Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[MLE] Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released




MLE Textbooks in 5 tribal languages released

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 Education programme in Jharkhand.

The languages covered by this initiative are the Santhali, Mundari, Ho, Kurukh and Kharia tribal languages and the Odia and Bangla regional languages. A six-minute video clip was made for the occasion. It pictures a tribal boy who is sad because he feels alienated from the school and other children as he does not speak Hindi. He is crying and does not want to go to school any more. Then his mother talks with the school leadership and things start changing as they allow the tribal language to be used in the school. The clip also contains several short interviews with teachers, and we get a glimpse into how the new textbooks are used. The clip is in Hindi.

Monday, March 20, 2017

[MLE] Mother Language day - Updates and Resources

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

[MLE] Book release: English and multilingual education

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

New Education Policy: What does it say about language?

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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

[MLE] Need for an MLE expert


Language and Learning Foundation

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.
Below is a copy of the recruitment advertisement. Even though the given date has passed, Dhir has assured me that they have not yet found a qualified person. So if you know a person with experience in training in an MLE setting, please forward this advertisement to them and contact Dhir at the e-mail address given below.

Monday, December 14, 2015

[MLE] Policy Brief - Reading Solutions for girls

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
The paper ends with six "Solutions for Girls' reading", which gives some good recommandations. Obviously a must-read for those of us involved in tribal education and gender!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

[MLE] British Council: Language and Development Conference


Conference on Multilingualism and Development

 

As part of the series of conferences on Language and Development the Britisch Council is this year organising a conference in Delhi on Multilingualism and Development

 
The Website of the Britisch Council states: "The Language and Development series is a conference held every two years that explores the role of language in development. It addresses the issues of world, national, second and minority languages and the role they play in economic, social and cultural development; language policy, conflict transformation, language rights and identity; communication, education and development and language pedagogy.

The Subthemes listed for this particular conference are:
  • Multilingualism and the metropolis
  • Language, technology and multi-literacies
  • Multilingualism, marginalisation and empowerment
Several of the topics listed under each subtheme are related to education.

This 11th International Language and Development Conference is  scheduled to be held in New Delhi, as a three day event for 250 participants from 18 - 20 November 2015.

Friday, March 13, 2015

[MLE] FRAME India research report or reading acquisition





Report on research on reading acquisition in AP and Karnataka
                        

Classroom smiles

FRAME-India - Final Report

The Facilitating Reading Acquisition in Multilingual Environments in India (FRAME-India) report claims to be the first pre-intervention research for developing a theory of change that is relevant for multilingual learners in the developing world.

 
The FRAME final report announcement gives a general overview of the research which was conducted in Andra Pradesh and Karnataka and focussed on the interplay between English and the state languages in the class rooms. The report itself is 60 pages and has a nice 3 page Executive Summary in the beginning. Some quotes from the findings:
  • Lit 1 decoding (i.e., Kannada or Telugu decoding scores) was one of the strongest independent predictors of Lit 2 English decoding, suggesting that for English decoding success, a child must have a certain degree of proficiency in their first literacy
  • this is the first study that provides an empirical threshold point of approximately 60%, at which Lit 1 decoding ability substantively and significantly increases the likelihood of "transfer" of knowledge to Lit 2 decoding for effective biliteracy outcomes.
Some quotes from the recommandations:
  • It is important to sequence reading subskills in Lit 1 alphasyllabic and Lit 2 alphabetic languages in ways that are reflective of the scripts, and in a way that incorporates "transfer" of Lit 1 skills for reading gains in both languages.
  • For improving reading skills in Lit 1 and English, it may be beneficial not to introduce English decoding instruction until the child has achieved the necessary threshold value of Lit 1 decoding skills.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

