Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[MLE] A positive newspaper article on MLE pilot projects in Assam

Dear multilingual education friends,

In Assam some good pilots are going on and the press has found them. Last week the attached article appeared in a newspaper in Assam. Interestingly the article highlights that from the boy they feature his English has become better. It seems that is an important point for advocacy because it is English that the society values most. A quote:
"Kisun, however, is an exception. He is the only one in the family who attends an Adivasiya school and can read and write English"

"'Earlier when I was studying in the LP school in the village, I could not understand English or follow any of my lessons. However, after coming to Adivasiya school, I can read and write English to some extent. I have also learned my own language better now.'"
The article then continues to explain more about the school, the pilot project and the brother MLE efforts in the country and worldwide. See Article.

[MLE] Times of India: Writers pitch for mother tongue

Dear Multilingual Education friends,

A group of writers in Karnataka submitted a petition to the supreme court in favour of mother tongue medium education supporting the state government's rule on this regard

Are you interested in this in more detail, control click on the following: Times of India: Writers pitch for mother tongue


A quote from the petition:
"Children can learn better in their mother tongue and it's the appropriate medium. Even Mahatma Gandhi had echoed the same view. Nobody has opposed English. English can be taught as one of the subjects at primary level.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

[MLE] Decade Notes on Education for All ; Early childhood


Dear multilingual education friends,

The first End of Decade Note on Education for All 2012 is on Early Childhood Care and Education. It is published by UNICEF and UNESCO Asia Pacific.“The EDN present a review of regional and national progress toward the six EFA goals, take stock of the progress, persisting issues and remaining challenges in achieving the goals, and highlight examples of innovative policy reforms and strategies, particularly those aimed at reducing disparities in access to and quality of education.”
Have a look at Section 4.3 on MLE’s value for addressing language inequities, “Addressing Language Inequities in Ethnolinguistic and Indigenous Communities: The Value of Multilingual Education.” Here are some quotes:

In many countries, there is a perception that using a native or minority language may hinder economic progress.”
 
But there is an excellent counter-example to this quote as follows:
In these communities, experiences in the region point to the need for encouraging young students to consider careers in ECCE; for example, to prepare teachers for ECCE programmes in Nepal, the Government introduced early childhood development as an optional subject in the secondary school curriculum (grades 9 and 10). Graduates with early childhood development as their optional subject are given priority to work as ECCE teachers in the future. In these communities, ECCE provides a double dividend: a pathway towards the holistic development of young children and the empowerment of youth in the community.”

And regarding a research done in Vietnam:
The results indicated superior performance by the cohort of students who had received mother-tongue based ECCE in key areas of cognitive development”

Friday, November 16, 2012

[MLE] Is 3 years enough? Research findings from Cameroon

Dear  Multilingual Education friends,

Is three years of mother tongue medium education long enough? There is a report (The Kom Experimental Mother Tongue Education Pilot Project. Report for 2012,” by Stephen L. Walter and Kain Godfrey Chuo) on the Kom Pilot project in Cameron where children from 12 different schools were educated in their mother tongue, Kom, for three years and joined the main stream school grade 4 onwards. The research compares these students with their comparison group with English medium education while they are grade 3, 4, and 5. Here I quote some of their main findings and suggestions.
    1. The three year period of the intervention is not long enough to adequately prepare students for an effective transition to L2 instruction. (Note: Those who have been in English-only schools for all 5 years are even less prepared for the demands of Class 5 than are the children from experimental schools.)
    2. The students coming from the experimental schools still show in Class 5 some of the educational benefits derived from having been in the experimental program.”
To access to the full report, click here with control key: http://www.mlenetwork.org/sites/default/files/The%20Kom%20MLE%20Project%202012.pdf

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[MLE] Advocacy video from ABC Australia in Timor Leste

Dear Multilingual Education Friends,

Here is an video on mother tongue based MLE in Timor Leste by ABC Australia. Note that there IS opposition and misunderstanding to the program but the program is still going on.

Friday, October 12, 2012

[MLE] Bilingualism benefits


Dear Multilingual Education friends,

A recent study from Europe is showing that Children from low income families benefit from being bilingual. NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum) based in England highlights an interesting study on this topic in their website (http://www.naldic.org.uk/eal-advocacy/eal-news-summary/200912?dm_i=11M1,Z16E,7M1CX5,2XSTQ,1 ). Quote:
This is the first study to show that, although they may face linguistic challenges, minority bilingual children from low-income families demonstrate important strengths in other cognitive domains.....Our study suggests that intervention programs that are based on second language teaching are a fruitful avenue for future research” says Engel de Abreu.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

[MLE]: The Hindu: Let a hundred tongues be heard

Dear multilingual Education friends,

Shrimps back gets broken when whales fight. This is an idiom from Korean, meaning when there is fighting between powerful men, weak people could be a scapegoat of the fighting unless they are very careful. This metaphor seems to fit well in this big fighting between English and Hindi and many other local languages which could be scapegoats of this fighting. The English whale seems to be winning the game as there are scare materials available in Hindi for tertiary level education in Delhi and even many government schools in Karnataka will use English as a medium to compete with English medium private schools. Sumanyu Satpathy, linguist at the University of Delhi, wrote an article on it in the Hindu. A few quotes:
“The domination of English and Hindi is turning Indian education and culture into a depressingly monolingual affair.”
“If you live in any of the Hindi-speaking States, it is likely that every other day you would hear of debates about the future of Hindi. Naturally, the spectacular rise of Hindi is not often talked about in these quarters as a threat to the linguistic diversity in India,”
“the Odisha government has announced that English medium public schools will be set up in three tribal districts in the State. This is going to prove disastrous for the linguistic ecology of India, and consequently for the local cultures.”
 “not an insignificant number of students in premier departments and colleges in Delhi University complain of the dearth of textbook material in Hindi. Elsewhere in India, higher education is also officially available in both English and the State language; but the production of textbooks in the local language is awfully impoverished.”
 “The argument here is not about banning English medium schools; far from it. It is, rather, for strengthening local-language-medium schools, improving their pedagogic tools, and for generating opportunities in the local markets on a par with the globalised market for a healthy linguistic diversity.”