Friday, July 29, 2011

[MLE] International Consultative Meet on MLE; Mysore, 19th - 21st September 2011.

Dear MLE friends,

Good news: an MLE conference in India! The
National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium (NMRC) of JNU will hold an International Consultative Meet on MLE in collaboration with UNICEF, UNESCO, CIIL and other organisations, from 19th - 21st September 2011, in CIIL (Mysore).

The seven page concept note on "MOTHER TONGUE BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION: FRAMEWORK, STRATEGIES AND IMPLEMENTATION" is worth reading. It gives an overview of what is going on in India, also paints the picture of the activities in the neighbouring countries and notes the trends.

[MLE] New Brookings report: "A Global Compact on Learning: taking action on education in developing countries"

Dear MLE Friends,

The Centre for Universal Education at the Brookings Institute has just published "A Global Compact on Learning: taking action on education in developing countries." It outlines six strategies, one of which is "Provide Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in the Lower Primary Grades".

A couple of quotes:
"Although implementing a mother-tongue-based multilingual policy requires additional resources for start-up, the costs per primary school completer may be much lower due to increased learning, reduced repetition and dropout rates, and increased completion rates. For example, in the case of a bilingual program in Mali, costs per primary school completer were reduced by 27 percent and resulted in higher academic achievement."

"Two main actions need to be taken to achieve Strategy 2B:
• Develop a comprehensive language policy in collaboration with stakeholders, followed by information programs that explain the policy.
• Address practical constraints, such as teacher deployment, teacher preparation, curriculum (including language transition), and materials development. "

"In India, Pratham has published more than 200 original titles in eleven Indian languages and provided them to a mobile library that travels between schools distributing books to children. This includes books to reach visually impaired on children by creating "talking books" as well as partnering with local radio stations to translate books into multiple languages "
See the table of content copied below. Here is the link to the full document:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

[MLE] Headsets in the classroom

Dear MLE friends,

South Africa is doing an experiment where children from the minority group get the classroom interactions translated via an interpreter. "Six months into the project (...) education officials, teachers and interpreters are enthusiastic about the results."
"The project, run by the language directorate of North-West University's (NWU) institutional office, entails the interpretation of lessons from English to Setswana in grade one, and Afrikaans lessons are interpreted to English from grades two to seven. In this way, three languages are involved in the project"
Read more at:   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

[MLE] 9th International Language and Development Conference, Sri Lanka, Oct 2011

Dear MLE Friends,

The upcoming international language development conference on Language and Social Cohesion is hosted by Sri Lanka. It has a special track on Education.

The sub-themes under Education are:
  • Social integration through language curricula and teaching materials
  • Education, language and social inequality
  • Bi lingual and multilingual teaching including practical approaches
  • Language as a subject in the curriculum vs. language as the medium of instruction
  • Innovation in language teaching and teacher training

Monday, July 4, 2011

[MLE] MLE-E-news; Unesco

Dear MLE friends,

The latest issue of the UNESCO MLE Newsletter has an impressive list of news items, resources, events, etc. I was e.g. not yet aware of a conference close by: · 
9th International Language and Development Conference "Language and Social Cohesion.", Sri Lanka; 17 - 19 Oct. 2011 . Or how about an article on Native language skills key to Inuit academic success?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fwd: [MLE] Enthusiasm and dedication of teachers

Dear MLE Friends,
In the Philippines MLE is implemented large scale by the government. Today I saw a  article on "Folk knowledge and  MLE" in a national newspaper at which prof. Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco,   shares his experience with the programme. A few quotes:
"The remarkable thing about these training events was the overwhelming enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, in producing primers, alphabet books, big books, small books and lesson exemplars in their own languages. Never before in our education history have I seen production of educational materials in native languages attempted in such a scale."

"... there is much to learn about our past and our heritage from our country’s communities. In promoting such knowledge in formal education, we also uphold their right to exist, their right to reproduce their language, and their right to practice their own culture.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

[MLE] Dictionaries on the Web

Dear MLE friends,

A useful way to promote a local language are dictionaries. Nowadays they do not need to be distributed in printed formats but can be web based and be printed on demand. A new free tool has come out to enable language communities to start building up a dictionary. This can be very helpful for teachers to help learn the local language. The tool is free and is called "Webonary". The website states:

Webonary gives language groups the ability to put their bilingual or multilingual dictionaries on the web with a minimum of technical help. Each dictionary is built around a search bar, which looks for a word throughout the dictionary, and returns the most relevant results to the top of the list.