Friday, September 21, 2007

[MLE] New Language and Education Policy established by Save the Children UK

Dear MLE friends,
Save the Children UK wrote a thorough Policy Paper on MLE. Since this organisation is active in India too, with Shireen Miller as an active advocate for MLE, it will be good to take note of this comprehensive paper.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

[MLE] Gorkhapatra goes multilingual

Dear MLE friends,
At our northern neighbour Nepal a daily newspaper has decided to go multilingual. Would that have potential in some areas in India too?

Monday, September 17, 2007

[MLE] Recommendations from the "National Knowledge Commission"

Dear MLE friends,
In recent visits several people mentioned to me that the recommendations of the "National Knowledge Commission" are not in line with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005). That made me looks up the recommendations of this commission on the internet. I found that “the National Knowledge Commission is a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society”. A few abstracts from their recommendations on language:

The National Knowledge Commission recommends that the teaching of English as a
language should be introduced, along with the first language (either the mother-tongue or
the  regional  language)  of  the  child,  starting  from  Class  I  in  school.  This phase of
language learning should focus on using both languages to create meaningful learning
experiences for the child without disproportionate emphasis on grammar and rules.  

Language  learning  cannot  be  separated  from,  and  must  be  integrated  with,  content
learning.  Therefore, English should also be used to teach some non-language, content
subjects, starting from Class III in school.  The choice of subjects for this purpose can be
left to schools depending on the proficiency of teachers and availability of materials. 
This would, in effect, create multi-medium schools.  It would also help reduce the divide
between English medium schools and regional languages medium schools. 

The pedagogy of language learning as well as teaching should be suitably contextualized,
to lend meaning to real situations and daily lives. Moreover, assessment should be based
on proficiency rather than specifying achievement targets that reward mastery of single
texts acquired through rote learning. To this end, a National Testing Service (NTS) for
certification of language competence as well as recruitment of language teachers should
be set up.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

[MLE] Position Paper; Benefits of linguistic diversity and multilingualism

Dear MLE friends
The attached paper Benefits of linguistic diversity and multilingualism has an European focus but it has some Indian flavour to it as Prof Rajesh Sachdeva of CIIL was a co-author. An interesting element is that the economic factor in MLE planning is getting far more attention than I have ever seen in other MLE related papers.

[MLE] UN finally adopts declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples

Dear MLE interest group,
There is progress from the United Nations General Assembly in stating the fundamental right for Indigenous People groups to have education in their mother tongue.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

[MLE] FW: Call for Papers: Thailand Royal Institute Language Policy Conference

Dear MLE friends,
Soon you will hear about an MLE conference in India in February, but below is one in Thailand some of you might be interested in.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

[MLE] Publication: Vital Voices: Endangered Languages and Multilingualism

Dear MLE friends.
The Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL) in collaboration with CIIL
brought out an interesting publication titled: "Vital Voices: Endangered
Languages and Multilingualism". Below you can read more about the content.
The distributor for India is CIIL. You can contact CIIL through S.B. Biswas
at <>.]