Tag Archive | multilingual education

Optimising Learning, Education and Publishing in Africa: The Language Factor

This publication presents the results of comprehensive research that assesses the experiences of mother-tongue and bilingual education programmes in 25 sub-Saharan African countries in recent years.1 Its overall conclusion is encapsulated in the statement Language is not everything in education, but without language, everything is nothing in education (Wolff, Chapter 1). The need for the research arose out of UIL’s work on mother-tongue education (Ouane, 1995, 2003) and especially the large-scale study carried out by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) for the 2003 ADEA Biennial Meeting The Challenge of Learning: Improving the Quality of Basic Education in sub-Saharan Africa.2 One of the major themes discussed during this meeting was the need to adapt curricula to the use of African languages. The contributions on mother-tongue education and bilingual education created a momentum for intense discussions and a subsequent need for further research.

As noted in the proceedings of the Biennial Meeting:

“Participants from the floor concluded with the presenters that African languages were a necessary choice for the new century: “Let us return to our African identities! Let us not persist in our colonial past!”, pleaded one of the ministers. However, reservations continued to be expressed by the most senior education planners from a variety of countries who had lived through the challenges of language change in the curriculum and who were familiar with the opposition to take-up of African languages in schools. A minister recalled a parent in a village saying to her: “It’s not skill in his mother tongue which makes a child succeed in life, but how much English he knows. Is it going to be one type of school for the rich and another for the poor? At the end of the day we are expected to pass examinations in English!” (ADEA, 2004: 38).

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2nd Philippine Conference-Workshop on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education


Guidelines for the submission of abstracts:

  1. An author is limited to one individual abstract and one joint abstract;
  2. The first page of the submission should contain the name of the author /authors, affiliations, e-mail address; postal address and the designated topic of the parallel sessions;
  3. The second page should contain the abstract not exceeding 250 words, including the bibliography, but should not contain any marks identifiable to the author or authors.
  4. The submission should be written in any of the Philippine languages, in Filipino or in English. If written in Filipino or in a Philippine language, we will require an English version of the abstract for the evaluators.
  5. The abstract should be submitted to mlephilippines@gmail.com and shall be duly acknowledged.


  • Integrating MTBMLE in the Curriculum of Pre-Service Teacher Education
  • MTBMLE Curriculum for kindergarten and early grades
  • Teaching Filipino and English through the L1
  • Reading comprehension and writing in the L1 across disciplines
  • Teaching science, math and social studies in a multicultural/multilingual framework
  • Developing quality and culturally sensitive MLE materials
  • How do Philippine languages work and its implications in language education
  • Language documentation and data preservation
  • Vocabulary development and intellectualization
  • Case studies in mother tongue instruction in the Philippines and in other countries
  • Sign languages in the Philippines-education of the differently-abled
  • Community-based education and Alternative Learning Systems



SUBMISSION OF FULL PAPER:   January 20, 2012

All paper readers shall be entitled to 30 minutes presentation. The presentation can be rendered in any Philippine language, in Filipino or in English, or in a bilingual fashion, provided the author shall be responsible for providing the translation(s). NO FULL PAPER, NO PRESENTATION.


  • A tribute to Dr. Jose V. Aguilar (Proponent of 1948 Iloilo Experiments on the Vernacular)
  • MTBMLE Teaching Demonstration Festival
  • Seminar-Workshops
  • Paper Presentations

BOOTHS DISPLAY OF REGIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS   We will designate a booth for every region for display of big/small books, busy posters, primer lessons, lesson plans, assessment tools and other instructional materials.   FEES  Regular conference fee is P4,500.  Early bird registration is P4,200- for those who register on or before December 16, 2011. The registration fee will cover:

For Iloilo residents and those who will find their own lodging – P3,500 (early bird: 3,200)   Distribution of conference kit will be on February 15, 2012  at 3:00pm at  Punta Villa Resort.  First session starts 8:00 am, February 16. Program will last until 12:00 noon of February 18, 2012.

