Thursday, June 14, 2018

[MLE] Government Initiatives Uttarakhand


Every now and then the state government education department picks up on the language issue. The Uttarakhand government is probably taking the lead on that. Based on a positive experience among the Jaunsari they have started to develop a book to utilize Gharwali and Kumauni in the classroom at the primary level.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

[MLE] SALZBURG STATEMENT

Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World
Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash


While attending an International Mother Language Day function in Bangkok last month I heard about the Salzburg Statement and decided to learn more about it. The statement is basically a call on educators, businesses and governments to promote language diversity as a global norm.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

[MLE] Celebrations and Articles on Intl Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day celebrations. Source: AP

Last week, on the International Mother Language Day, I happened to be in Bangkok and was able to participate in a celebration that the Bangladesh Embassy together with UNESCO had organised. There was good representation from India and certainly not the only place where the topic of language was discussed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

[MLE] Research report on the Use of English in Classrooms


In India low-cost private English medium schools are growing in popularity and in Ghana an early exit, transitional bilingual education model is promoted. The British Council, together with other institutions, did research at the classroom level in these countries on what this means for the learning of the children. The findings are worth considering with as key question: How to avoid damage to learning when teaching is through English?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

[MLE] Book on Multilingual India and the women in the Kumaun in particular


Grassroot level research is rare. Dr Cynthia Groff lived for months with girls in a hostel in the Kumaun area of Uttarakhand (North India) and researched how the local language is used in different settings. Her PhD research has now resulted in a book: The Ecology of Language in Multilingual India: Voices of Women and Educators in the Himalayan Foothills.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

[MLE] Is multilingual education encouraging violence or peace?

Expert panel in debate.  Photo by Natalie Lovenburg

While visiting government officials I have often come across the assumption that multilingual education would foster separation movements and therefore violence. Recently a panel called "Linguistic tolerance as a tool for resiliency in multilingual societies against violence and radicalization" addressed this issue. As this is also relevant for India I post the reference here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released




 

Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand. They have been distributed to around 1,000 schools in 8 districts for initiating the Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education programme in Jharkhand.

The languages covered by this initiative are the Santhali, Mundari, Ho, Kurukh and Kharia tribal languages and the Odia and Bangla regional languages. A six-minute video clip was made for the occasion. It pictures a tribal boy who is sad because he feels alienated from the school and other children as he does not speak Hindi. He is crying and does not want to go to school any more. Then his mother talks with the school leadership and things start changing as they allow the tribal language to be used in the school. The clip also contains several short interviews with teachers, and we get a glimpse into how the new textbooks are used. The clip is in Hindi.