Let’s Read Ivatan: Maylir Ta So Ivatan


If number of speakers is not an issue, I wonder why the Ivatan language has not been included among DepEd’s selection of languages used as medium of instruction in Ivatan schools being that Ivatans have a unique orthography [a, b, k, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, l, m, n, ny, ng, o, p, r, s,  t, ch, v,  w, y, and ′ (stress)] and they already have a beginning learning material (click here to see the original document, “Maylir Ta So Ivatan) published in cooperation with the Bureau of Public Schools and Institute of National Language of the then Ministry of Education and Culture, Manila, Philippines” with the following foreword by no less than the then Minister of Education and Culture:

Heritage Language Playschools For Indigenous Minorities

By Karla J. Smith, PhD
Multilingual Education
SIL International Consultant


This book, Heritage Language Playschools for Indigenous Minorities, contains administrative and curriculum materials that can be used to establish and operate playschool programmes for indigenous communities. The book covers pre-reading, pre-writing and readiness skills and is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B.

Part A, Overview, Principles and Resources for Administrators, gives an overview of the principles and function of the playschools. It is meant to be used and referenced by people who are organising and supervising a heritage language playschool programme. The first few sections give an overview of the educational principles, while later pages give more detail of the particular learning outcomes that the playschools are designed to produce. The latter parts give resources for use by community facilitators who need to call meetings about starting a playschool in the village, or who need to evaluate the progress made by the children, the performance of the teacher and of the playschool as a whole. The classroom materials needed should be made prior to the start of the classes, during pre-service workshops and training times. Continue reading

The Effects of Bilingual Instruction on the Literacy Skills of Young Learners

By Dr. Lalaine F. Yanilla Aquino
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City


Abstract: This research focused on the effects of bilingual instruction on the acquisition of literacy skills of preschoolers. An experimental design was used, with language of instruction as the independent variable and the different literacy skills as dependent variables. The sample consisted of preschool children belonging to an urban poor community in the Philippines. They were given pretests and were divided into three groups: Monolingual Filipino, Monolingual English, and Bilingual. They were taught different literacy skills for eight weeks and were then administered the posttests. Data was analyzed and evaluated in the light of the central processing and script-dependent hypotheses. Based on the data, it can be inferred that monolingual instruction in either Filipino or English had a stronger effect on the children’s literacy skills compared to bilingual instruction. Moreover, mother tongue-based instruction, as compared to second-language instruction, had stronger effect on the preschoolers’ literacy skills. Such results have implications not only for mother tongue-based (MTB) but also for English as a second language (ESL) instruction in the country.

Keywords: mother-tongue based instruction, bilingual education, biliteracy, preschool education, cross-linguistic transfer of literacy skills


Click here for the complete article, “The Effects of Bilingual Instruction on the Literacy Skills of Young Learners“.

DepEd Excludes Region II in Initial MTB-MLE Implementation Funding

Alberto T. Muyot

On Nov. 22, 2011, Undersecretary Alberto T. Muyot, acting as DepEd Officer-in-Charge, issued DepEd Order No. 90 s. 2011, otherwise known as “GUIDELINES ON THE UTILIZATION OF DOWNLOADED FUNDS FOR MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MTB-MLE) PROGRAM”.

DepEd Order No. 90 s. 2011 should be a welcome step in the implemention of DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 (Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education), EXCEPT for the glaring, perhaps egregious exclusion of ALL OF REGION II (BATANES, CAGAYAN, ISABELA, QUIRINO, and NUEVA VIZCAYA)  from the initial List of Schools Implementing the MTB-MLE Program by Regions as per the first page of the DO #90 Enclosure:

Continue reading

Multilingual Education in Nepal: Hearsay and Reality? A Report

JP’s NOTE:  Save for the project reports of the late Jose V. Aguilar on the pioneering use of the regional language as medium of instruction in the 1950s and the more recent study on First Language Education in Lubuagan, Northern Philippines, we have yet to see an exhaustive recent study on multilingual education in the Philippines. There was a short-lived effort to use some of the regional languages as medium of instruction during the Marcos Era but we did not get much traction on that and the effort appears to have died unceremoniously. Then there’s the Department of Education MLE initiative, DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 – INSTITUTIONALIZING MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (MLE). It’s probably too early to expect one since DepEd appears to be in the process of laying down the groundwork for implementation of the directive. In the meantime, we continue learning about the experiences of other countries who venture into various MLE implementation challenges of their own, such as those of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in India in the immediately preceding post.

