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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

[MLE] NCERT study ; "States realize English is what people want"

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

As a follow up on the NCERT study National Study on Ten Year School Curriculum Implementation the Times of India published this week an article titled States realize English is what people want. A few quotes
It's not just parents across India who are confused about the time and importance to be given to education in English and the vernacular; the latest data from NCERT reveals our education establishment is just as perplexed, with very little uniformity in the way regional languages are treated.

Almost 30% states devote [only] six to seven periods a week in Class V for teaching the local language, the study says.

English seems to be scoring. Introduced towards the middle of elementary school, it is now offered at the Class I level in 26 states, making it clear that most states have realized that that is what people want.

"While they (parents) may know they are abandoning their heritage by putting their children early into English-medium private schools, they are sanguine about this, choosing to survive in the present milieu over being the reluctant custodians of local languages that have given them precious little in terms of livelihood in return for loyalty."

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.

Monday, December 2, 2013

[MLE] E-publication: ‘Signposts to Identity-Based Community Development’

Dear multilingual education friends,


In March 2013 LEAD Asia held workshop on the topic of 'Identity-Based Community Development', bringing together 60 community development practitioners from 12 different countries. One of the outputs of this event was the production of a practitioners guide titled Signposts to Identity-Based Community Development .

The guide provides a useful resource for anyone involved in community development work, particularly among linguistic minorities. It is adding to the growing literature around the importance of communities identity, language and culture in the development process. A brief introduction to the guide is included below.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

[MLE] UN launches essay contest to celebrate multilingualism

Dear multilingual education friends,

The United Nations is encouraging college and university students to write an essay in one of its six official languages on the role of multilingualism in a globalized world. To qualify, the student’s native language has to be different from the one in which he or she writes, and different from the principal one at the school. The contest is called "Many languages, one world’.

Monday, September 16, 2013

[MLE] : The ECCE has hit the press

Dear multilingual education friends,

Several of us have had input in the drafting of the Early Childhood Care and Education policy (ECCE) on request by the Women and Child Development Ministry.  It clearly states at several places that the use of the mother tongue of the children is the preferred medium. E.g.:
The mother tongue or home language of the child will be the primary language of interaction in the ECCE programmes. However, given the young child‟s ability at this age to learn many languages, exposure to the national/regional language and English in oral form as required, will also be explored.
This weekend the policy hit the press with the language issue in focus. Yesterday on the front page of the Delhi version of the  Indian Express was an article titled: "Govt wants Playschools to mind Language, go Vernacular" and today a similar article was published: Speaking in Tongues.

Unfortunately, as newspapers tend to do, the articles look for controversy rather than consensus.  The articles contrasts the use of the vernacular with English instead of emphasising that the policy, at least from my perspective, tries to keep them in parallel. Let us see if other media will be picking this up also and report on it in a more balanced fashion. (Note: Last week The Times of India had an article on  Centre plans to regulate playschools, creches, which did not mention the language issue at all!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

[MLE] Education activists raise voice in Odisha

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

It is once again that Odisha is in the news with regards to the need to use the mother tongue of the children in the school. This time the initiative to raise a voice was taken by Save the Children (Good to see you name among the speakers, Sanjeev!) and Sikshasandhan. In the context of RTE  a state level consultation on Language, Tribal Education and Right to Education was held in Bhubaneswar last month. A few quotes from the Odishadiary website:
A serious attempt should be initiated to explore the existing gaps to address the problems faced by the linguistic minority children, concerted advocacy efforts should be made by civil society groups, education activists and the government for the necessity of having a state level multilingual education policy (Dr Sanjeev Rai)

Government has taken some initiatives in this regard meanwhile, but it needs to be expedited and institutionalized across the state as soon as possible. This would minimize the high dropout rate among the tribal children and language should not be a barrier for the tribal children to join the school to fulfil the basic essence of the Right to Education Act (Prof D.P. Patnaik)
all the major commission including the Kothari commission has specifically advocated for mother tongue as the medium of instruction for a minimum of five to eight years in the primary stage, as the level of competency in mother tongue decide the prospect of efficiency in other languages including English. - See more at: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=43445#sthash.nkJXxfET.dpuf

... all the major commission including the Kothari commission has specifically advocated for mother tongue as the medium of instruction for a minimum of five to eight years in the primary stage, as the level of competency in mother tongue decide the prospect of efficiency in other languages including English. (Prof Ajit Mohanty)

... the mushrooming of English-medium education is going to kill all creativity and innovation as they lack a solid foundation of understanding, which is possible through mother- tongue only (Dr Mohit Mohanty)

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

[MLE] Videos from the 3rd International English Language Teacher Educator Conference

Dear multilingual education friends,

The British Council is pleased to share the link of the videos from the 3rd International English Language Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) held in Hyderabad from 16 - 18 March 2013. The videos have been uploaded on YouTube and you can view them at this link.

There are some interesting presentations such as

  • Evaluation Study of MLE of Odisha” by Lata Pandey from NCERT,
  • “Grounding ELT in an MLE Framework” by Ajit Mohanty from JNU
  • “Importance of Mother Tongue Education for Quality Education” by Pamela Mackenzie from INfD
Enjoy watching them and others. From some of the speakers there are presentation available also.

Friday, April 19, 2013

[MLE] 4th International Conference on Language and Education, 6-8 Nov. 2013, Bangkok, Thailand

Dear MultiLingual Education friends,


Below is  the invitation and abstract submission call for 4th International Conference on Language and Education which is held from 6 to 8 Nov, 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand. This conference is hosted by 14 national and international organization this year such as UNESCO, UNICEF, Room to Read, SIL International, etc.

Notice that submission deadline of participant’s abstract is by the end of this month and registration deadline is by the end of Aug. (See message from UNESCO below, which includes a list of speakers)

Please visit the conference website for detailed information.
It will be good to have a good representation from India there!

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, 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