Tuesday, March 1, 2011

[MLE] Moving from "Why" to "How"; CfBT/SC report

Dear MLE friends,
This week a lot of news items were found on the internet related to multilingualism and MLE because of the celebrations on the Mother Language Day. The release of a new report from SC is one that caught my eye because it also has references to India: Reflecting language diversity in children’s schooling: moving from ‘Why multilingual education’ to ‘How?’ by Helen Pinnock . Here is the news release from the CfBT website:
Today, 21 February, CfBT releases new research to coincide with International Mother Tongue Language Day. The research, undertaken with Save the Children, examines how multilingual education in Africa, Asia and Latin America can be made possible.  The research focuses on two well-developed multi-lingual education projects run by Save the Children with local partners in Vietnam and Bangladesh as well as material from government-led projects in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in India.

Monday, February 21, 2011

[MLE] Today is Mother Language Day!

Dear MLE friends,
Congratulations, today is Mother Language Day! This occasion started in our neighbouring country, Bangladesh. Read more about how they are marking this day (including a summary of the history): http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=187834&cid=2

A UNESCO focussed press release is here: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/305367/international-mother-language-day

Enjoy this day, talk about it will colleagues and celebrate your own Mother Tongue!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

[MLE] Local Languages in the Schools of Himachal

Dear MLE Friends ,

Some state governments take the language of instruction issue of the Right to Education Act quite seriously. According to the Hindi newspaper Amar Ujala the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to have the teachers use the local languages in teaching the different subjects in the schools. If this is indeed going to get implemented that would be very innovative.
Books and articles
The MLE-india.blogspot.com site now has a separate page on MLE related books and articles. Check it out and let us know if relevant publications are missing.
See Full article in Hindi

Saturday, January 29, 2011

[MLE] New book on Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities in India

Dear MLE friends,

A new book is coming out which is focusing in the linguistic minorities in India and on the policies related to that in particular:

Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities in India: An Appraisal of the Linguistic Rights of Minorities in India
Thomas Benedikter

You might place an advanced booking as that will give you a good discount. See details below.

[MLE] EdQual research on Medium of Instruction

Dear MLE friends,

Research outside of the western countries on the impact of education in the mother tongue is much needed. Below are some links to research presently going on in Africa.
EdQual is a research project consortium funded by DfID, studying education quality in low-income countries. On 15 November, it reported to DfID and other interested agencies along with 2 other research project consortia. As part of the EdQual programme, colleagues from Ghana and Tanzania looked into issues of medium of instruction and its relation to quality of learning. If you are interested in interim findings to do with MoI and textbook accessibility, please use the following links:


Monday, January 24, 2011

[MLE] ASER Report

Dear MLE friends,

Each year ASER does extensive research on the impact that education makes. Their research data is highly valued, not only in the NGO world but also by the government itself.

The 2010 report shows as well progress as declines. The press report states regarding the reading skills:
Even after five years in school, close to half of all children are not even at the level expected of them after two years in school. Only 53.4% children in Std V could read a Std II level text.
The Calcutta edition of the Telegraph reports "Tribal heartland betters its report card", this is given as the reason:
Santhal Pargana Gram Rachna Sansthan, the NGO that helped in survey work in Godda, credited the district's performance to maximum involvement of para-teachers, school teachers and Integrated Child Development Services centres. These units, set up under a Centre-sponsored scheme, addresses health and nutrition needs of children in every village. "During the survey, we found out that contribution of local para-teachers towards development of reading and learning skills of children was immense," said in-charge of the NGO, Babita Singh. Echoing her, Gautam Sagar of Bokaro's Sahyogini added: "In the absence of regular government teachers, para-teachers have played a big role in increasing the students' interest level."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

[MLE] GEO article on "Unspoken Languages"

Dear MLE friends,

For most of us the preservation of languages is not the main reason to be interested in MLE. Still we do see the value of language in relation to culture. The January Issue of the Indian version of the magazine GEO has a cover story on "Unspoken tongues'. Some relevant quotes:
Few actually realise that languages are more than just a means of communication. They are emblematic of the way a people perceive the world and, thereby. offer a unique insight into the people who speak them and the cultures they represent. In the case of Bo and other Great Andamanese languages, they hold up a mirror to a tribal people whose culture dates back thousands of years.
Kanji Patel, a writer in Panchmahali Bhili, one of Gujarat's many endangered languages, says there are three fundamentals required to protect a language: "Teaching the language, publishing its literature, and spreading awareness of its existence among other language groups:'
The official neglect of many tribal languages in India has also pushed the Maoists to embrace them, in order to win over disaffected tribals. Gondi, a language spoken by over 2 million people but considered a 'non-scheduled' language, has been the medium of instruction for schools in regions under the control of Maoists in central India. Left far behind in this game of linguistic one-upmanship, the government of Chhattisgarh-where most Gondi speakers live and which has, until now, no textbook either for or in Gondi- produced this year, for the first time, textbooks to teach Gondi, Chhattisgarhi, Korku, Halbi and Surgujia languages in grades III, IV and V. Subhash Mishra, GM at the Chhattisgarh Textbook Corporation, hopes this will send a "positive message" to the tribals.[KvR: Does anybody have details on this?]