Friday, March 13, 2015

[MLE] FRAME India research report or reading acquisition





Report on research on reading acquisition in AP and Karnataka
                        

Classroom smiles

FRAME-India - Final Report

The Facilitating Reading Acquisition in Multilingual Environments in India (FRAME-India) report claims to be the first pre-intervention research for developing a theory of change that is relevant for multilingual learners in the developing world.

 
The FRAME final report announcement gives a general overview of the research which was conducted in Andra Pradesh and Karnataka and focussed on the interplay between English and the state languages in the class rooms. The report itself is 60 pages and has a nice 3 page Executive Summary in the beginning. Some quotes from the findings:
  • Lit 1 decoding (i.e., Kannada or Telugu decoding scores) was one of the strongest independent predictors of Lit 2 English decoding, suggesting that for English decoding success, a child must have a certain degree of proficiency in their first literacy
  • this is the first study that provides an empirical threshold point of approximately 60%, at which Lit 1 decoding ability substantively and significantly increases the likelihood of "transfer" of knowledge to Lit 2 decoding for effective biliteracy outcomes.
Some quotes from the recommandations:
  • It is important to sequence reading subskills in Lit 1 alphasyllabic and Lit 2 alphabetic languages in ways that are reflective of the scripts, and in a way that incorporates "transfer" of Lit 1 skills for reading gains in both languages.
  • For improving reading skills in Lit 1 and English, it may be beneficial not to introduce English decoding instruction until the child has achieved the necessary threshold value of Lit 1 decoding skills.

Monday, February 23, 2015

[MLE] Congrats with Mother Language Day!

2015 Mother Language Day

Every year after Feb 21st, the International Mother Language Day, it is fun to surf the internet to see what is done in India to celebrate the languages that the children speak at home.

 
This year the United Nations has put the spotlights on the educational aspect of celebrating the mother tongue:
"International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached. Every girl and boy, every woman and man must have the tools to participate fully in the lives of their societies – this is a basic human right and it is a force for the sustainability of all development" (UN Source)

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has send a notice to the English medium schools affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to mark the occasion with celebrations and contests. The notice reads:
"It has been decided to celebrate Matribhasha Diwas to promote the use and to sensitize people about the need of greater use of mother tongue and other Indian languages for progress of the nation, to impart communication skills and proficiency in mother tongue and other Indian languages amongst English-medium students, to support translations from other languages into mother tongue, to give fillip to popularize adaptation of latest technologies for Indian languages and to encourage people to learn one more Indian language."
However given the late date this was send and the fact that it coincided with exam dates the Times of India reports that it is not likely that many schools will have done anything with the notice.

The Indian blogger Sucharita Sen writes:
"While UN takes its own initiatives to bring about language awareness and tolerance, can we not come together to celebrate our own mother tongue, India being such a rich and diversified sub-continent?"

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

[MLE] MLE promoted at the State Vision Conclave in Jharkhand


 

Pioneer Article

State Vision Conclave in Ranchi promotes MLE

According to the ASER-2014 report only 1/3 of the grade V children in Jharkhand can comprehend a grade V text. The State Vision Conclave points at language as being a cause for this problem.

 
On 29 January 2015 the Jharkhand government in coopretion with UNICEF conducted a state Vision Conclave at Ranchi, Jharkhand. The new Chief Minister of Jharkhand also participated in the conclave other than several senior officials from govt., more than 25 NGOs, several corporates, language experts and other experts on child development.
 
Dhir Jhingran, in the Education Session, spoke about the need for Mother Tongue based MLE in Jharkhand.The Pioneer reported on his presentation by publishing the following article: 'Mother tongue based multilingual education needed in Jharkhand'

A quote:
According to experts, Santahli speaking children of Dumka and Pakur, Ho speaking children of West Singhbhum, Mundari speaking children of Khunti and Kudukh speaking children of Gumla could learn very fast if the medium of education is their mother tongue. Experts opine that the process can be started on a pilot basis if it cannot be implement at the same time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

[MLE] Good news from Nepal


                                 

Nepal reports positive effects from local language classes

Only a few months ago the Nepal press reported negatively about the multilingual education programs. But this time is different.

The article Start of native language classes ups enrolment states: "According to the District Education Office (DEO), the use of native language has not only proved effective but also helped increase the quality of education."

