Showing posts with label Multilingual Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Multilingual Education. Show all posts

Monday, November 17, 2014

MLE Research partnership for India
Panel Discussion

 
Dear Multilingual Education Friends,

Last month the English Partnerships team of the British Council of India convened a research round-table on multilingual education in India.

The reason for the meeting was that the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading had proposed a collaborative research partnership with Indian universities and institutions to investigate the issues around multilingual literacy and education at the primary level in India. At the meetings, a framework was discussed for “setting up a longitudinal project into the role of mother tongues and regional languages in learning and teaching in India.”

During one of the evenings, there was a panel discussion on the “Benefits and challenges of multilingual education in India” with several people included who are well known to many of us: Dr Dhir Jhingran (UNICEF India), Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli, Dr Rukmini Banerji (Pratham – ASER Centre), Prof. Paul Gunashekar (EFL University, Hyderabad), Prof. Ajit Mohanty (National Multilingual Education Resource Centre) and Dr Mahendra Mishra (ICICI Foundation).

The outcome of the meeting has been the setting up of a “research consortium of interested parties who would like to be involved in the development of this project, with a view to submitting a joint application for funding.” We are looking forward to the outcome of that!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

[MLE] Lessons in mother tongue for Rajasthan schools


                         

                       
                        

                                 

Lessons in mother tongue for Rajasthan schools

After Andra Pradesh and Odisha, now also Rajesthan wants to implement education in the mother tongue of the children.  The Times of India reports:

"To curb the dropout rates, especially among children in the tribal and remote areas and to instill interest towards learning, Rajasthan State Institute for Education and Training ( SIERT) is set to launch a UNICEF supported pilot project on MTB learning.
Ten schools each in Udaipur, Dungarpur and Banswara districts have been chosen under the project, where children of class one will be given lessons in the local dialect. While Mewari will be the medium of teaching for students in Udaipur, teachers will communicate in Wagri with the scholars in the other two districts.
"

Monday, June 23, 2014

[MLE] National Seminar on Language Education, Chhattisgarh


Dear MultiLingual Education Friends,

The report on the  National Seminar on Language Education  has come out . The seminar was  organized  jointly by the SCERT and IFIG  at 21-23  February,  2014  at Raipur  Chhattisgarh with Dr Mahendra Mishra as convenor. The three main issues addressed at this seminar are stated as follows:
      
  1. How multilinguality is a reality and how our schools are unable to ensure the linguistic rights of the children.
  2. How language of the text book is teacher-centric and unable to represent the meaning of the texts in a language that is not understood by the children.
  3. How education can  be imparted  –  as far as practicable to those children who are linguistic minority,  and  equally  be  able  to  maintain equal  competencies  in  many  languages  like Hindi and English based on their mother tongue.
Experts in the area of multilingualism and multilingual education like Prof. D P Pattanayak, Prof Ramakant Agnihotri,  Prof. Rajesh Sachdeva, Prof. Minati Panda presented papers and contributed to the discussions. Even though it was a national seminar, there was a special emphasis on the host state Chhattisgarh. Some of the listed outcomes for this state are:               
  • Preparation of report on linguistic survey as it was already done in 2008 by SCERT but not in a report  form
  • Reform of curriculum, based on children’s language, knowledge and revise text book.
  • Strengthening  of  TEG  (Teacher  Educator  Group)  about  300  teachers,  to  explore conceptual knowledge of teachers.
  • Policy documents on language in Chhattisgarh.
  • Recruitments  of  teacher’s  policy  based  on  availability  of  language  teachers  in  tribal areas           
  • More 2-3 conceptual seminars will be organise on language at different areas.
Particular those with an interest in the state of Chhattisgarh should take an effort to read this 52 page report which gives a rich overview of the discussions and deliberations during this 3 day seminar.

