Posts

Showing posts with the label local language

Odisha expands their Multilingual Education program

Image
Odisha has for years been on the forefront of the multilingual education efforts in India. It is good to note that the government has decided to expand the program. According to this latest news report, the government of Odisha has announced that they will add 200 more teaching posts of Multilingual Education (MLE) in addition to the 200 posts already existing.. They will predominantly focus on working in districts with students from tribal and minority communities.  The government has also increased the number of languages under the promotion of  multilingual education from 10 to 16. The new languages to be included are Ho, Desia, Gadaba, Mundari, Sadri and Bhuyan.  ‘The expansion aligns with the state’s vision to preserve and revive tribal languages, fostering cultural heritage and inclusivity ,’  said secretary-cum-commissioner of the department Roopa Roshan Sahoo.( The Indian Express ) Currently  in Odisha, under the multilingual education programme, children are being introduced

87.6 lakh books in local languages dispatched in Assam promoting Multilingual Education

Image
It is always good when things move from talking to action : In Assam new textbooks have been developed and distributed for the early grades that are in line with the New Education Policy. It is good to note that they have been produced in several local languages. Still it would be interesting to learn why certain languages are included while others are  not. According to the ANI Report , the Education Minister of Assam last week officially dispatched vehicles with 87.6 lakh  textbooks in local languages of Assam. The languages included are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Manipuri, Garo, Hmar, and English for Classes 1 to 3. This initiative comes under the NIPUN Assam Mission for the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) programme from the NEP or New Education Policy with special emphasis on teaching children in their mother tongue so as to promote Multilingual Education.  NIPUN is a flagship scheme under National Education Policy 2020 which seeks to achieve the foundational literacy and n

Celebrating World Book Day!

Image
World Book Day gives us a nice excuse to promote the production of books in the local languages. Particularly since this year there was a special emphasis on indigenous languages! In line with the theme of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-32), f or this year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has chosen the theme  “Indigenous Languages”! According to their official statement , “Indigenous and local languages feature as part of the World Book Capital Network Charter, and the Charter recognizes a less rigid concept of ‘the book'; it also acknowledges all  forms of literature (including oral traditions).” The statement also mentions that, “ Of the almost 7,000 existing languages – many of which are fast disappearing – the majority are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent the greater part of the world's cultural diversity.” Therefore, they are stressing the importance of safeguarding these languages, the moth

The Benefits of Multilingual Classrooms - Macmillan India Report

Image
It is always good when research affirms what we have already observed ourselves: it is beneficial for learners when multiple languages are used in the classroom, particularly if the teaching isn’t in the students’ home language. Macmillan Education India is a key stakeholder in the Indian education arena as they regularly produce resources in both print and digital form in addition to engaging in assessments and  teacher training. In February, they presented the results of a survey they did to understand the effects of multilingualism in the classroom. (See full report. ) Managing Director, Rajesh Pasari, writes in the foreword:  “ Through this study, we wanted to find out more about this linguistic phenomenon in relation to English classrooms. The study analysed the potential advantages and challenges of linguistic diversity which can impact the everyday lives of Indian learners in educational institutions. The report documents the multilingual reality and various teaching practices i

India’s first ever Language Mapping of Schools Survey!

Image
The Language  and Learning Foundation has conducted India's first-ever language mapping of schools survey in Chhattisgarh: Language Mapping of Schools in Chhattisgarh .  The survey was carried out under the NIPUN Bharat initiative  in collaboration with the Government of Chhattisgarh and UNICEF India. The report  maps the different language situations that are present in each school with the aim to design an effective education strategy and policy. Through this research almost 30,000 schools were surveyed. The focus was on the first grade and the information gathered was mainly through the teachers. The following conclusion was stated in the summary of the report: The survey shows that in about 75% of the schools students are likely to face moderate to severe learning disadvantage due to the difference between their home language and the school language used as the medium of instruction. It also shows that about 95% of students at the time of entry to the primary schools speak a h

Language technologies for the minorities

Image
  Kalika Bali’s talk on TED.com There is a lot of technology involved in producing educational materials. However, most language technology is focusing on majority languages while the minority languages stay behind. In a recent TED talk, a language technology enthusiast working with Microsoft, Kalika Bali, is talking about how this gap can be bridged.

