Showing posts with label mother tongue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mother tongue. Show all posts

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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

[MLE] Congratulations with International Mother Language Day!

Congrats, Multilingual Education Friends, today is International Mother Language day!


A nice description on West-Info-eu is given as follows:

Today 21st February , the International Mother Language Day is celebrated. Proclaimed the first time in 1999 by UNESCO, it is an important initiative to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multiculturalism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh. However, due to globalization processes, languages are increasingly under threat  to the point that more than 50% of the 7,000 idioms spoken worldwide are likely to die out within a few generations and 96% of these languages are spoken by a mere 4% of the world’s population. The aim of this event, then, is to promote and develop fuller  awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

In Odisha the mother language day was celebrated in the presence of 500 tribal leaders from 20 different districts and, hurray, the theme of the meeting was: Mother Tongue is the need for early childhood education. At the Imphal celebration it was emphasized that Manipuri should be developed as a link language. Even in the Lok Sabha attention was given to the day with a plea for the recognition of Bojpuri.

For this occasion Vasant Shetty wrote on IBN/CNN an article on Time for India to implement a multi-lingual policy. A quote:
Current language policy of the European Union holds a classic testimony on how linguistic diversity should be celebrated and not cursed. Remember, Europeans learnt this lesson in a bitter way after the devastating Second World War! 

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. " 

Monday, September 23, 2013

[MLE-ECCE] National ECCE policy approved

Dear "multilingual education" and "early childhood education" friends,

Congratulations, the union cabinet the other day approved the National ECCE policy. The official press statement you can read here:  National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy. The policy is strong on the use of the mother tongue of the children. In the press this is mentioned, but does not get major attention. The article "Govt fixes size, language, nap time for playschools" in the Times of India e.g  simply states: "The norms also specify that the primary medium of instruction will be mother tongue or local language". Maybe later, one of the quality news magazines will zoom in to the issue. For now we can celebrate with this milestone!

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!)

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.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

[MLE] We are just a few steps away from making mother tongue based early childhood education a reality for 1.4 million tribal children in Odisha

Dear multilingual Education friends,

"We are just a few steps away from making mother tongue based early childhood education a reality for 1.4 million tribal children in Odisha" is quite a bold statement coming from State Convener of Odisha Adivasi Manch Ido Manda in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. It was said at the occasion of the launching of a  Mother Tongue based Multilingual Early Childhood Education Learning Laboratory, a collaborative effort of KISS and Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF). A few quotes from The Indian Express  article title Multilingual Education Launched.:
The CM also reiterated his Government’s commitment to make quality early childhood education in mother tongue a reality for 1.4 million tribal children of the State.

The Early Childhood Development Programme through Mother Tongue based Multilingual Learning Education (MLE) is the first programme of its type in India and is instituted by KISS on its premises jointly with The Netherland-based Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF).

Steps such as regular training of the anganwadi worker and recruitment of teachers from the tribal community would benefit the process, she [Achyuta Samanta]  said and hoped that Odisha would become the first State in the country to have a policy on mother tongue-based multi-lingual early childhood education for its indigenous children.

[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)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[MLE] Madia children learn in their Mother Tongue (The Hindu)

Dear multilingual education friends,

Madia children in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh now have the opportunity to learn different subjects in their mother tongue. This used to be impossible in the past due to the double burden of learning various subjects in unfamiliar languages such as Marathi in Maharashtra or Hindi in Chhattisgarh and learning either language in each state. So the following statement makes sense to them now.
“Language (Madia) becomes a major issue in early years of education as it is not just a medium of communication but a link to the entire culture and values of a race.”
For the entire article for Madia medium MLE school in early stage in Lok Biradari Ashram School, click the below link. Nurturing one's own language

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celebrating two years of MLE India Blog plus the Mother Language Day


Happy International

Mother Language Day!


Remembering the International Mother Language Day is a good excuse to also celebrate the two years existence of the MLE and India Web Blog. You have been of great support to make that site work well.
Here are some of the statistics:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[MLE] A positive newspaper article on MLE pilot projects in Assam

Dear multilingual education friends,

In Assam some good pilots are going on and the press has found them. Last week the attached article appeared in a newspaper in Assam. Interestingly the article highlights that from the boy they feature his English has become better. It seems that is an important point for advocacy because it is English that the society values most. A quote:
"Kisun, however, is an exception. He is the only one in the family who attends an Adivasiya school and can read and write English"

"'Earlier when I was studying in the LP school in the village, I could not understand English or follow any of my lessons. However, after coming to Adivasiya school, I can read and write English to some extent. I have also learned my own language better now.'"
The article then continues to explain more about the school, the pilot project and the brother MLE efforts in the country and worldwide. See Article.

