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Often the writings about MLE are quite theoretical. Recently I came across a great resource that addresses several of the key practical questions. The main one being an issue we have been wrestling with in India for years: How to deal with multiple languages in one classroom? Some key people have written practical responses based on their experience and research.
The idea of using local languages of instruction in the primary grades is catching the interest of governments, donors, and NGOs alike. These programs are making great impact at different places around the globe. However in the course of implementing mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education programs, some important questions are arising. These questions are generally very practical, and are highly relevant to the success of the program. In response to that the following booklet was written:
Trudell, B. and Young, C. (eds.) 2016. Good Answers to Tough Questions in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. SIL International.
The booklet can be downloaded from here. The eight questions addressed in the booklet are:
- How can mother tongue–based MLE be carried out in classrooms where three or more local languages are represented as mother tongues? (Catherine Young, Carol Benson) Download
- What is the most effective approach to transition to the use of a second language as medium of instruction when classroom policy and practice has used the learner’s home language/first language in the early primary years? (Dennis Malone) Download
- What can be done in contexts where teachers have inadequate oral fluency or literacy skills in one or more of the languages being used in the program? (Stephen L. Walter, PhD) Download
- How can pilot MTB-MLE programs be successfully scaled up? (Greg Dekker, Diane Dekker) Download
- How can instructional materials and supplementary reading materials be effectively developed for target populations speaking multiple dialects? (Diana Weber) Download
- When the orthography of the local language is not yet standardized or requires further review in order to adequately represent the linguistic features of the language, how should this challenge be handled in the program? (Leila Schroeder) Download
- How can informal and non-formal learning opportunities in the mother tongue best support or supplement school settings, particularly when the formal school system is unable to serve as a venue for mother tongue–based multilingual education? (Rudy Klaas) Download
- What approaches have been proven effective for managing the use of two or more languages in a bilingual/multilingual curriculum? (Kristine Trammell) Download
Happy reading AND applying!