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Showing posts with the label Education

MLE+: Schools Embracing Local Culture and Language (BBC)

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  Creating a school environment that helps the children to love their local languages and cultures seems rather idealistic. The BBC recently published a video clip of a school in Africa that does just that: celebrating the children’s culture in the school . As also in Africa, teaching is based on a post-colonial curriculum, that is rather unique. This is worth taking note of! To begin with, the Freedom School in Kenya promotes love and acceptance of their own culture by encouraging children to speak their mother tongue. The BBC documentary Afrocentrism: The school teaching kids to love their African culture  shows a school culture and curriculum that is Africa centred through which the children are growing to love who they are. The children are provided with mentorship and with plenty of encouragement to embrace their own heritage. This has also resulted in an increasing use of mother tongue names. 

New Books on Multilingualism, Education and Inequality

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  In nearly every conversation I have had over the years with Prof Rama Kant Agnihotri, somehow we would talk about the concept of the fluidity of languages. No wonder that he is the co-author of a book on multilingualism. He also recently co-published a book on education and inequality with a solid section on the issue of language. Two books worth noting!

World Bank on Language of Instruction - Report and Webinar

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  The World Bank has for many years been supportive of the concept of mother tongue-based multilingual education, (MTBMLE) but this year for the first time they produced a policy paper on it. The launch of the report last week was accompanied by a webinar on "Effective language of instruction policies for learning". The webinar included roundtable discussions with politicians, policymakers and practitioners. One of them being Dhir Jingran, the director of LLF in India.

International Mother Language Day 2021

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  The International Mother Language Day 2021 was last Sunday: Feb 21st. Together we proudly stand with communities worldwide and applaud their resilience and creativity in confronting the challenges of current world events. We celebrate the languages that most deeply express their unique identities, relate their distinct worldviews and help expand their opportunities for a better life.

School Teacher Translates Textbooks

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Ranjitsinh Disale (Photo used with permission from the  Varkey Foundation ) Congratulations to Ranjitsinh Disale on being nominated for a prestigious prize for innovations in girls' education. Good to read that "Disale not only translated the class textbooks into his pupils’ mother tongue, but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments."

The Role of Language in the New National Education Policy

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Photo by Jaikishan Patel from Unsplash Last week the Indian government cleared a new National Education Policy (NEP). An NEP sets the framework for education for approximately the next 10 years. It is therefore worth looking at it from a language perspective. The policy gives a push for multilingualism and at first glance it seems that the pedagogical principle of children being taught in their mother tongue is kept up. However a closer look reveals that it is more complex than that.

Book: Language in Education for Migrants and Refugees

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The full book is available on the UNESCO website The issues related to migrants and refugees are more acute than ever. The free e-book Approaches to Language in Education for Migrants and Refugees in the Asia-Pacific Region looks into the issue of language in education for these people on the move. The book is published by UNESCO Bangkok and Kathleen Heugh was the first author, but many others also contributed to this 40 page book.

[MLE] Draft National Education Policy

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Reading is hard work, particularly in a language you hardly know!  (Photo Credit: Business Standard) This month there were plenty of articles in the newspaper talking about language and education because of the publication of the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) which stated: “Three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.” Of course, there was the controversy around the promotion of Hindi, but there were also plenty of references to the value of multilingual education.

[MLE] Multiple MLE Resources - Susan Malone

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Copyright  SIL-LEAD.org  Many of you might have met Dr. Susan Malone at one of her lectures during visits to India. As she has been training and mentoring teachers, supervisors, trainers and planners all across the globe she generated lots of articles, training modules and other resources that now have been made available for all of us.

[MLE] Government Initiatives Uttarakhand

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Every now and then the state government education department picks up on the language issue. The Uttarakhand government is probably taking the lead on that. Based on a positive experience among the Jaunsari they have started to develop a book to utilize Gharwali and Kumauni in the classroom at the primary level.

[MLE] Celebrations and Articles on Intl Mother Language Day

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International Mother Language Day celebrations. Source: AP Last week, on the International Mother Language Day, I happened to be in Bangkok and was able to participate in a celebration that the Bangladesh Embassy together with UNESCO had organised. There was good representation from India and certainly not the only place where the topic of language was discussed.

[MLE] Research report on the Use of English in Classrooms

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In India low-cost private English medium schools are growing in popularity and in Ghana an early exit, transitional bilingual education model is promoted. The British Council, together with other institutions, did research at the classroom level in these countries on what this means for the learning of the children. The findings are worth considering with as key question: How to avoid damage to learning when teaching is through English?

