With the New National Education Policy requiring the first grades to be taught in the mother tongue, we see an increased interest in the issue of language in the classroom. However, many teachers and policymakers have a hard time understanding what multilingual education is all about. I found this excellent lecture by Dhir Jingran online. From my perspective, its strength is that it deals with both the theory as well as the practice. As a former government policymaker, grass-roots level researcher, and NGO founder, Dhir knows very well how complicated the realities on the ground are and yet he provides a clear way forward.Dhir Jhingran, the Founder Director of the Language and Learning Foundation recently gave the Keynote address in the opening webinar of 'Naya Bharat', an initiative under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), a flagship program of the Ministry of Education, Government of India, on the topic of Education In Children's Mother Tongue.
The lecture is divided into three sections:
- Learning through a familiar language is crucial in primary school.
- Some myths and principles of learning languages, on the need for Multilingual Education (MLE).
- Approaches and strategies for including children's languages (MLE).
As Dhir is explaining the concepts to students, not much pre-knowledge is needed to understand it. It is also helpful that he not only speaks about the ideal way of implementing multilingual education but also talks about solutions that are moredoable and are still much better than the normal practice with regard to language use in the classroom.
Thank you Dhir, your endeavours are much appreciated!