Wednesday, August 24, 2011

[MLE] National Call on 'Language & Education' issued by AIF-RTE

Dear MLE Friends,

As you know the Right to Education  act (RTE) does support education in mother tongue, but has stated it quite weakly by adding the wiggle line "as far as possible". The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE)  therefore organised a National Workshop "Language and Education" earlier this year. Recently they published a "National Call" with a strong urge to strengthen the appeal for using the mother tongue;
We express our deep concern that 'The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009' (henceforth referred to as the RTE Act) has made a mockery of the crucial role of the mother tongue at the formative pre-primary (nursery, KG) and elementary (Class I-VIII) stages
by stating that education in the child's mother tongue will be provided only if it is 'practicable' [Section 29 (2) (f)]. By doing this, the RTE Act has played into the hands of market forces and has failed to accord the languages of the Indian people their historic place in education. Thus
the RTE Act is bound to exacerbate the process of exclusion of masses of our children and youth from the education system. It also amounts to violation of the Fundamental Rights under Article 19(1)(a) to "freedom of speech and expression" and under Article 21A to education of
equitable quality. The RTE Act further denies the statutory Right accorded by the Constitution under Article 350A to the children of the linguistic minorities to be educated through their respective mother tongues at the primary stage.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

[MLE] MLE International Conference in China; 25-28 October 2011

Dear MLE friends,
It seems to be conference season! This time it is our northern neighbour China hosting a conference on “Zero Barrier Bilingual Education” . It will be their first International Conference on MLE. The dates: 25-28 October 2011 and the venue: Jinghong City, Xishuangbana Prefecture, Yunnan, China .The hosts for the conference comprise of the Yunnan Provincial Ministry of Education, Yunnan Ethnic Affairs Commission and SIL East Asia.
Over the two-day conference, papers will be presented and discussion groups organized to discuss current world trends in bilingual education and pedagogy, results of practical experiments, development of approaches to bilingual instruction and other related academic issues, in order to better serve minority groups.

Friday, August 5, 2011

[MLE] Impact study on SSA MLE project in AP

Dear MLE friends,

The MLE programme in Andra Pradesh is one of the biggest in the world. It is impacting 68000 children in over 2000 schools in 8 tribal languages. A few years ago an impact study was done for the first two grades. That report many of us had never seen, but is worth noting. It is called: A study on the comfortability and impact of class ii tribal language primers and classes I & II Mathematics Textbooks. The study was done by Prof Dr Shashidhar Rao of the Education Department of Institute of Advanced Study in Education for SSA. It gives a thorough documentation for each language community on the opinion of teachers, parents etc. and also the achievements of the children.

A few conclusion:

11. Parents expressed happiness over this and studied that the intervention is encouraging to the students and to them as will.
12. Students also expressed that they are able to follow were become their books are in their language.
13. By and large the achievement of the students target the tribal language textbooks is found to be higher than those language the Telugu textbook through Telugu medium

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