School Teacher Translates Textbooks

Image
Ranjitsinh Disale (Photo used with permission from the  Varkey Foundation ) Congratulations to Ranjitsinh Disale on being nominated for a prestigious prize for innovations in girls' education. Good to read that "Disale not only translated the class textbooks into his pupils’ mother tongue, but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments."

118 Books in 95 languages - COVID-19

Image
Good to note that more easy-to-read small books on COVID-19 are becoming available in local languages. I noticed one in Gadaba language, spoken in Orissa/India, with local photos and with input from a doctor living in the area. Other available materials were translated via Bloom from international booklets. Good! Still we have a long way to go to get the information out! Regards, Karsten

Sniffles - Who are vulnerable?

Image
There is lots of information shared about the prevention of the spread of viruses these days. In terms of vulnerability we usually talk about medical vulnerability. But how about information vulnerability? There are several groups of people that fall into that category. How about those who do not understand the major languages through which the information of the governments and health organizations is distributed? How about kids who have difficulty to make sense out of the adult talks? Sniffles  is a cute kids' book published by Pratham with an appealing story about a girl with a cold who accidentally got her friends sniffing and sneezing. At the end it gives some simple explanation on how the spread of a virus happens and can be prevented. A relevant topic for today! The book has been put on  Storyweaver  and  Bloom , so that it can easily be translated in any other language.  It is already available in Sadri (Devanagri), Kolami, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Englis

[MLE] Draft National Education Policy

Image
Reading is hard work, particularly in a language you hardly know!  (Photo Credit: Business Standard) This month there were plenty of articles in the newspaper talking about language and education because of the publication of the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) which stated: “Three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.” Of course, there was the controversy around the promotion of Hindi, but there were also plenty of references to the value of multilingual education.

[MLE] Resources from Indian Soil - Book and Video

Image
The Multilingual Reality: Living with Languages Prof Ajit Mohanty recently published a book on multilingual realities and Dr Dhir Jingran was interviewed for a video on multilingual teaching. Both worth taking note of.

[MLE] Advantages of learning different languages

Image
Studies suggest that multilingualism has its benefits. (Getty Images) Rather than dichotomizing the teaching of English against in any local language, professor Neeta Inamdar argues that research shows that a simultaneous approach of multiple languages works better.

[MLE] Multilingual Education on Linkedin

Image
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.

[MLE] Is multilingual education encouraging violence or peace?

Image
Expert panel in debate.  Photo by Natalie Lovenburg While visiting government officials I have often come across the assumption that multilingual education would foster separation movements and therefore violence. Recently a panel called " Linguistic tolerance as a tool for resiliency in multilingual societies against violence and radicalization " addressed this issue. As this is also relevant for India I post the reference here.

[MLE] Bloom - Software to make reading materials

Image
Software to build a Community Library   Just making a reading method for children in minortity language communities is not enough. They need books to read, many books! BLOOM software was recently selected as one of the three finalists in an " All Children Reading" software contest . Bloom is a low-tech piece of sofware that helps with making books in any language. The website states: "Bloom dramatically lowers the bar, so that many more people can get involved in building a large collection of local language books. Bloom was designed with new computer users in mind, and it has special features to guide them in simple book making, so people need far less training than alternatives such as Word, Publisher, or In Design." I have heard from several people that BLOOM can handle non-Roman Scripts, but more than that, I learned that their helpdesk is very responsive when you happen to encounter a problem. Bloom has started a Bloom library in which you ca

[MLE] Good news from Nepal

Image
                                  Nepal reports positive effects from local language classes Only a few months ago the Nepal press reported negatively about the multilingual education programs. But this time is different . The article Start of native language classes ups enrolment states : "According to the District Education Office (DEO), the use of native language has not only proved effective but also helped increase the quality of education." Fun to read that in this Magar community the program has motivated