[MLE] E-Publication: Mother tonque Matters

Dear MLE friends,
UNESCO put an other good and helpful MLE related publication on the Web: "Mother tongue matters: local language as a key to effective learning" is now available on-line. This book contains case studies from Papua New Guinea, Mali and Peru. It also contains a section on the Thomas and Collier longitudinal study. If you rather look for recommendations read the "Key Findings" chapter. I copy the conclusion chapter below.

The book is written by Dörthe Bühmann and Barbara Trudell.


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

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The evidence is clear: mother-tongue-based bilingual education significantly
enhances the learning outcomes of students from minority language
communities. Moreover, when mother-tongue bilingual education
programmes are developed in a manner that involves community members
in some significant way and explicitly addresses community concerns, these
programmes also promote the identification of the minority community
with the formal education process.
h   e parameters that shape a bilingual education programme include the
availability of resources, its pedagogical and social goals, and the political
environment in which it is to be implemented. h   e examples described
above demonstrate a variety of such parameters, all of which have given
rise to innovative and effective bilingual education models.
It is also clear that successful models of bilingual education require
the collaboration of more than one or two actors. Development of the
language itself, of curricular materials, teacher training, advocacy with
the community and financial support all imply a range of participants
in the process. For this reason, any government planning to establish a
mother-tongue bilingual education programme would do well to aim for
the involvement of multiple partners in ensuring its success.
As complex an undertaking as such a programme can be, these four case
studies show that, with commitment and careful planning, it is possible for
any nation to provide higher quality learning outcomes for its minority-
language students through mother-tongue bilingual education.