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

Dear Multilingual Education Friends, At a recent consultation someone quoted several times from papers that were presented at the 9th International Language and Development Conference held last year in Sri Lanka. That made me look up the website to see what all was posted there. I found over 20 papers on Language and Social Cohesion. A selection from what is there: Prem Bahadur Phyak Language-in-education policy in Nepal and its implications for social cohesion Prof Marie Perera “Building bridges” - National Integration through the teaching of the Second National Language Dr Gladys Focho Education and the language dilemma in multilingual societies: The case of Cameroon Tony Capstick Language in education policy and multilingual literacies research in Pakistan Leslie Gumba Mother tongue based literacy a tool for indigenous people’s empowerment Helen

[MLE] People’s Linguistic Survey of India Conference

Dear multilingual education friends, Earlier this months the People's Linguistic Survey of India   (PLSI) conference took place. 900 delegates from all over the world gathered in Baroda to celebrate the progress on survey. A quote from the Lit-Ityadi report Anyone familiar with George Grierson's historic work, the Linguistic Survey of India , compiled nearly 100 years ago, will immediately note the similarities. What is different however, about the PLSI, is the notion of networking, now made by possible by modern methods of communication, that enables adivasi people from Orissa to dance shoulder to shoulder with Bhili tribesmen from Gujarat. This sense of solidarity was felt, not only between the Indian delegates, but also internationally as we heard from indigenous people from Papua New Guinea and various parts of Africa. A quote from the Times of India report This is

[MLE] Book from Prime Minister of Singapore on bilingualism

Dear MLE friends, It is not often that top politicians write elaborately about issues related to multilingualism. Lee Kuan Yew the former prime minister of Singapore published recently " My lifelong challenge: Singapore's bilingual journey ". He has been strong advocate of maintaining Chinese and other mother tongues within the schools in Singapore while still making English the mainstream language. Some quotes from a Asia One newspaper review: My Lifelong Challenge is the story of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's 50-year struggle to transform Singapore from a polyglot former British colony into a united nation where everyone, while knowing English, knows at least one other language, his own mother tongue. The founding prime minister of Singapore tells why he did away with vernacular schools in spite of violent political resistance, why he closed Nanyang University, why he la

[MLE] The blog is celebrating its first birthday!

Dear multilingual education friends, The MLE India webblog is celebrating its first birthday! A good excuse for giving it a easier URL and a facelift: have look at the new lay-out. The site i s more than just a list of the postings on the MLE mailing list. It also has the following pages: MLE Related Projects : An overview of multilingual education related project

[MLE] Language, the basis of unity and conflict

Dear MLE friends, A while ago I travelled with a donor to review an MLE related project in North East India. Her concern was that our efforts to develop the local languages and use them in the schools would encourage the ethnic conflicts. Today I saw an IBN article titled " Language, the basis of unity and conflict " by Prof H S Shivaprakash on this very issue.  A few quotes: Language, as one of the most pre-eminent expressions of human civilisation, has always been the source of unity and conflict in human history. There have been times when the unity of diverse peoples was imposed by existing forms of tyranny as in the case of Roman Civilisation. Equally numerous are the cases when language question figured prominently as a means of self-assertion as exemplified by the emergence of Bangladeshi and Ukrainian nationalism in the recent past. India never had the counterp

[MLE] NMRC Newsletter; Results of longitudinal study

Dear MLE friends, Once again the JNU National Multilingual Education Resource Consortium (NMRC) has brought out a high quality newsletter . The main topic is the outcome of a longitudinal research spanning over the last three years done in Orissa and AP: "DOES MLE WORK IN ANDHRA PRADESH & ODISHA? A LONGITUDINAL STUDY" Some quotes: "To sum up, the findings across the two states and five time frames, it can be pointed out that in case of both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha,the MLE children had better overall performance in all the objective measures of achievement taken together; MANOVA analyses for the state specific data over the five time-frames showed clearly that the performance of the MLE children was significantly better than that of their non-MLE counterparts when all the variables are taken together." (P13) "All the MLE teachers interviewed (except one) expressed th

[MLE] The outcome of the ASER Study in relation to Home-School language

Dear MLE Friends, ASER Centre recently released Inside Primary Schools: A study of teaching and learning in rural India . Supported by UNICEF and UNESCO, this longitudinal study tracked 30,000 rural children studying in Std 2 and Std 4 in 900 schools across five states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan). These children, their classes, schools and families were tracked over a period of 15 months (2009-2010) in order to take a comprehensive look at the factors in the school, in the classroom and in the family that correlate with children’s learning outcomes. (See a summary of the outcomes below) They also studied the difference between children whose home language is the same with children with a different home language. It makes clear that this indeed makes an impact on learning of the children. A quote: Children whose home language is different from the school