Regards,
Karsten


PS IFIG is the  "ICICI  Foundation  for Inclusive Growth"

            

--
Karsten van Riezen
Education
Consultant, LinkedIn Profile
SIL International, South Asia Group
All mailings since 2005 are posted on: www.mle-india.net.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[MLE] A sad story from Nepal

Dear multilingual education friends,

Usually newspaper articles report on something new starting. This time Republic in Nepal reports on a failing project. The article Multilingual education fails to attract students in Jhapa points out that due to book supply challenges and resistance from the parents, several MLE classes have stopped.  It would be interesting to investigate further what is going on there. If you know any background on this, please put your comments on the MLE-India blog just below this entry. A few quotes:
In Jhapa district, more than three dozen schools had been conducting classes in around half a dozen local languages, including Rajbanshi, Limbu, and Santhal. However, many of these schools could not implement the mother-tongue based education after stakeholders criticized the use of local languages as the medium of instruction.
It seems one of the problems was with the teachers:
Jhapa had introduced a provision of hiring teachers who knew local languages, but the plan faltered as teachers who could teach in local languages were not available.
But is seems the main issue is:
“Parents want their children to learn English rather than their own mother tongues,”

Friday, March 28, 2014

[MLE] PAK moves to declaring mother tongues as national languages

Dear multilingual education friends,

There seem to be some significant moves in the language policies of our northern neighbour Pakistan. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage earlier this months "declared major mother tongues as national languages and pledged not to allow 1linguiside'  of rich mother tongues" A few quotes from the article  NA panel for declaring mother tongues as national languages:

This one was new to me:
Punjabi scholar Saeed Farani said many verses in the Holy Quran have emphasised the importance of mother tongue and all Sufi poetry was in local languages.
With regards to MLE:
They urged the federal and provincial governments to take concrete steps for imparting education in mother tongues, as several regional languages were rapidly disappearing.
On regional versus national:
The resolution acknowledged that all mother tongues of Pakistan belonged to the whole country, rather than just one particular area and that all mother tongues were rooted in Pakistan’s soil in entirety and thereby derived their national status.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

[MLE] Webinar on January 27: Transition from Mother Tongue

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Next week on Monday the 27th there will be a webinar on "Using an Additional Language as the Medium of Instruction: Transition in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education" The Webinar will be led by Dr Agatha van Ginkel who I happen to know as we both speak the same mother tongue: Dutch! Dr van Ginkel has a wide experience on as well the grassroot level as in national and international level projects. Highly recommended! Note in the below announcement that you need to sign up as the space is limited.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

[MLE] Crowdsourcing for MLE project

Dear MLE friends,

The project managers of the Toto mother tongue based multilingual education project in West Bengal have become very creative in their fund raising. Instead of looking for big donors, they are collecting funds via crowd-sourcing. Look at their promotional website and video to learn how they do that.

Besides that, the approach the project is taking is also of interest. Lissa Davies writes "... We have been using Karla's heritage playschool book as our template curriculum. We have since, developed our own curriculum and TLMs, which we are thinking of putting  into a publishable document, given that there must be other communities out there, especially in India, whereby they face the same problems we have faced. " 

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.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

[MLE] Siksha Sahayaks to be engaged in MLE in Odisha

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Odisha has for several year be one of the front runners for multilingual education. It wants to expand the program and has decided to recruit teacher assistants ("Siksha Sahayaks") for the program. This move is part of a wider initiative to push the responsibility of the education down to the community. More details can be read in the article titled "Siksha sahayaks to be engaged in MLE". A few quotes:
Although the [MLE] programme had been implemented by transferring teachers with expertise in the tribal language to the MLE schools, absence of adequate number of teachers prompted the Government to engage siksha sahayaks for effective implementation of the programme.
In fact, the Government has already approved a policy on MLE which calls for continuation of the programme and its coverage to all tribal children.
In a latest resolution that seeks to address the issues, the School and Mass Education Department has directed that all functions of elementary education will be transferred in phases to zilla parishad and other panchayati raj institutions. Since MLE is part of the elementary education, it too would follow suit.
Interestingly on the OPEPA Siksha Sahayaks recruitments page Urdu, Bengali and Telegu are mentioned as specific required languages, but nothing is said about speaking tribal languages.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

