Monday, September 11, 2006

[MLE] id21 insights: Mother tongue first

Dear MLE interest group.
On the below mentioned publication has and India related contribution in it from Shireen Vatil Miller, Safe the Children India and Dhir Jingran. Also the other articles seem worth reading!

Karsten van Riezen
Education Consultant, SIL Int.
SIL, South Asia Group.

From: Kimmo Kosonen []
Sent: 07 September 2006 06:30
Subject: id21 insights: Mother tongue first


 Dear Colleagues,
The UK-based id21 Insights is an online distributor of development research. September issue of id21 Education Insights is a special issue on mother tongue education edited by Save the Children UK.

Enjoy id21 Education Insights at:

Best regards,

September 2006, id21 insights education #5

Mother tongue first

Children's right to learn in their own languages

Education is power and language is the key to accessing that power. A child who thrives at school and develops self-esteem and pride will have better employment opportunities and is more likely to realise his or her potential. Ethnicity, language and culture are deeply intertwined. They are also intertwined with inequity, discrimination and conflict. Since most countries in the world are multiethnic and multilingual, opinions about provision of education, curriculum content, and the language of teaching and learning are often fiercely held and hotly debated.
Read the whole article

Other articles in this issue:

Linguistic genocide?

Children's right to education in their own languages

We are killing languages faster than ever. By 2100, between 90 and 95 percent of today's approximately 7,000 spoken languages may be extinct or no longer learned by children.

Gender, language and inclusion

Schooling designed for dominant groups excludes other learners. Girls are particularly vulnerable because of their home responsibilities and the unsupportive attitudes of families and teachers.

Revitalising indigenous languages

Over the past 30 years there has been a blossoming of education approaches for and by indigenous peoples. Where there are bilingual and intercultural or multicultural programmes for indigenous peoples, indigenous students have achieved higher performance and attendance rates.

Bolivia revolutionises bilingual education

Intercultural and Bilingual Education supports the rights of indigenous school children to be taught in their own languages.

Policy and practice in Viet Nam

The government of Viet Nam recognises 54 minority ethnic groups and languages. It expresses strong commitment to the development of its ethnic minority communities, about 13 percent of the population which, however, have missed out on Viet Nam's dramatic economic growth.

Bridging languages in education

International awareness of the importance of Education for All has grown. Yet, the only schooling available in many non-dominant language communities uses a language students do not understand or speak to teach concepts that have very little to do with their way of life.

Mother tongue and bilingual education

Language education in Africa seldom provides a solid foundation for literacy and numeracy development. Instead of learning in a familiar language, pupils learn through an international language before they know it well enough.

Mother tongue education is cost-effective

Policymakers are often reluctant to support mother tongue as a medium of instruction in schools, arguing it is too expensive. Yet the savings can be significant.

Linguistic diversity and policy in India

India is a mosaic of linguistic diversity. None of its 1,600 languages, grouped somewhat arbitrarily into 114 groups, has a clear majority. Yet children often start school in a language that is not their mother tongue.

Useful web links

PDF version

Forthcoming issues

  • HIV and AIDS
  • Fisheries
  • Crisis states
  • Substance abuse

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