Next, we have this link to the following, Multilingual Education in Nepal: Hearsay and Reality? A Report, which was recently posted in the UNESCO Bangkok website ( The study was conducted by Vishnu S. Rai, Maya Rai, Prem Phyak and Nabina Rai within the framework of UNESCO’s extra budgetary fund on Promoting Multilingual Education in Nepal initiated by the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, UNESCO Bangkok. Note how the multilingual situation in Nepal — the issues involved, the almost lackadaisical attitude of government toward an enlightened language policy, the old “one-nation-one-language” ideology fostered by a “nationalistic” elite, parents’ preference that their children be taught English and in English, etc. — mirrors the situation in the Philippines. We could learn a few things here and there… especially if we take the time to digest the report from cover to cover.

Read More…

Does MLE Work in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha? A Longitudinal Study

By Minati Panda, Ajit K. Mohanty, Shivani Nag & Bapujee Biswabandan
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Andhra Pradesh


Introduction to the study

Increasing linguistic homogenisation in classrooms the world over has resulted in two major casualties – increased dropout among children belonging to linguistically and socio-culturally marginalised groups and disappearance of several minority and indigenous languages. While the latter has been termed as ‘linguistic genocide’ (Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000), the former has been redefined as ‘push out’ instead of ‘dropout’ (Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000; Mohanty, 2009). In the case of India, different tribal groups have been some of the worst victims of this linguistic exclusion given their limited exposure to dominant languages. The pedagogic importance of the child’s home language along with the will to save and strengthen indigenous languages has led to Multilingual Education (MLE) as a compelling alternative perspective the world over. Multilingual education has often been understood as the ‘use of two or more languages as media of instruction in subjects other than the languages themselves (Anderson & Boyer, 1978). Mohanty, Panda, Phillipson & Skutnabb-Kangas (2009) have gone beyond the processes to include the goals while defining MLE as the “use of two or more languages as media of instruction in subjects other than the languages themselves and with (high levels of) multilingualism and, preferably, multiliteracy, as a goal at the end of formal schooling.” (Pp.3).

Continue reading

From Ched Arzadon: Our Peripatetic MLEr

Nothing amps up our heartbeats more than a meaty report from Prof. Ched Arzadon, our trusty, energetic MLE activist-reporter out there. Here’s her latest:

Davao City, 06 Sep 2011


I brought my 2 MA classes (UP College of Education), about 20 students, to Davao last September 4-6 to visit MLE and ALS classes in Tagum City and Davao City. They learned a lot and were so inspired with what we saw—-big and small books, primer, posters and instructional materials all in the local language. What encouraged them most was to see the very enthusiastic teachers and the most zealous of them, their division MLE Coordinator, Ms. Allen Guillaran. ALS department provided us the ride and while travelling and having lunch with ALS people, Ms. Allen kept on “preaching” about MLE to them. One mobile teacher who was working with the Higaonon community for adult basic literacy was convinced and said she would like to know how to create a primer for their ALS program.

I was really fascinated with Ms. Guillaran especially when she said that for 25 years she served as an English teacher and later as the English Program Supervisor for Tagum. It troubled her that students, though they can decode English text, couldn’t comprehend meaning and so when she learned about MLE she embraced it instantly. She tried thinking of a word to describe her experience and then she blurted, “It’s like being born again! And I am now repenting from what I did thru MTBMLE.” She is like a third generation MLE “convert.” She was trained by Mrs. Nini Del Rosario (another MLE champion) and her team who were trained in that 40-day training of trainers by Rose Villaneza and others who attended the MLE course at Payap University (Thailand) two years ago.

Continue reading