[MLE] 10th Issue of Multilingual Education E-Newsletter

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,

UNESCO Bangkok just published the 10th Issue of Multilingual Education E-Newsletter. It has MLE related news-items from all over Asia , a list of resources related to education  and a overview of relevant events. The most interesting event is probably the 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific - Policies, Practices and Processes, Thailand; 6-8 November 2013. There is also a link to the MLE Mapping Data as maintained by the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group with a request to contribute to it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

[MLE] 4th International Conference on Language Education; 6-8 November 2013 in Bangkok

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Unesco Bangkok send out the below announcement. It looks like an exciting conference again. There is lots that can be shared from India so we hope many can attend.
Asia MLE WG is organizing 4th International Conference on Language Education – Multilingual Education for ALL in Asia Pacific: Policies, practices and processes on 6-8 November 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The conference brings together MLE partners to increase understanding of the importance of expanding access to effective MLE and strengthen momentum for MLE in Asia and the Pacific region. The conference will facilitate the exchange of effective practices and experiences, link MLE theory to practice and foster policy dialogue. The conference will serve as a platform for forward-looking debate and the shaping of effective education policies and programmes for the post-2015 agenda.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[MLE] Advocacy video from ABC Australia in Timor Leste

Dear Multilingual Education Friends,

Here is an video on mother tongue based MLE in Timor Leste by ABC Australia. Note that there IS opposition and misunderstanding to the program but the program is still going on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

[MLE]: The Hindu: Let a hundred tongues be heard

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Shrimps back gets broken when whales fight. This is an idiom from Korean, meaning when there is fighting between powerful men, weak people could be a scapegoat of the fighting unless they are very careful. This metaphor seems to fit well in this big fighting between English and Hindi and many other local languages which could be scapegoats of this fighting. The English whale seems to be winning the game as there are scare materials available in Hindi for tertiary level education in Delhi and even many government schools in Karnataka will use English as a medium to compete with English medium private schools. Sumanyu Satpathy, linguist at the University of Delhi, wrote an article on it in the Hindu. A few quotes:
“The domination of English and Hindi is turning Indian education and culture into a depressingly monolingual affair.”
“If you live in any of the Hindi-speaking States, it is likely that every other day you would hear of debates about the future of Hindi. Naturally, the spectacular rise of Hindi is not often talked about in these quarters as a threat to the linguistic diversity in India,”
“the Odisha government has announced that English medium public schools will be set up in three tribal districts in the State. This is going to prove disastrous for the linguistic ecology of India, and consequently for the local cultures.”
 “not an insignificant number of students in premier departments and colleges in Delhi University complain of the dearth of textbook material in Hindi. Elsewhere in India, higher education is also officially available in both English and the State language; but the production of textbooks in the local language is awfully impoverished.”
 “The argument here is not about banning English medium schools; far from it. It is, rather, for strengthening local-language-medium schools, improving their pedagogic tools, and for generating opportunities in the local markets on a par with the globalised market for a healthy linguistic diversity.”

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.

Friday, September 14, 2012

[MLE] Spell well, read well, write well

Dear multilingual education friends,

The value of a working orthography is often overlooked while pursuing MLE. We often focus on the educational factors and tend to overlook the linguistics. Butch Hernandez wrote an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Spell well, read well, write well in which he writes that teacher want to develop learning material, but often struggle:
The problem lies in orthography, or more specifically, the absence of one for the desired mother tongue. Orthography is actually the set of spelling and writing rules that govern a particular language.
In her piece “How Spelling Supports Reading,” Louisa Moats, a literacy research and professional development expert, explains that “research has shown that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge—such as the relationships between letters and sounds—and, not surprisingly, that spelling instruction can be designed to help children better understand that key knowledge, resulting in better reading.”
Moats adds: “Research also bears out a strong relationship between spelling and writing: Writers who must think too hard about how to spell use up valuable cognitive resources needed for higher level aspects of composition. Even more than reading, writing is a mental juggling act that depends on automatic deployment of basic skills such as handwriting, spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that the writer can keep track of such concerns as topic, organization, word choice, and audience needs. Poor spellers may restrict what they write to words they can spell, with inevitable loss of verbal power.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

