in-Education Policies: A Provincial Perspective.”

K to 12 and MTB-MLE: An Indispensable One-Stop Reference

Judging from comments or requests for information/clarification regarding the K to 12 and MTB-MLE programs — which reached a fever pitch the last few weeks as the new school year, 2012-2013, rolled in — there is quite a heap of confusion regarding the implementation of both programs. But rather than curse the darkness, let’s light some candles.

The apparent cause of the confusion among teachers and students alike appears to be that the appropriate info and implementation guidelines on both the K to 12 and MTB-MLE programs have not properly filtered down to those teachers out there in the field on whose shoulders rest the burden of implementing an ocean change in the basic education system.

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Are two more years essential?

Queena N. Lee-Chua

By Queena N. Lee-Chua
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The Philippines is supposedly one of only three countries with a 10-year basic education. Others have 12.

But this is not exactly accurate.

“We tend to think of basic education and pre-university education as the same,” says National Scientist and mathematician Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J.

They are not.

“By UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] definitions and as used in several countries, basic education is the compulsory education for all students, whether or not they go to university,” Nebres says. “It is often defined as education up to age 16 (not 18) or as elementary and lower secondary.”

Several countries also have only 10 years of basic education.

“In Singapore, basic education would be the 10 years (not 12) up to the O-level exams. In Japan, this would be up to lower secondary (where students finish at age 16, not 18),” Nebres says.

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Pioneering K-12

Dr. Edilberto C. de Jesus

By Edilberto C. de Jesus
President, Asian Institute of Management

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Friday, April 13th, 2012

Public elementary schools would have closed down their classrooms by this time and released for the summer break the roughly 13.2 million pupils who had enrolled for the 2011-2012 school year. About 1.86 million of these pupils obtained their elementary school diplomas. Perhaps, 1.25 million, or about two-thirds of this cohort, will proceed to high school in June. Following the Department of Education’s plan, these pupils will be the first to have the opportunity to complete the K-12 Basic Education System.

Some quarters still oppose K-12, the flagship education program of the Aquino administration. The objections vary. There are those who want a miracle cure that will by itself instantly heal all of the ailments afflicting basic education. They demand proof that K-12 will reduce the classroom shortage, improve teacher quality and raise learning outcome among students. This, despite the repeated assurance of the education secretary, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, that K-12 is only one in the DepEd’s 10-point basic education reform agenda.

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2012 Training-Workshop on Bridging between Languages in Mother Language-Based Education under the New K-12 Curriculum

A two-week training-workshop will be held at the St. Louis University, Baguio City, Philippines, on May 14-26, 2012, in an effort to mesh Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (DepEd Order No. 74, s. 2009) with the new K to 12 Basic Education curriculum that will be implemented in all public schools starting SY 2012-2013 per DepEd Order No. 16, s. 2012.

The training-workshop is being held under the auspices of SIL International, St. Louis University, and the 170+ Talaytayan MLE Inc. The resource speakers are Dr. Susan Malone and Dr. Dennis Malone of SIL, DepEd officials and experienced professors from UP, SLU, PNU and ADMU.

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