Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[MLE] EFA Monitoring report

Dear MLE friends,
The Unesco EFA Monitoring report which was released last week has lots of references to language issues. One quote:

"People who do not speak a country's official language often face marginalization in education and beyond. Around 221 million children speak a different language at home from the language of instruction in school. Put simply, one of the reasons that many linguistic and ethnic minority children perform poorly in school is that they are taught in a language they struggle to understand.
Addressing language-related disadvantage confronts governments and households with major challenges. Research demonstrates that children in their early years learn best when taught in their home language, with other languages gradually introduced. But parents and children often rightly see learning in an official national language as a key to future employment and enhanced life chances. Many countries are seeking to find the right balance though bilingual education programmes.
Linguistic diversity creates challenges, however, in areas such as teacher recruitment, curriculum development and teaching materials, and providing policies for bilingual education are often not fully implemented. In Peru, only around 10% of indigenous children attend intercultural bilingual schools."

You can download the full report or summary from here:

Friday, February 12, 2010

[MLE] Request: Take ten minutes to tackle the big questions on language and education!

Dear MLE friends,
Below is a request from Save the Children UK to give input in a discussion on MLE. Use this opportunity and make sure the South Asian voice get heard!

Friday, February 5, 2010

[MLE] Death of last speaker of the Bo language in India

Dear MLE friends,
Even though it is not education related it is definitely language and India related hence I forward this: newspapers all over the globe are reporting on the dying of the Bo language. Prof Dr Anvita Abbi of JNU is well featured in the articles. Thank you, Anvita, for the tremendous effort you are making in documenting these vanishing languages!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

[MLE] Newspaper: Don't teach English in Class 1- continuation

Dear MLE friends,
The same author, Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar, wrote a follow-up article on the article mentioned below. That means that he received several responses which is a good sign. This time he titled the column: "What does the mother tongue mean?". The content is again not very strong, but it is good that it keeps the topic on the agenda. Here is the link:

[MLE] Newspaper: Don't teach English in Class 1

Dear MLE friends,

It is not too often that a newspaper article writes against using English in grade 1. The attached/below article that appeared in the Times of India a couple of days ago uses the ASER report and the writing of World Bank scholar Dr Helen Abadzi to build the case. A quote:

Premature teaching of a second language - like English - can prevent a child from learning to read fast enough in its mother tongue. Early reading and writing is vital: children that cannot do so fluently by Class 2 will likely never catch up with classmates in higher classes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

[MLE] Inspiring report from the grass roots

Dear MLE friends,
Attached is an exciting personal story from an MLE grass roots level worker in our neighbouring country B'desh. A quote:
We divided  the school year  into 30 weeks and developed one  theme  for each week. Each theme had a daily  lesson  plan,  big  picture  related  to  the  theme,  a  big  book,  a  listening  story,  and  "facts  and information" activities  using  flash  cards, songs,  rhymes or  games, etc. So,  in 10 months, a  total of  1200  different  learning materials  were  produced  for  Preprimary  I  classes. When  I  look  back  and  consider  the number of materials that were produced, printed, transported, and made available to 89 schools,  it seems like we have achieved the impossible. An excellent team of managers, MLE officers, community facilitators, and technical support staff made the impossible a reality.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

[MLE] Language, Education and the Millennium Development Goals Conference - Nov. 9-11, 2010

Dear MLE friends
First of all: a happy new year to you! The first MLE related announcement that I received this year is quite exciting:
The 1st International Conference on "Language, Education and the Millennium Development Goals" will be held November 9-11 in Bangkok, Thailand sponsored by a consortium of organizations from the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group, particularly: UNESCO, UNICEF, SEAMEO, Mahidol University, SIL International and Save the Children.

Join with representatives from government and intergovernmental agencies, NGOs, academics and local community organizations during a three-day forum to dialogue about the state of development of ethnolinguistic minorities, the relevance of local languages, and how to develop programs and policies that better reach these underserved groups.

Please read the attached conference announcement for the purpose and objectives of the conference.  More information on the conference program, fees, and venue will be available in February 2010. Please contact: or for more information.