Creating and Sustaining Literate Environments

With the nationwide implementation of DepEd Order No. 74, s. 2009 (institutionalizing the use of the mother tongue as medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade 3) in all public schools, as well as, Republic Act 10157 or the Kindergarten Law this school year, we’re expecting a dramatic improvement in literacy among the young. It is hoped that the following UNESCO publication, “Creating and Sustaining Literate Environments“, will provide the appropriate guidance and motivation for our teachers to encourage our learners to effectively apply their acquired literacy skills in their practical daily lives.

The following is an excerpt from “Creating and Sustaining Literate Environments”: Continue reading

Training Members of Minority Language Groups to Write Listening Stories

By Elizabeth Braun Foerster
SIL Forum for Language Fieldwork 2010-002, February 2010


Abstract: Some minority language groups in Thailand are diligently working to create a collection of stories that can be read to four- and five-year-old children in mother-tongue kindergartens, early-childhood-care centers or at home. Local language speakers are receiving training regarding the process of writing stories that will interest young children. They are becoming aware that stories written in their own language can help young children develop an appreciation for their language as well as help develop listening, speaking, imaginative and creative thinking skills. This paper discusses the nature of the listening story, reports on the process of conducting writers’ workshops and suggests potential challenges participants may have in writing these kinds of stories.


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An Alternative Cebuano Literacy Model

Hope Sabanpan-Yu

By Hope Sabanpan-Yu

Paper presented at the 2nd Philippine Conference Workshop on
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE 2)

held February 16-18, 2012, at the Punta Villa Resort
Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines


Imagine that you are an educator in the arts tasked with enhancing your students’ education by optimizing their engagement with the varied media expressions of the Philippines. Such a task presents new challenges for you as an educator and for your students. There is the global challenge to facilitate the students’ engagement with diverse Philippine culture and their development of critical cultural literacies. There is the media challenge of the students’ engagement with non-textual mode of communication and expression and their development of digital literacies. Finally, there is also the challenge of situating these literacies in a suitable pedagogical framework.

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Literacy as a community value

It is difficult to understand that in this day and age, there are those who still cannot find enough motivation to learn to read with an adequate level of comprehension — even on their own, what with the many resources out there that allow one to teach oneself how to read. They know that varying levels of literacy are keys to unlock varying doors of opportunity. Literacy as a community value becomes an issue in community activities where an understanding of the communal goals by members is facilitated with varying levels of literacy among community members. We are not covering new ground here — we already know that those who can read have an added tool to expand their knowledge and they are relatively more forthcoming in contributing their ideas or in participating in the public dialog; they also have a means of recalling any communal activity that’s recorded; those who can’t rely on what they hear and/or see and their memories which, as time elapses, become unreliable. Someone said, “There are all kinds of things you can do to marry literacy with health.” As far as I’m concerned, there are all kinds of things you can do to marry literacy with just about everything. — JP

By Butch Hernandez
Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 09, 2011

I HAVE heard quite a few educators lament that despite the pockets of excellence here and there, the public school’s present 10-year Basic Education cycle has degenerated into one long remedial process, with the end result being that the learner exits the cycle grossly unprepared either for higher learning or for gainful employment.

Actually, the comments I gathered came from a lot of people, and not all of them were educators. Many of them were individuals belonging to that generation where the quality of education in public schools was more than enough to help one succeed later in life. More importantly, as a testament to the quality of instruction at that time, the teachers—affectionately called “maestra”—enjoyed the love, respect and continued support of an appreciative community.

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Local dialects key to global success

By Philip Tubeza

Reprinted from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: June 22, 2010

Dina Ocampo

MANILA, Philippines—To be globally competitive, Filipinos must learn first in their local dialect.

City dwellers may cringe upon hearing the accent of people from the provinces, but experts say that one of the keys to a good education is teaching students early on in their mother tongue, or dialect, instead of in English or in Filipino.

Dina S. Ocampo, an education professor at the University of the Philippines, said that numerous international studies had shown that using Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE)—or teaching young students in their dialect—actually improved their ability to learn English, Filipino, and other subjects later on.

“They learn best when the language used for learning is something they used. The analogy here is like a pyramid. You need a strong foundation to learn new things. It’s like you use your old strengths to learn subsequent things,” Ocampo said in an interview.

“To be globally competitive, you must go local. They say that in business. Why can’t we do it in learning? We must start from local.” Continue reading

Jose V. Aguilar: MLE Pioneer

AguilarJos.gifEDUCATION PIONEER and Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Government Service in 1959, Jose Vasquez Aguilar was born on 23 March 1900 in barrio Caduhaan, Cadiz, Negros Occidental. Upon completing his secondary education in 1920, he left for the United States, where he worked his way through college. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree from the Denison University in Ohio in 1925.

Despite being a working student, Aguilar found time to be active in the university debating team, which competed with other colleges. In 1924, he was elected to the Tau Kappa alpha debating fraternity. Upon his return to the Philippines in 1925, he was appointed teacher of English at the Negros Occidental High School. The following year, he was promoted to academic supervisor of the division of Masbate. He transferred to Cebu in the same capacity in 1927. In the same year, he took the division superintendents examination, which he topped. He was appointed division superintendent of Camarines Norte in 1928. He subsequently served in the same capacity in the provinces of Antique, Samar, Capiz and Iloilo up to 1954. Continue reading

Lesson from the MLE experience; argument for an ed journal

Dr. Abraham I. Felipe [] posits the following for discussion:

magazine_mNow that DepEd Order No. 74 has been signed, let us look back for any important lesson. There may be many. I will take up one. Although my involvement in the MLE campaign was very marginal, let me tell part of the story from a personal perspective. For me, it is a 61-year long story conveying a lesson on how to shorten the waiting for the approval of research-based policies.

In my long teaching career which started in 1956 (53 years ago), one of the things of which I have been proud was that my first office room was adjacent to the office of a very dignified and well respected educator known to have demonstrated experimentally eight years earlier that using one vernacular for medium of instruction was superior to using English. He could have called that vernacular “mother tongue” instead, since that vernacular (Hiligaynon) was in fact the mother tongue of his experimental subjects. But the vernacular-mother tongue distinction was not yet salient at that time. This educator was Dr. Jose V. Aguilar. Greeting him as we passed each other on the stairway or along the hallway of UP’s College of Education Building, or conveying a message from my boss to him, never failed to make my day. Continue reading