[MLE] Times of India: Writers pitch for mother tongue

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

A group of writers in Karnataka submitted a petition to the supreme court in favour of mother tongue medium education supporting the state government's rule on this regard

Are you interested in this in more detail, control click on the following: Times of India: Writers pitch for mother tongue


A quote from the petition:
"Children can learn better in their mother tongue and it's the appropriate medium. Even Mahatma Gandhi had echoed the same view. Nobody has opposed English. English can be taught as one of the subjects at primary level.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

[MLE] Decade Notes on Education for All ; Early childhood


Dear multilingual education friends,

The first End of Decade Note on Education for All 2012 is on Early Childhood Care and Education. It is published by UNICEF and UNESCO Asia Pacific.“The EDN present a review of regional and national progress toward the six EFA goals, take stock of the progress, persisting issues and remaining challenges in achieving the goals, and highlight examples of innovative policy reforms and strategies, particularly those aimed at reducing disparities in access to and quality of education.”
Have a look at Section 4.3 on MLE’s value for addressing language inequities, “Addressing Language Inequities in Ethnolinguistic and Indigenous Communities: The Value of Multilingual Education.” Here are some quotes:

In many countries, there is a perception that using a native or minority language may hinder economic progress.”
 
But there is an excellent counter-example to this quote as follows:
In these communities, experiences in the region point to the need for encouraging young students to consider careers in ECCE; for example, to prepare teachers for ECCE programmes in Nepal, the Government introduced early childhood development as an optional subject in the secondary school curriculum (grades 9 and 10). Graduates with early childhood development as their optional subject are given priority to work as ECCE teachers in the future. In these communities, ECCE provides a double dividend: a pathway towards the holistic development of young children and the empowerment of youth in the community.”

And regarding a research done in Vietnam:
The results indicated superior performance by the cohort of students who had received mother-tongue based ECCE in key areas of cognitive development”

Friday, November 16, 2012

[MLE] Is 3 years enough? Research findings from Cameroon

Dear  Multilingual Education friends,

Is three years of mother tongue medium education long enough? There is a report (The Kom Experimental Mother Tongue Education Pilot Project. Report for 2012,” by Stephen L. Walter and Kain Godfrey Chuo) on the Kom Pilot project in Cameron where children from 12 different schools were educated in their mother tongue, Kom, for three years and joined the main stream school grade 4 onwards. The research compares these students with their comparison group with English medium education while they are grade 3, 4, and 5. Here I quote some of their main findings and suggestions.
    1. The three year period of the intervention is not long enough to adequately prepare students for an effective transition to L2 instruction. (Note: Those who have been in English-only schools for all 5 years are even less prepared for the demands of Class 5 than are the children from experimental schools.)
    2. The students coming from the experimental schools still show in Class 5 some of the educational benefits derived from having been in the experimental program.”
To access to the full report, click here with control key: http://www.mlenetwork.org/sites/default/files/The%20Kom%20MLE%20Project%202012.pdf

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.”

Friday, August 31, 2012

[MLE] Book on "Heritage Language Playschools"

Dear multilingual education friends,

Using the mother tongue in the anganwadis or preschools is not only done in Orissa, but also in Malaysia. Dr Karla Smith wrote a book on it titled "Heritage Language Playschools for Indigenous Minorities".

The MTB-MLE website reports:
This book contains administrative and curriculum materials that can be used to establish and operate playschool programmes for indigenous communities. Carefully sequenced steps, covering pre-planning to evaluation, outline the process of setting up a local playschool with the aid of community involvement. The content covers pre-reading, pre-writing and readiness skills and provides an abundance of practical advice, forms and ideas based on sound educational theory.

Monday, August 13, 2012

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

Dear multilingual education friends,

Good news from Orissa. Chief Secretary Sri Bijay Kumar Patnaik has directed OPEPA to develop bilingual primers in tribal dialects for children from Class-1 to Class-III and cover all the schools having 100% monolingual tribal students. He also  directed to OPEPA to customize the Anganwadi study guide (Arunimain) in tribal languages in the context of their culture. The stories, rhymes, dance performances, folk-lores of the tribe concerned will be reflected in this. 
In another development, nine new  tribal languages have been identified for inclusion in Multi  Lingual Education programme. These languages are Gutob, Ho, Gondi, Parja,Khaira, Didayita, Chhatisgarhi Odia, Binjhal (western Odisha) and Binjhal (for Bargarh region).

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.