Fun to read that in this Magar community the program has motivated the parents to send their children to school. If the claims stated by the headmasters and government officials are true, it looks bright for this program. The article also gives some context: "Starting in 2007, the government introduced education on mother tongue in Tamang, Athpahariya, Dhut Magar, Santhali, Rajbansi, Uraw and Rana Tharu languages in seven schools from Rasuwa, Dhankuta, Palpa, Jhapa, Sunsari and Kanchanpur districts.The School Sector Reform Programme has also adopted education in mother tongue and has a plan to introduce it in 7,500 schools by the end of 2015. "

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MLE; Teaching in the tribal languages of Assam

 
 

National Geographic Reports on MLE in Assam

National Geographic published last month a brief article on the multilingual educations program the NGO PAJHRA  is doing among the tea planters in Assam.

 
The article titled "A Talk over Tea: Preserving India's Indigenous Languages" states:
"
Although Adivasis account for about 20 percent of the population, most local schools do not teach in Adivasi languages. Dropout rates are high, while literacy rates are low. To address these challenges, an organization called PAJHRA (Promotion & Advancement of Justice, Harmony, and Rights of Adivasis) is working with the community to promote and preserve their languages. "

About the teaching activities it states:
"
The project team developed, printed, and distributed 300 copies of an Adivasi alphabet book and 35 copies of an Adivasi storybook. Collaborative community meetings at Ananda Tea Estate helped the workers there lobby for the creation of Adivasi school houses."

Good to note that these type of activities are published and funded by National Geographic. Thanks to Luke Horo for the tip!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

[MLE] MLE related books and papers

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An emerging research partnership for multilingual education
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Multilingual Education Related Resources

 

Dear Multilingual Education Friends,

Sometimes we come across beautiful resources awhile after they were published.  Here are a few:

  • Common tongue: The impact of language on educational outcomes, a paper by Tarun Jain (2011) in which he explores the issue of language in relation to economic performance. He studies the impact that the reorganisation of Indian states has made on economic status on  the district level in relation to the language spoken. He concludes: “After reorganization, historically minority language districts experience greater growth in educational achievement compared to previously majority language districts, indicating that reassignment could reverse the impact of history.”
  • Children’s Literature in Multilingual Classrooms: From multiliteracy to multimodality, a book by Jim Cummings (foreword), Christine Hélot, Raymonde Sneddon and Nicola Day. Even though it is not about India, it seems relevant, as the description states: “It looks specifically at how translation can support learning, at how dual language books enhance learning in both languages, and at making and reading books from a variety of cultural backgrounds and in a variety of languages.  It provides much evidence for improved learning outcomes as well as children's social and personal development.”
  • Assessing early grade reading: The value and limits of ‘words per minute’,  a paper written by Barbara Graham and Agatha van Ginkel. This research paper is interesting for those of us involved in grading and research as in the study also two minority language speaking groups were included. The conclusion is that “WPM is not a reliable comparative measure of reading development since linguistic and orthographic features can differ considerably and are likely to influence the reading acquisition process.”
As so many of us know Dhir Jhingran, let me also mention here about his recent article entitled: Writing on board: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan must be phased out.
Enough to read for today!

Karsten
http://www.mle-india.net/
Book: Multilingual Classrooms
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Monday, November 17, 2014

MLE Research partnership for India
Panel Discussion

 
Dear Multilingual Education Friends,

Last month the English Partnerships team of the British Council of India convened a research round-table on multilingual education in India.

The reason for the meeting was that the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading had proposed a collaborative research partnership with Indian universities and institutions to investigate the issues around multilingual literacy and education at the primary level in India. At the meetings, a framework was discussed for “setting up a longitudinal project into the role of mother tongues and regional languages in learning and teaching in India.”

During one of the evenings, there was a panel discussion on the “Benefits and challenges of multilingual education in India” with several people included who are well known to many of us: Dr Dhir Jhingran (UNICEF India), Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli, Dr Rukmini Banerji (Pratham – ASER Centre), Prof. Paul Gunashekar (EFL University, Hyderabad), Prof. Ajit Mohanty (National Multilingual Education Resource Centre) and Dr Mahendra Mishra (ICICI Foundation).

The outcome of the meeting has been the setting up of a “research consortium of interested parties who would like to be involved in the development of this project, with a view to submitting a joint application for funding.” We are looking forward to the outcome of that!