While browsing in LinkedIn I discovered that this site also contains some interesting articles on multilingual education. The articles tend to be short but can be still of interest. A few relevant ones I will mention below.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
|© United News of India|
In the previous blog post I reported on the MultiLila Research Project which is going on in India. On July 12 and 13 the consortium behind this research project conducted a meeting “The languages of education in multilingual India: exploring effects on reading and mathematics” at which important aspects of multilingualism and education were discussed. Under the heading "Starting English early not the best way to learn English well" (A quote from Dhir Jhingran) the United News of India reported on some of the issues discussed.
The event was planned to share early research finding and continue the dialogue around the need for good practices in multilingual education strategies and policy in India. Some quotes from the article :
“ … the emergence of Hindi as a prime communicative language has been found to decrease in domains of mother tongue usage, complex diglossia faced by students who speak tribal languages as mother tongue. It is also learned that the language is a bridge between a child's consciousness and the phenomenal world.”“The emergence of Hindi as a prime communicative language has been found to decrease in domains of mother tongue usage, complex diglossia faced by students who speak tribal languages as mother tongue. It is also learned that the language is a bridge between a child's consciousness and the phenomenal world.” (Dr Tsimpli)""Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education issues are not just tribal language issues -- these are a pan Indian phenomenon."“Multilingual heteroglossic education programmes must be developed to support multiple languages and literacies, allowing for their functional interrelationships and complementarities to thrive."
If any of you can get hold of any of the presentations that underpinned these great quotes, let us know!
Thursday, June 28, 2018
|Illustration: University of Cambridge|
The project, “Multilingualism and Multiliteracy: Raising learning outcomes in challenging contexts in primary schools across India”, is investigating under which circumstances a high quality multilingual education can be delivered in India where many children currently fail to achieve basic literacy and numeracy levels.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
|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.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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?
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Grassroot level research is rare. Dr Cynthia Groff lived for months with girls in a hostel in the Kumaun area of Uttarakhand (North India) and researched how the local language is used in different settings. Her PhD research has now resulted in a book: The Ecology of Language in Multilingual India: Voices of Women and Educators in the Himalayan Foothills.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Last month textbooks in 5 tribal languages and 2 regional languages were released by the government of Jharkhand.
Monday, March 20, 2017
|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 into history: Which 'mother language' did India's lawmakers want after Independence? A nice news item is that the goverment of Bengal gave Kurukh language an official status and a promise that Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri will also be given that status.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
New book on multilingual education in India with a special focus on teaching English.
Dr Mahendra Mishra is a well known figure in the area of multilingual education in India. He was State Coordinator for Multilingual Education (1996-2010) in Odisha and spearheaded the mother tongue-based multilingual education in the primary schools in ten tribal languages there. So, when he (co-)writes a book, we better take notice!
MLE proponents usually have a love-hate relationship with English as the English is often suppressing the building of a good foundation in the mother tongue. It is therefore quite courageous to write a book on "Multilingual Education in India: The Case for English". The description makes you want to read more:
"Some perceive English language education as a hindrance to the growth of lndian languages and allege that it causes a social divide. The arguments of this book convincingly correct this uninformed notion and prove that English has been a tool of empowerment and a driver of social and economic mobility. The contributors demonstrate that local languages and cultures can be revived by integrating them into English language education."
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
LLF is looking for an Expert in Multilingual Education
In the many year this list is running, never a job offer was posted. But since the need that Dhir Jingran expressed below is so close to the heart of what this blog and mailing list is about, let us help Dhir to find a good person.
The Delhi based Language and Learning Foundation has a special focus on early language and literacy development for children with a different home language background. The three critical domains they are active in are:
- Professional development of all the stakeholders involved with children' education, ranging from teachers to educational administrators. This would encompass rolling out general as well as customized workshops, courses on Early Literacy and Language, specialized courses on Multi Lingual Education, Assessments, Early Grade Reading Materials, Balanced Literacy, Developing Writing skills amongst children, Comprehension and so on.
- Knowledge building and dissemination. The institute will anchor and support action based researches in pre-identified key areas. Alongside it will be instrumental in interpreting and customizing western researches to our context. This unit will also develop and disseminate various knowledge documents such as teacher's resources.
- Project implementation- This unit will work closely with Government and other not-for profit institutions in designing and implementing effective literacy programs.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Policy Brief - Reading Solutions for girls in a multilingual setting
The 2015 Echidna Global Scholars Policy Brief has this year been titled Reading solutions for girls; Combating social, pedagogical, and systemic issues for tribal girls' multilingual education in India.
The 28 page Policy Brief has been written by Suman Sachdeva, Technical Director Education, CARE India. Here are a few highlights taken from a summary on the brooking website:
- The current approach to delivering effective multilingual education (MLE) for tribal students where tribal populations are more than 30 percent of the local population and where there are more than three dialects is inadequate overall and ignores gender-specific educational challenges.
- Although evidence suggests there is a small gender gap in reading ability between tribal girls and boys, in general girls are more heavily impacted by inadequate language skills in the short and long term as they become more vulnerable to drop out and thus unable to complete a full course of education.
- To address the shortcomings of the current MLE approach, policymakers must look into the social, pedagogical, and systemic barriers tribal girls face when impeded from acquiring reading skills
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Just after the MLE conference in Thailand at which several people from India will participate, there will also be an MLE conference in India organised by the National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium (NMRC). The conference is titled "Whither MLE? Rethinking MultiLingual Education in the 21st century".