[MLE] Is multilingual education encouraging violence or peace?

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Expert panel in debate.  Photo by Natalie Lovenburg While visiting government officials I have often come across the assumption that multilingual education would foster separation movements and therefore violence. Recently a panel called " Linguistic tolerance as a tool for resiliency in multilingual societies against violence and radicalization " addressed this issue. As this is also relevant for India I post the reference here.

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released

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Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand.   Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand. They have been distributed to around 1,000 schools in 8 districts for initiating the Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Educati

[MLE] Positive Research Results East Timor

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We are often asked for research evidence with regards to the impact of MLE. Even though the below write up is not on a project in India, it seems to have enough similarity to make it relevant to take note of. The Endline survey of the pilot is showing that MLE children do better in particularly reading. In the article Building bridges through multilingual schooling: a mother-tongue pilot in East Timor is showing the way , Kerry Taylor-leech writes with enthusiasm about the classes she observed. “The children love it and I too am enjoying myself immensely.”. About the evaluation report she states: the survey compared children’s performance in EMBLI schools, government schools and Portuguese-immersion schools. Not surprisingly, the results show the benefits of learning in a language a child understands best. EMBLI children showed marked gains compared to the other children, especially in reading

[MLE] Mother Language day - Updates and Resources

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International Mother Language Day 2017 (Image source- en.unesco.org) In the week of the  International Mother Language Day  there are usually extra postings related to language and education. Particularly because this year the theme is: “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”. It is also a good excuse to list a few (new) resources. The postings in the  India Express  and  India Today  are quite general in nature with some quotations from Unesco and background on the history of the day.  WebIndia  reports that activist used the day to demand linguistic parity for the regional languages. Chanpreet Kaur published an interview with Dr Mukti Sanyal on  How the focus on English could be seriously damaging India's future  with an interesting link to self-esteem: “We are losing our mother languages. And with it, we are losing self esteem, different ways of seeing the world, and encouraging the mugging up of the concepts”.  Scroll.in  used the opportunity to dig i

[MLE] English compulsory

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Panel of secretaries recommends to make English a compulsory Copyright: Financial Express Earlier this month a panel of secretaries from the Group on Education and Social Development has recommended to make English a compulsory subject in all schools beginning from class VI, and to start at least one English-medium school in each of the 6,612 blocks in the country. This news was reported in the Indian Express and the Financial Express a couple of weeks ago. I had hoped by now a few more details would have come out, as the panel aims for its implementation by this April. However the newspapers remain silent about it. The panel claims that this recommendation is in line with the three language formula by that it still allows the medium of instruction be the mother tongue, while English will have to be added as either number two or three. The advise goes against the RSS recommendation of last October that suggested that "the medium of instruction from elementary to higher

[MLE] Conference on Language and Education starting tomorrow

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5th International Conference on Language and Education will start tomorrow   The 5th International Conference on Language and Education will  take stock of recent developments in MLE policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific region, with a special focus on multilingual education in early childhood and primary education.There will be several presentations relevant to India .   The conference will start tomorrow with opening speeches from UNESCO and the Thai government. The Keynote address will be on " Supporting MTB­MLE to achieve sustainable development for all: what have we learned about successful programs? " by Dr Susan Malone (SIL International). Some of the India related presentations are: Prarthana Kumari (Nirantar, India) and Anita Singh (Nirantar, India), Breaking language barriers in India Sivagami Sivasubbu (Aide et Action International, India), Experiences of Aide et Action imparting MLE through teacher training in India Dwiti Vikramaditya (Kali

New Education Policy: What does it say about language?

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New Education Policy India In 2015, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiated a consultation process for the formation of the New Education Policy (NEP). The full draft plan has not yet been released to the public but an input report has been published. The report includes several references to language including multilingual education. Image Credit: Flickr/ Yorick_R (CC BY 2.0) The background of the New Education Policy (NEP) and the reason for the slow process are given in the article published earlier this month India’s New Education Policy: Creeping 'Saffronization'? The aim of the new policy was "to respond to the 'changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research' and help the country move towards becoming a knowledge superpower.". The Diplomat reports that the process was slowed down because of saffronization acquisitions.

Language and the Sustainable Development Goals - UN Symposium

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Symposium: Language and language differences tend to get taken for granted by planners The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners on matters related to language, convened a symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, on 21 and 22 April 2016.  Its goal was to examine the importance of issues of language in the formulation, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).