Showing posts from 2024

Recent Research on how Multilingual Education affects reading skills in children

Always good to see classroom level research done in India, particularly when it focuses on the language issue. The focus of this research is on the influence of multilingualism on reading performance. It is a small study but good to note that it shows how  teaching in a familiar language has positive effects, and also that children who do not speak the majority language need extra support. TESOL Quarterly (Wiley online library) recently published a research  article titled the “Effects of Mother Tongue Education and Multilingualism on Reading Skills in the Regional Language and English in India.” The research  examined how mother tongue education and multilingualism  influences the reading skills and reading comprehension of 1272 Indian primary school children from low income homes. The study took place across three sites in India, namely Delhi, Hyderabad, and Patna. The main aim of the study was to assess if there was a relation between mother tongue education/multilingualism, and li

Report on the use of language in the classroom - Learnings from Nepal

There is far too little research done on the impact of the choice of medium of instruction that is South Asia based. It is therefore worth noting a recent study done in Nepal on that issue. Data was collected from local government executives, head teachers, teachers and parents, Ministry officials etc. The study is affirming some of the things that the experts have been preaching (e.g. using the local languages increases engagement and learning), but also pointing at an important gap: There is a need for creating more clarity for teachers on how to use multiple languages in the classroom! A recent study was undertaken by UNICEF Nepal, CEHRD ( Center for Education and Human Resource Development ), UNESCO and the British Council in 2023. The full report  of this study called ‘Understanding the Impact of Languages and Language Policies on Children’s Learning Outcomes in Nepal’   was released by the British Council in December 2023. The study was aimed at understanding how languages used i

Primers in 52 non-scheduled and indigenous languages announced in India

Producing materials in unofficial local languages can be quite challenging for a government. It is therefore worth noting that recently the education minister of India announced the release of 52 primers in non-scheduled languages. These primers can all be viewed online . We all know that producing materials is one thing, getting them distributed and used in the classrooms is another. But it is good that concrete steps are taken towards the need for encouraging the use of local languages in the classrooms, particularly in the early grades. Recently, the Union Education Minister of India, Dharmendra Pradhan launched and announced 52 textbooks/primers  in non-scheduled languages for early childhood care and education. The primers have been prepared by NCERT and Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysuru.  By non-scheduled languages we mean languages that are not included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and therefore include smaller languages . The  primers are meant

International Mother Language Day 2024 -Introducing a new MLE Resource from SIL

Happy International Mother Language Day! Well, if we read the history of this day, the word "happy" is probably inappropriate, as people in Bangladesh lost their lives to fight for their language. It shows the deep value people attribute to their language. Language and identity are closely related. Teaching children in their mother tongue shows acceptance of who they are and provides a basis for further learning. The IMLD(International Mother Language Day) therefore provides us with a good reason to share some powerful resources. The International Mother Language Day is celebrated every year on the 21st of February each year. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed across the globe  since 2000.( UNESCO 2024 ) The theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day celebration 2024 is “ Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning”.   UNESCO data states that as of now 250 million children and youth don't go to sc