[MLE] A critical report on the RTE progress

Dear MLE friends, In April it will be two years since the the Right to Education (RTE) Act was introduced. Forward Press Magazine published a critical article on the progress made thus far:  A Fundamental Wrong: Education for too Few . The author, Suzana Andrade, makes an interesting comparison with Finland were they also implemented a major education transform several years back: "In 1971, Finland's government realised that the only way to modernise its economy and compete in an increased competitive world was to transform its basic education. According to a recent article in The Atlantic magazine, the secret to Finland's success is that the goal they pursued was not excellence, but equity". On India: "Today, though the policies and rhetoric have changed, the underlying worldview remains: our society continues to prioritise a few and exclude the rest".

[MLE] A thorough paper on the MLE program in Orissa/Odisha

Dear MLE friends, I don't think I have ever come across such an extensive analyses of the MLE programme in Orissa as the one from Dr Urmishree Bedamatta presented at the 2nd Philippine Conference Workshop on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education   held February 16-18, 2012 titled: The politics of mother tongue based multilingual education: A case study on MLE for Juanga children in an eastern state of India The author does base her analyses on field visits, interviews and a wide range of literature study. Her analyses is critical. The abstract states: The analysis of the MLE programme with reference to classroom transaction, the teacher and the teaching learning materials led to the following conclusions: (a) the use of the mother tongue is a strategy to improve statistics on access with little concern for retention, (b) the use of the mother tongue does not guarantee

[MLE] Article on the value of language from the new UNESCO India director

Dear multilingual education friends, Last week I had the privilege to meet the new UNESCO director for this region at their Delhi office: Mr Shigeru Aoyagi . Only now I discovered he had just that week written an article on the issue of language: Languages are vehicles of understanding, tolerance . In that article he e.g. wrote: Mother languages, along with linguistic diversity, matter for the identity of individuals. As sources of creativity and vehicles for cultural expression, they are also important for the health of societies. Studies and researches show that use of mother language at initial stage of education would enhance children’s comprehension skills. We know how important education in the mother language is for learning outcomes. Mother language instruction is also a powerful way to fight discrimination

[MLE] International Mother Language day

Congratulations with International Mother Language day! D e ar m ultilingual education friends, Yesterday was International Mother Language Day . A good reason for giving extra attention to the use of the mother tongue. Here are some relevant links to events and resources: Save the Children made a nice animation video clip to mark the occasion. An occasion at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA) Imphal on the Manipuri language Even in the business world the days got some attention: Microsoft to add more languages to Project Bhasha Here is a link to the history of the International Mother Language day

[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