A quote from the Conference website:
This conference, "Whither MLE?" will therefore attempt to revisit our assumptions of a modern Global Indian state and Indian education in 21st century against the constitutional debates, the NCF2005 and the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan where MLE is implemented as an innovation program for tribal children. Can we imagine a post colonial, post modern Indian state without recognizing and building on the multilinguality of Indian and World communities? Shouldn't subaltern discourse inform the entire school education practice of India? Shouldn't all schools including the ECCE centers have a multilingual pedagogy that builds on the home languages of the children? Analysis of these issues will provide a fresh paradigm for examining the reasons for marginality of the hitherto run MLE programs in Indian schools and the inadequacy and in-egalitarian nature of the universal school education system in India. This conference will create a layered discussion on each of these issues, reflect critically on the MLE programmes and practices in Indian school and develop an agenda for implementing MLE in all schools in future.The following themes will be covered:
- Taking Stock: Current MLE Research and Programs in India
- MLE Policy and Advocacy
- MLE Strategies and Innovations
- Pedagogic Practices, Teacher Training and Capacity Building for MLE
- Networking and Partnership in MLE research and Programs
- Future of MLE in India
- RTE Act 2009 and Multilingual Education
- Planning for SAARC level conference on MLE in November 2014
Thursday, September 5, 2013
This week there are lots of articles in the media about the language situation in India because of the release of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) results. The Outlook Article: Speaking of us links the issue of language loss and language celebration to the need for multilingual education. It starts with touching story about a tribal girl getting a second chance in a multilingual school in Gujarat after she failed in the regular system:
“Why did you not learn anything at school?” Chaudhary Rekha, the teacher, asks. ... “Because our teacher, whenever he came, always taught in Gujarati,” she says softly in Dungra Bhili. A year at the Tejgadh-based Adivasi Academy’s Vasant Bahubhashi Shala has changed that. She can now read and write with much greater fluency. And all thanks to classes in a language she can finally understand.Some other quotes:
Those who have worked for the PLSI agree that offering multilingual education, something few states practise with either dedication or efficiency, is undoubtedly one of the best ways to protect our lesser-known languages in the long run. One of the many formal suggestions the PLSI intends to make to the government includes a pitch to facilitate optional education in a child’s mother tongue at the primary level. “We have somehow remained stuck with the notion that schools can teach only in one language, whereas we need multilingual schools that use many languages as the medium of instruction,” says Devy.
This multilingual model is something the Adivasi Academy in Baroda district has adopted in over 60 special training centres. Here, students are taught Gujarati in their mother tongue (mostly Dungra Bhili and Rathawi) before they head out to their schools later in the day so that they do not fall behind in their classes.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Yesterday I read in the Indian Express India speaks...780 ways about the completion of the People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI). They found 780 languages spoken in India. A quote:
After what can easily be called the largest-ever survey of languages in the world, spread over four years, involving around 85 institutions, roping in as many linguists, sociologists, anthropologists and cultural activists, and tapping over 3,000 volunteers, the centre has compiled its findings. In the year 2013, shows the 'People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI)', there are 780 languages spoken across the length and breadth of the country. In contrast, the 2001 Census listed just 122 languages
Monday, April 15, 2013
Dear MLE friends,
Global Partnership for Education has uploaded 700+ education photos from around the world on a photo gallery on Flickr. There are 96 photos of schools from different parts of India such as Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, etc. To download those, click the next link.
Please don’t forget to give credit to the photographer and GPE (Global Partnership for Education) and enjoy watching the photos.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Samir Karmakar of Jadavpur University , Kolkata wrote on CounterCurrent an short article on Linguistic Right And Language of Politics. He points out through a powerful graph that even the state languages are declining. He criticises the multilingual education efforts as they still seems to promote a shift to English:
The introduction of mother tongue in the elementary education, as is proposed by different agencies, is mainly from the angle of cognitive development. In order to facilitate the young learners' cognitive development, their mother tongues are proposed to include in the language curriculum in elementary level under the assumption that, as has been pointed out by World Bank in Priorities and Strategies for Education (1995), this approach will “promote the cognitive development needed for learning a second language”. As the learner moves to the higher education, mother tongue will be gradually replaced by English only. (How innocent could be the ambush to clear the blockage in the name of “God”, “an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship”!)He argues:
Introduction of mother tongue in the elementary education is not enough to empower the people linguistically, until and unless it's presence in the entry point to the market is assured. What is required to assure the latter one is the political and economical empowerment of All. Interestingly, not much hullaballoo on this issue!His conclusion is:
A true multilingual approach should unleash the scope to all at every level of the tertiary educational system in India ; and this can be achieved only through the political and economical empowerment of all. If this demand sounds too much to achieve the stated goal of multilingualism we need to recognize linguistic liberty is still a distant dream even after the half decades of political independence.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Dear MultiLingual Education friends,
The Guardian had last week an article on the role of English in the Indian education system. A few quotes:
The Guardian had last week an article on the role of English in the Indian education system. A few quotes:
"More and more across India, parents are forsaking educating their kids in their mother tongue in favour of English. Despite warnings from educationalists that a child's cognitive development is affected by early schooling in an unfamiliar language, there has been an exponential increase during the last decade in English-medium schools in the country.
The latest data compiled by the National University of Education, Planning and Administration (NUEPA) shows that the number of children studying in English-medium schools has increased by a staggering 274% between 2003 and 2011, to over 20 million students."
"When the standard of teaching in a regional language school is good, the difference becomes apparent. "In India, teaching of languages is generally very outdated, no matter which language," said Anita Rampal, professor of education at Delhi University. "But a study we did in Delhi showed that students who began learning in Hindi for the first five years in a school that taught language well showed the ability later to think independently and write creatively in both Hindi and English.""
"Cultural theorist Rita Kothari pointed out that English and regional languages contain different "storehouses of knowledge", both of which are essential for a student. English provides a wealth of modern ideas and historical understanding. "But without regional languages, the richness of the landscape will get flattened," she said."