HOW TO PAY   Cash payment? 170+ Talaytayan MLE office – Rm. 2115 Faculty Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City   Bank transfer payable to: 170+ Talaytayan MLE Incorporated BANK: BDO SM Manila Branch Current Account Number: 0470506288. Email deposit slip to mlephilippines@gmail.com or fax to 632-9269887  

For queries  call 632-9818500 local 2294 /  09163944870 (Lucy Cruz)   Facebook group: MTBMLE Events   email mlephilippines@gmail.com   DEPED / CHED MEMO TO FOLLOW SOON   ORGANIZERS: 170+Talaytayan MLE; SIL; TAP; PNU

Battle to preserve Asian languages in schools

Bilingual primary school children were found to be better achievers

Before the landmark Deped Order #74 s. 2009 came into being, we’ve had to worry about our non-Tagalog children entering school that under the old bilingual system (English and Filipino only as mediums of instruction), their mother tongues “don’t have a value if they don’t have a value in curriculum”.  Well, it turns out some Asian groups now living in England and attending English-speaking schools have a more serious problem. Firth McEachern brought the following article written almost a year ago to our attention:

By Perminder Khatkar
BBC Asian Network

Bilingual primary school children were found to be better achievers. Some Asian families are struggling to retain their mother tongue as their children and grandchildren attend English-speaking schools. But complementary schools that teach children the language of their forefathers could be redressing the balance.

“My mother tongue and that of my children’s is English and I’m proud to say that,” says Zee, a second-generation British Asian and a mother-of-three from Birmingham.

Her children, nieces and nephews now only speak English, despite being brought up in an Asian family.

“You have to accept that we’re British and our mother tongue is English, and it’s unfortunate that our Asian language will perish one or two generations down the line,” she says.

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Lino Gerona: Issues that don’t escape his attention

Lino Gerona, that ubiquitous and indefatigable MLE advocate, sends the following:

Worth quoting from an article:

The veteran word-watcher and Times columnist Philip Howard agrees that languages are in the hands of people, not politicians. “Language is the only absolutely true democracy. It’s not what professors of linguistics or academics or journalists say, but what people do. If children in the playground start using ‘wicked’ to mean terrific then that has a big effect.”

Are dying languages worth saving?

Language experts are gathering at a university in the UK to Continue reading

Philippines: Multilingual Education (MLE) Mapping Data

Developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Bangkok Office, the Multilingual Education (MLE) Mapping Data includes classroom language practises in pre-primary (PP) and primary/elementary (PR) levels in the following countries: AfghanistanBangladeshBhutanBrunei DarussalamCambodiaChinaFijiIndiaIndonesiaKiribatiLao PDRMalaysiaNepalPakistanPhilippinesSolomon IslandsThailandTimor-LesteVanuatu, and Vietnam.

The last item, Materials in classroom, for each organization/institution is an estimate of the number of titles developed and/or number of issues in print in the mother tongue (MT) for the classroom. We would recommend that the materials now in use be made public so that they are properly scrutinized with the end-in-view of improving them where they need improvement. This blog would welcome all implementers to publish their classroom materials right here. If there are some things common for certain languages, there just seems to be no point “reinventing” the teaching and learning materials being developed by each implementer (organization/institution). Let’s put together all the Ilocanos. Let’s put together all the Cebuanos, etc. See where each language group has some common characteristics among its implementers and then unify them wherever possible — instead of “rebooting” the experience whenever one group decides to come along. In other words, where it is possible to share valuable collective experience, by all means, let’s share.

Following is the reformatted version (to suit space requirements in this blog) of the UNESCO MLE Mapping Data for the Philippines:

Name of Organization/Institution:   LAKAS – Lakas ng Alyansa ng Katutubong Ayta sa Zambales (Alliance of Indigenous Ayta in Zambales)
Level of  Schooling:  Primary/elementary
Formal or Non-formal:  Non-formal education
Public or Private:  Private (community organization)
Which Languages:  Botolan Sambal (sbl)
Number of Children reached by level of schooling:  30 (SY 2010-2011)
Location:  Botolan, Zambales
Use of language in classroom:  Language of instruction is the mother tongue only.
Materials in classroom:  Sample farming tools, visual aids

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Little books for early readers

On May 17, 2011, Ms. Mailin Locsin (second from left in photo at left), Head of School of Beacon Academy in Biñan, Laguna, posted this comment:

Beacon Academy is a secondary school in Biñan, Laguna. As part of a community and service project, we initiated the creation of early readers by our students. These little books are written in Filipino and then translated into various Filipino languages. We have made them available online so that schools that need early literacy books can download them and print them. We also ask teachers to translate them into their various mother tongues. We will continue uploading titles and translations as they come in. Access the site at

Best way to get in is:

a. Go to Beacon Academy Mail – mail.beaconacademy.ph
b. Username – guest
c. Password – beaconacademy
d. Go to “SITES”

Many thanks.

[I recommend you use this link, https://sites.google.com/a/beaconacademy.ph/earlyreaders/story-database, username=guest, password=beaconacademy.]

The material is intended for early readers, most probably those getting into kindergarten. (Let’s hope that Senate Bill No. 2700, which prescribes the child’s mother tongue as medium of instruction for pre-school/kindergarten, gets enacted soon.)

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