Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[MLE] New MTB-MLE International network website

Dear MLE friends,

A new MLE focussed international website has been set up that is certainly worth adding to your favourites:

I enjoyed an article (with a nice 15 minute video) on the Lango Literacy project in Uganda. The Resource Basket has 7 subtopics with lots of articles. I e.g. clicked on "Policy" and found about 15 articles on the topic. There is also a way to submit new articles yourself.

Of course there is an events calender and there is a forum for discussions. I would recommend to subscribe to the website (Right hand corner) so that you have more privileges, can join in focus groups and get updates send to you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guardian: Donors need multilingual understanding

Dear MLE friends,

Do you have a need to convince your donors to support your efforts in MLE? Here is a good article published in The Guardian, with donors as its target audience: Donors need multilingual understanding. Some quotes:

Evidence of education failure among children denied teaching in their first languages should inform a new approach to development aid

Unfortunately, this push for international language isn't working for those most in need of the economic opportunities it brings. In many countries a large proportion of children's school drop-out rates and poor performance is caused by their inability to understand the English used in class. Teachers don't have good English themselves, which stops them using interactive teaching approaches. A lack of textbooks worsens the problem.

For several years it has been accepted that children who don't already speak a language such as English won't learn well in English-medium education. Children learn language based on context and communication. In rural areas, children who grow up with one language will not "pick up'" another language for the few hours they spend at school, especially when most lessons involve passively listening to a teacher.

Friday, November 4, 2011

[MLE] Multilingual university department in south Serbia

Dear MLE friends,

Most people think only of primary education when it comes to MLE. However here is a news-item from  Serbia where they are implementing an MLE strategy at university level:

Some quotes:

A number of courses will be delivered in both Serbian and Albanian, with the proportion of Serbian-language courses gradually increasing during the four-year programme. This will give students from ethnic Albanian backgrounds the opportunity to both access higher education in their mother tongue, while also improving their proficiency in the State language, and is the first such initiative in Bujanovac.

"This model is an example of how multilingual education can solve the dilemma of 'either mother-tongue or State-language education'. The educators' and authorities' joint effort here demonstrates that,"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

[MLE] Video Clip on UNDP MLE Project in Bangladesh

Dear MLE Friends,

You are probably already familiar with the good video clips on MLE on the web. There is now also a 3 minute clip on the UNDP education project in Bangladesh :

A quote from the text:
Multilingual education allows teachers to gradually introduce the official language of Bengali, so that towards the end of primary school students can switch completely to the national curriculum, which is taught in Bengali.This approach is delivering tangible results in a region where low school enrolment and high drop-out rates have been a problem for years. The change is being felt by all.

“Now children are improving their learning in their mother languages and this has made them enthusiastic to come to the school regularly,” said Sujita Tripura, a multilingual teacher in Matiranga. “The community here has accepted the new system of education and the children really love the way we teach.” Multilingual education is providing these young children with the incentive to come to school and to stay there at a time when they are just starting down their educational paths.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

[MLE] MLE Resource Centre in Nepal

Dear MLE friends,

A positive development at our northern neighbour Nepal: The establishment of a Multilingual Education (MLE) Resource Centre in Nepal has begun with the support of UNESCO. The Unesco website states here:

"The MLE documentation centre will: provide necessary academic and research support to optimize multi-pronged engagement in providing quality MLE in Nepal; guidance for planning and implementation of MLE programmes; coordination between different MLE activities providing documentation and information resources; networking of various MLE interest groups, institutions and individuals; and establishing linkages to optimize effective utilization of expertise and materials for MLE programmes."
I found it also encouraging to read the below:

"It is expected that with the support of the MoE, the MLE resource centre at CERID will contribute to developing satellites of MLE resource centres across Nepal."

Friday, October 7, 2011

[MLE] Third issue of the UNESCO Multilingual Education Newsletter

Dear MLE friends,

The third issue of the UNESCO Multilingual Education Newsletter is out. You can find it at:

In the issues are MLE related news items and articles from all over the world. In the resource section I found e.g. the following publication:
· Closer to home: how to help schools in low- and middle-income countries respond to children's language needs by Helen Pinnock, Pamela Mackenzie, Elizabeth Pearce and Catherine Young
In the events calender I  e.g. saw
 · 2nd Philippine Conference-Workshop on Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education EFA and MTBMLE 2015 and Beyond, Philippines; 16 - 18 February 2012

Saturday, October 1, 2011

[MLE] People's Linguistic Survey of India on the way

Dear MLE friends,

In the press we have read about the progress on the Ganesh Devy's People's Linguistic Survey of India. In a recent article in the GlobalPost titled "India: fight to preserve dying languages" the potential  educational impact of that survey was also mentioned:
"Though various studies have shown that children learn better when taught basic concepts in their mother tongue before attempting to master a second language, India prioritizes just 22 out of the 900-odd languages that Devy seeks to catalogue, and the state's promised free and compulsory education is most often available in fewer still.
“In the Constitution of India, there is a special schedule of languages, which alone receive official support,” said Devy. “When the schedule was created after independence, it had 14 languages. Now it has 22. All the funds for primary, secondary and higher education can go only to these languages.”
Not surprisingly, perhaps, tribal literacy rates lag behind those of the general population, and only about one-fifth of the so-called “Scheduled Tribes” noted by the Indian constitution as historically underprivileged are attending school, according to the latest census.
“If we don't include these languages in our education policy, obviously we are discriminating against them,” said Abbi. “We have a reservation policy [that mandates quotas in jobs and higher education] for the [historically underprivileged] Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. But the reservations are for the tribe, not the language. This is the reason why tribals want to forget their languages.”