[MLE] Report on Language in education in Nepal; with reference to MLE in India

Dear Multilingual Education friends, The report " Language issues in Educational Policies and practices in Nepal: A critical review " draws an interesting conclusion. It builds a strong case that just doing MT for the first couple of years ("early exit") does not work. The 50 page report is published by Australian Aid.  A quote: " ... children are not able to develop strong competence in their mother tongues until there are taught through L1 for the first 8 years as in Ethiopia. To promote quality education in Nepal, it is mandatory to promote teaching in children’s first language (be it Nepali or other local languages) for the first six years (at least) (ideally 8 years). The Ethiopian evidence shows that children learn English better when they h

[MLE] Article: Multilingual Education in India: Myth and Reality

Dear Multilingual Education friends, Samir Karmakar and Kinnari Pandya of the Azim Premji University, Bangalore published an article on Multilingual Education in India: Myth and Reality in which they plead to give more attention to the context: Any approach towards MLE is bound to fail if the stated form of the policy lacks an understanding of what is being aspired by the population with reference to the Indian languages which is often being decided by various economical and historical factors. Therefore, understanding the linguistic culture in India becomes a must. Very often the success and failure of a policy depends on the implicit, unofficial, unwritten, de facto aspect of what we call public opinion. Therefore, it becomes quintessential to understand the linguistic culture of the population to achieve the stated goals of the policy documents. This includes an in-depth invest

[MLE] Article in Guardian "Language exodus reshapes India's schools"

Dear MultiLingual Education friends, The Guardian had last week an article on the role of English in the Indian education system. A few quotes: "More and more across India, parents are forsaking educating their kids in their mother tongue in favour of English. Despite warnings from educationalists that a child's cognitive development is affected by early schooling in an unfamiliar language, there has been an exponential increase during the last decade in English-medium schools in the country. The latest data compiled by the National University of Education, Planning and Administration (NUEPA) shows that the number of children studying in English-medium schools has increased by a staggering 274% between 2003 and 2011, to over 20 million students." "When the standard of teaching in a regional language school is good, the difference

[MLE] ASER education report 2011 for the first time includes language data

Dear Multilingual Education friends, ASER does each year an independent assessment of the status of primary education in the country. ASER 2011 reached 558 districts, 16,017 villages, 327,372 households and 633,465 children. This year I somehow missed reporting on it in January. Here is a key finding you might find interesting: Nationally, reading levels are estimated to have declined in many states across North India. The All India figure for the proportion of children in Std V able to read a Std 2 level text has dropped from 53.7% in 2010 to 48.2% in 2011. Such declines are not visible in the southern states. However for this mailing list the most interesting thing is that this year for the first time the survey included a question on language :. The

[MLE] Report on the MLE bridging workshop at Bangkok

Dear MLE friends, Out of the 80 participants from 20 countries 4 people from India attended the Workshop on Bridging Between Languages in Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual/Multilingual Education in Bangkok last month. The India participants were from Guwahati University (Dr Anita Tamuli & Prafulla Basumatari), Promotion & Advocacy for Justice, Harmony & Rights for Adivasis , PAJHRA (Luke Horo) and Center for Tribal Culture and Art Society (Ft Mahipal Bhuriya).

[MLE] NCERT Evaluation Report on MLE Project Orissa

Dear Multilingual Education Friends, The evaluation report by NCERT's Department of Elementary Education on the Orissa MultiLingual Education projects under SSA/OPEPA is now available on-line at the TCF-SSA website *. These are some highlights from the summary: Overall, results suggested that children in MLE schools (treatment group) received significantly higher achievement scores than children in non-MLE schools (comparison group). However, scores for several Tribal languages showed that students of non-MLE schools did as well or even slightly better than students of MLE

[MLE] Article "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"

Dear Multilingual Education friends, The British Council, as well as some US agencies,  are active in south Asia and other places promoting the use of the English language in the classroom. A recent article by Robert Phillipson in The Guardian titled "Linguistic imperialism alive and kicking"   is criticising this as "undermining multilingualism and education opportunities". Some quotes: The myth is the belief that studying English is all you need for success in life. Policies influenced by this myth prevent most children from accessing relevant education. Is Anglo-American expertise really relevant in all such contexts? In fact educational "aid" worldwide does not have a strong record of success. There is scholarly evidence, for instance from Spain, that primary English is not an unmitigated success story: quite the opposite. Governments have tended to clutch at a