Showing posts with label home language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home language. Show all posts

Thursday, August 29, 2019

[MLE] UNICEF report on Early Literacy and Multilingual Education in South Asia

Final Report “Early Literacy and Multilingual Education in South Asia” 

A few months ago UNICEF published the final report on their research on Early Literacy and Multilingual Education in South Asia. The study is based on literature review on early literacy and multilingual education, surveys of students’ literacy achievements in primary grades, analysis of sociolinguistic situations, and policy and programme documents. That 100 page report is worth noting!

Monday, January 20, 2014

[MLE] Release of ASER Report - also: Implications for English teaching

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Every year the ASER report provides a great source of data with regards to realities of primary education in rural India. The ASER press release states:
Every year, ASER finds out whether children in rural India go to school, whether they can read simple text and whether they can do basic arithmetic.

Nationally, the proportion of all children in Std. V who can read a Std. II level text remains virtually the same since 2012, at 47%. This proportion decreased each year from 2009 to 2012, dropping  from 52.8% in 2009 to 46.9% in 2012. Among Std. V children enrolled in government schools, the percentage of children able to read Std. II level text decreased from 50.3% (2009) to 43.8% (2011) to 41.1% (2013). Over the last three years, there has been a steady increase in the provision of libraries in schools that have been visited. The All India figure for schools with no library provision
dropped from 37.4% in 2010 to 22.9% in 2013.

Given the changing priorities in education policy and the shift in focus to learning outcomes, we hope that in the next few years there will be much better news to report on children’s learning.
While reflecting on the data, Rukmini Banerji, the director of ASER, wrote in the Hindustan Times an article on "When and how English should be taught in schools". Some quotes:
The figures indicate that about half of all rural children in Class 8 can read a set of simple sentences and of those who can read about three-fourths can explain the meaning of what they have read. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/when-and-how-english-should-be-taught-in-schools/article1-1166370.aspx#sthash.lllnv1NR.dpuf
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
When and how English should be taught in schools
The figures indicate that about half of all rural children in Class 8 can read a set of simple sentences [in English] and of those who can read about three-fourths can explain the meaning of what they have read.

Time and again, the NCF 2006 focus group paper on the teaching of English dwells on the need to help children learn their first language well. Looking at our own realities, it is essential that we must develop our own ways of bridging between languages and creating our own processes for language development within and across languages

More often than not, the weakness in learning a new language has less to do with the new language and more to do with lack of capability, competence and confidence in the original language. Second, if children have print material around them — books, stories, posters, newspapers, slogans — the more they learn how to deal with print. This is true regardless of the language. (ASER 2012 figures indicate that apart from textbooks, less than 20% of rural households have any material to read.)

We have found that children respond well to texts that have both languages interspersed. This is different from bilingual texts where both languages are placed side by side.

We have found that children respond well to texts that have both languages interspersed. This is different from bilingual texts where both languages are placed side by side. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/when-and-how-english-should-be-taught-in-schools/article1-1166370.aspx#sthash.lllnv1NR.dpuf
We must encourage children to have fun in using language differently and appropriately in different situations for different purposes. Serious investment in building strong foundations in language skills will reap rich dividends in all the languages that children use. Whether Hindi, English or any other language, our approach to children in our fertile language landscape must be connected to our realities and suited to our condition, capabilities, needs and uses.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

[MLE] ECCE- Article: The Word and the World

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,

Against the backdrop of the new Early Childhood Care and Education policies Prof Shivali Tukdeo recently wrote an article in the Indian Express titled The Word and the World . A few quotes:
The inclusion of home or local languages in preschool is a step in the right direction, for educational as well as social reasons.

Evidence-based studies on early childhood and research in educational psychology and cognition suggest that exposure to multiple languages can facilitate early development.
Given the interactive nature of early learning, home languages and local vernaculars would be excellent resources to introduce the child to the rhymes, rhythms and stories of a world that she inhabits. With the inclusion of mother tongues and local vernaculars in preschools, many neighbourhoods and localities, with their different stories, will enter the realm of school.
If the responses to the recent textbooks in Santhali, Gondi and Kok Barok are any indication, Adivasi children want to see their languages in school. The development of local languages as languages of knowledge production and dissemination will be crucial in democratising our education.
The language debate would be more productive if it were not framed within the binaries of either-or. The proposal to introduce mother tongues or home languages is not against English, and should not be taken to be so.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

UNICEF survey in Jharkhand reveals that 95% of school kids do not speak Hindi

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

At least five newspapers reported on the findings of a recent UNICEF sociolinguistic survey in Jharkhand. The study revealed quite interesting findings with regards to the gap between home language and school language. A few quotes:
The research was carried out in 72 blocks across the 24 districts of the state, covering 216 villages. During the survey, researchers interacted with schoolchildren, their parents, teachers and village leaders. Over 3,000 kids were profiled during the survey.

It was found that mother tongue of over 96 per cent of rural population, including school kids, was tribal or regional languages. While 33 per cent of the children interviewed spoke Santhali at home, 17.5 per cent spoke Khortha, 9.5 per cent Kurukh, 8.2 per cent Nagpuri, 7.6 per cent used Mundari, 6.7 per cent Sadri and 5.6 per cent used Ho. Only four per cent rural families spoke Hindi at home.

92 per cent of the teachers use Hindi to interact with students in schools. Over 90 per cent of the teachers indicated that they can speak tribal or regional language of that area. But since instruction in mother tongue is not mandatory they chose to instruct in Hindi.

Over 78% of the teachers felt that children faced problems in learning because of the language gap of home and school.

The study recommends that the medium of instruction in anganwadi pre-school centres and primary classes in schools should be in the mother-tongue of children, which is tribal or regional language.  The study suggests that material in tribal and regional language should be developed and used in classrooms to bridge gap between the home language and school language. Besides, teachers should be oriented to understand and respect local resources and culture, as well as to communicate with children in local language.

Monday, August 20, 2012

RE: [MLE] Multilingual primers for more Anganwadi Centers in Orissa

Dear multilingual education friends,

There is more news on the new developments in Odisha / Orissa. Dharitri Patnaik of the Bernard van Leer Foundation wrote the below response to last week's message. To me the best news is that he reports that the demand is coming from the tribal communities themselves: The persistent campaign by tribals from the villages to the state capital has resulted in this directive. Demands for quality curriculum in tribal languages, recruitment of tribal men and women as teachers, centres in remote tribal hamlets and involvement of communities to monitor education are all part of the campaign.  This is confirmed by some of the newspaper links. It seems that the Odisha Adivashi Mancha (OAM) has been instrumental in this endeavour. DishaDiary reports:
The OAM is currently working on details of a strategy to make the new directive effective. "We will meet the Chief Secretary again to apprise him of our plans and concerns on the directive issued," says Mandal.  "Since the government has taken a right step on our long pending demand, we are ready to engage with it to give it a proper direction," he adds.
And The Hindu:
As per the suggestion of the OAM, tribal children should get educated in their tribal mother tongue at anganwadi kendras at pre-school level.

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."

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)