Wednesday, March 24, 2010

[MLE] Guardian Article "Stark Lessons in Mother Tongue"

Dear MLE friends,
In an article entitled "Stark Lessons in Mother Tongue," the on-line Guardian Weekly draws attention to a joint report published in April 2009 which discusses the difficulties children face when their education is conducted in an unfamiliar language. The Guardian Weekly states:
International charities are warning that global efforts to raise education outcomes are being held back by the widespread denial of schooling in children's first languages. Developing countries are unlikely to meet UN targets for improving education because of the widespread marginalization of students' first languages, which results in teaching being delivered in languages that children struggle to understand or to use effectively. This is the stark warning issued by the UK charity Save the Children and the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), the international not-for-profit education consultancy, in a joint report published last month.
The report, called Language and Education: the Missing Link, claims that failure to provide schooling in the language that children are most familiar with—the one that they speak at home—is a root cause of education failure, leading to children dropping out of school early and resources being wasted because rates of attainment are slowed. 

The report also calls for policy makers to heed the growing body of research supporting MLE, and urges donor agencies to make MLE a priority in their funding projects.

The article you can find at http://www.guardianweekly.co.uk/?page=editorial&id=1378&catID=18. The original report at http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/54_9851.htm.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

[MLE] L1-based MLE at the ECCE-level - UNESCO report released



Dear MLE friends,
There is an increased interest in early childhood and MLE. Unesco just published a report about is. Here are the details:
 

ENHANCING LEARNING OF CHILDREN FROM DIVERSE LANGUAGE BACKGROUNDS: MOTHER TONGUE-BASED BILINGUAL OR MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS. U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Jessica Ball. 2010.

The literature review discusses mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education for children starting in early childhood. The report informs policy-makers of existing research and practices in mother-tongue instruction in early childhood and early primary school years and raises awareness of the value of maintaining the world's languages and cultures by promoting and resourcing mother tongue-based education for young children.

Full Text:
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002122/212270e.pdf
[PDF format, 91 pages].