[MLE] Report on Language in education in Nepal; with reference to MLE in India

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

The report "Language issues in Educational Policies and practices in Nepal: A critical review" draws an interesting conclusion. It builds a strong case that just doing MT for the first couple of years ("early exit") does not work. The 50 page report is published by Australian Aid.  A quote:
" ... children are not able to develop strong competence in their mother tongues until there are taught through L1 for the first 8 years as in Ethiopia. To promote quality education in Nepal, it is mandatory to promote teaching in children’s first language (be it Nepali or other local languages) for the first six years (at least) (ideally 8 years). The Ethiopian evidence shows that children learn English better when they have strong competence in their first language. "
Some other recommendations are:
  • Enough materials in local languages should be prepared before the implementation of the programme.
  • Community participation and involvement of other stakeholders should be ensured in all stages of the programme.
  • Eight-year long MTB-MLE provides a strong foundation for children’s learning and help them achieve better in all subjects including second and foreign language.
  • Decentralized decision-making process, with effective inspection and mentoring, helps for the effective implementation of the MTB-MLE. As Ethiopian case suggests there is no single uniform model of the programme in different states. It depends upon the need of the different regions.
  •  Teachers’ capacity in mother tongue teaching is one of the most important factors for making teaching and learning of MT effective

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[MLE] Article: Multilingual Education in India: Myth and Reality

Dear Multilingual Education friends,


Samir Karmakar and Kinnari Pandya of the Azim Premji University, Bangalore published an article on Multilingual Education in India: Myth and Reality in which they plead to give more attention to the context:
Any approach towards MLE is bound to fail if the stated form of the policy lacks an understanding of what is being aspired by the population with reference to the Indian languages which is often being decided by various economical and historical factors. Therefore, understanding the linguistic culture in India becomes a must.
Very often the success and failure of a policy depends on the implicit, unofficial, unwritten, de facto aspect of what we call public opinion. Therefore, it becomes quintessential to understand the linguistic culture of the population to achieve the stated goals of the policy documents. This includes an in-depth investigation into the ideas, values, beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, myths, religious strictures, and all the cultural baggage that we bring to our dealings with language from our culture.
They argue that multilingual teaching should also be done in the higher grades:
This approach of gradual replacement of the non-dominant forms of linguistic communication by the dominant ones only widens the linguistic divide in India and will leave India as fertile ground for intolerance defeating the agenda of promoting cultural pluralism.


Since higher education is the avenue to institutional recognition and establishment, we should create opportunities of learning through the mother tongue unlike the various proposals of structural and gradual replacement of multilingualism by a monolingual world order.
A key quote is:
Success of MLE in India, then, primarily rests on mobilizing the public spheres rather than suggesting solutions only to the school teachers and government officials. More specifically, introducing MLE in India expects the involvement of parents in the dynamics of teaching-learning process.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

[MLE] ASER education report 2011 for the first time includes language data


Dear Multilingual Education friends,
ASER does each year an independent assessment of the status of primary education in the country. ASER 2011 reached 558 districts, 16,017 villages, 327,372 households and 633,465 children. This year I somehow missed reporting on it in January. Here is a key finding you might find interesting:
Nationally, reading levels are estimated to have declined in many states across North India. The All India figure for the proportion of children in Std V able to read a Std 2 level text has dropped from 53.7% in 2010 to 48.2% in 2011. Such declines are not visible in the southern states.
However for this mailing list the most interesting thing is that this year for the first time the survey included a question on language:. The instructions read: “ Ask the child or any adult in the household which language is spoken at home, by the family members” (Full instructions copied below.) The summary of the result is:
A quarter of all rural children attend primary schools where the medium of instruction is different from their home language
I looked at the data per state. Some interesting figures:

STATE Home Language is Different From School Language (%)
Nagaland 100%
Chhattisgarh 99%
Manipur 98%
Arunachal Pradesh 96%
Jammu & Kashmir 95%
Himachal Pradesh 89%
Rajasthan 77%
Uttarkhand 67%
Jharkhand 61%
Bihar 53%
(The full table is given below)

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).