[MLE] NMRC Conference "Whither MLE?"; Delhi, JNU, Nov 21-23

Dear MLE friends,

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:
  1. Taking Stock: Current MLE Research and Programs in India
  2. MLE Policy and Advocacy
  3. MLE Strategies and Innovations
  4. Pedagogic Practices, Teacher Training and Capacity Building for MLE
  5. Networking and Partnership in MLE research and Programs
  6. Future of MLE in India
  7. RTE Act 2009 and Multilingual Education
  8. Planning for SAARC level conference on MLE in November 2014

Thursday, September 5, 2013

[MLE] Outlook article on PLSI points out the value of MLE

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

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

[MLE] India speaks...780 ways

Dear multilingual education friends,

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

[MLE] 700+ Photos on Education ; Global Partnership for Education


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

[MLE] Article "Linguistic Right And Language of Politics "

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

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

[MLE] Article in Guardian "Language exodus reshapes India's schools"

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,

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."

Friday, April 6, 2012

[MLE] Report on the MLE bridging workshop at Bangkok

Dear MLE friends,

Out of the 80 participants from 20 countries 4 people from India attended the Workshop on Bridging Between Languages in Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual/Multilingual Education in Bangkok last month.

The India participants were from Guwahati University (Dr Anita Tamuli & Prafulla Basumatari), Promotion & Advocacy for Justice, Harmony & Rights for Adivasis, PAJHRA (Luke Horo) and Center for Tribal Culture and Art Society (Ft Mahipal Bhuriya).

Friday, March 23, 2012

[MLE] Article "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

The British Council, as well as some US agencies,  are active in south Asia and other places promoting the use of the English language in the classroom. A recent article by Robert Phillipson in The Guardian titled "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"  is criticising this as "undermining multilingualism and education opportunities". Some quotes:

The myth is the belief that studying English is all you need for success in life. Policies influenced by this myth prevent most children from accessing relevant education.

Is Anglo-American expertise really relevant in all such contexts? In fact educational "aid" worldwide does not have a strong record of success. There is scholarly evidence, for instance from Spain, that primary English is not an unmitigated success story: quite the opposite.

Governments have tended to clutch at a quick fix, such as importing native speakers, or starting English ever earlier, either as a subject or as the medium of instruction, in the hope that this will make the learning of English more effective. Such demands should be challenged by ELT when both the demand and the response are unlikely to be educationally, culturally or linguistically well-informed.

As many states in India are pushing for English,  this is a very relevant debate.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[MLE] A critical report on the RTE progress

Dear MLE friends,

In April it will be two years since the the Right to Education (RTE) Act was introduced. Forward Press Magazine published a critical article on the progress made thus far:  A Fundamental Wrong: Education for too Few.

The author, Suzana Andrade, makes an interesting comparison with Finland were they also implemented a major education transform several years back: "In 1971, Finland's government realised that the only way to modernise its economy and compete in an increased competitive world was to transform its basic education. According to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine, the secret to Finland's success is that the goal they pursued was not excellence, but equity". On India: "Today, though the policies and rhetoric have changed, the underlying worldview remains: our society continues to prioritise a few and exclude the rest".

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[MLE] Article on the value of language from the new UNESCO India director

Dear multilingual education friends,

Last week I had the privilege to meet the new UNESCO director for this region at their Delhi office: Mr Shigeru Aoyagi. Only now I discovered he had just that week written an article on the issue of language: Languages are vehicles of understanding, tolerance. In that article he e.g. wrote:
Mother languages, along with linguistic diversity, matter for the identity of individuals. As sources of creativity and vehicles for cultural expression, they are also important for the health of societies. Studies and researches show that use of mother language at initial stage of education would enhance children’s comprehension skills. We know how important education in the mother language is for learning outcomes. Mother language instruction is also a powerful way to fight discrimination and reach out to marginalised populations.

Good to note we have now such a strong language advocate in the Delhi UNESCO office together with Dr Alisher Umarov, the new head of the UNESCO Education Department.

The International Day of Language did last week produce some more interesting reading: