Tag Archive | Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco

‘Castrated’ MTB-MLE

Dr. Ricardo Nolasco

Dr. Ricardo Nolasco

By Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco, PhD
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Associate Professor, UP Department of Linguistics




The term “castration” refers to the removal, by surgical or other means, of the reproductive organ of an animal. The intention is to prevent the animal from spreading an “undesired” genetic trait in succeeding generations.

This is precisely what the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10533 (otherwise known as the K-to-12 Law) appear to be doing to the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) provisions of the original law.

The IRR provide, albeit illegally, foreign and local lobbyists of the discredited bilingual-education policy with enough escape clauses for them to continue defying the law.

This introductory clause in Rule II, 10.4 circumscribes all the other language provisions: “The curriculum shall develop proficiency in Filipino and English, provided that the learners’ first and dominant language shall serve as the fundamental language of education.”

This provision, absent in the original law, confirms suspicions that the government’s language-in-education policy is MTB-MLE in name but L2 bilingual education in practice.

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MTBMLE: far beyond the Aquino administration

By Ricardo Ma. Nolasco
Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 18th, 2012


I immersed myself in two major training activities on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) in a span of just two weeks. I joined the Training-Workshop on Bridging between Languages in St. Louis University (SLU)-Baguio City, then I moved farther up north to Lagawe, Ifugao, to speak at a training session that formed part of the regional mass roll-out training of Grade 1 teachers on the K to 12 curriculum for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Dr. Modesta R. Bastian told me that there were to be four waves of 5-day training activities at the CAR for 1,864 Grade 1 teachers.

After four sessions at SLU, it became abundantly obvious to participants that mother tongue-based multilingual education is very different from everything they know. One former SLU professor initially believed that she already understood MLE because she assumed that it simply meant using the first language (or L1) as medium of instruction along with good teaching strategies. Now she realizes L1 literacy (or learning to read and write in your L1) is critical to teaching in her own language, and she isn’t even literate in this.

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A sense of where we are

Department Order No. 74, issued in 2009, institutionalized mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE) as a fundamental policy in our formal and non-formal education.

DO 74 defines MTBMLE or MLE as the “effective use of more than two languages for literacy and instruction” and affirmed the results of local and international research which showed the enormous cognitive and academic benefits that accrue to learners when taught in their L1.

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Retrace our roots, enrich our identity

By Michael Carlo C. Villas, Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Friday, May 27th, 2011



“THE USE of the child’s language in education means more classroom interaction, deeper learning, lesser dropouts and also a regained sense of pride among language speakers” said Leyte Normal University president Dr. Evelyn Cruzada.

Citing a recently completed project on Winaray phonetics and a spelling guide for instructional materials, Cruzada reiterated the university’s commitment to mother tongue education research at the “Pagpabaskog han Minat-an nga Pinulongan: A Colloquium on the Waray Language,” held on May 16 and 17 at the LNU in Tacloban City. (The title means “strengthening the mother tongue” which in Region VIII refers to Winaray, also known as Leytenhon-Samarnon, Binisaya of Southern Leyte and Western Leyte, and Inabaknon in Capul Island.)

The LNU mother tongue education research team is headed by faculty members Voltaire Q. Oyzon, Firie Jill Ramos and Michael Carlo C. Villas. LNU has also begun producing instructional materials like the Winaray kindergarten workbook in mathematics by Dr. Janet Presnilla-Espada and the big book “Kaon na Iday” (Eat now, Iday) by Alma Sonia Sanchez.

The LNU language conference was one of two important education events held away from Manila (the other one was held in Cordillera). Both activities seem to foretell that there is no turning back for mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE) in the country.

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