Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
LLF is looking for an Expert in Multilingual Education
In the many year this list is running, never a job offer was posted. But since the need that Dhir Jingran expressed below is so close to the heart of what this blog and mailing list is about, let us help Dhir to find a good person.
The Delhi based Language and Learning Foundation has a special focus on early language and literacy development for children with a different home language background. The three critical domains they are active in are:
- Professional development of all the stakeholders involved with children' education, ranging from teachers to educational administrators. This would encompass rolling out general as well as customized workshops, courses on Early Literacy and Language, specialized courses on Multi Lingual Education, Assessments, Early Grade Reading Materials, Balanced Literacy, Developing Writing skills amongst children, Comprehension and so on.
- Knowledge building and dissemination. The institute will anchor and support action based researches in pre-identified key areas. Alongside it will be instrumental in interpreting and customizing western researches to our context. This unit will also develop and disseminate various knowledge documents such as teacher's resources.
- Project implementation- This unit will work closely with Government and other not-for profit institutions in designing and implementing effective literacy programs.
Friday, April 8, 2016
It is fun to note when a good friend publishes on multilingual education in India. Dr Cynthia Groff has visited India many times and did her PhD research on the language and education situation among the Kumauni people in Uttarakhand.
The full tittle of the paper is "Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India: A linguistic minority perspective." and is based on Nancy Hornberger's language policy and planning seminar. The abstract states: "This article explores India's linguistic diversity from a language policy perspective, emphasizing policies relevant to linguistic minorities". Here are the details:
- Groff, C. (2016). Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India: A linguistic minority perspective. Language Policy, in press.
Available through 'online first', open access:
"The Language and Development Conference run by the British Council and held recently in Delhi had a number of very interesting presentations. While I could not attend the conference itself, many of the presentations are very helpfully on You Tube. These can be found under Plenary and Featured speakers here
There were several presentations focusing on Africa, such as one by Birgit Brock-Utne on the political confusion in the use of language in education, and others focussing on Asian countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which may have some relevance to India, but here are a few highlights relating specifically to India:
- Rukmini Banerjee (Pratham) looking at how language affects learning and comes up with several strategies to help teachers become more productive teachers in multilingual classrooms starting with what children do and know.
- Giridhar Rao on the lack of learning that goes on in English Medium schools and that they offer a false promise.
- It is great to see D P Pattanayak on a panel with Minati Panda and Giridhar Roa, and with Ajit Mohanty chairing the session."
Thursday, February 4, 2016
5th International Conference on Language and Education
The International Conferences on Language and Education, which have been organized by a large group of agencies in Asia, have over the years impacted many projects in India. The 5th one will be held this year, again in Bangkok. The following announcement has been copied from the UNESCO MLE Newsletter
Asia Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group (MLE WG) will be organizing its 5th International Conference on Language and Education on 19-21 October 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 5th International Conference on Language and Education will take stock of recent developments in MLE policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific region, with a special focus on multilingual education in early childhood and primary education.
It will likewise look at innovative pedagogies in the training of MLE teachers. Finally, it will examine challenges and lesson learned from the EFA experience and give opportunities for forward-looking discussions on both the role of language in achieving the new SDGs and preserving a harmonious relationship between the global and local contexts.
The conference features four thematic tracks.
- Track 1: Towards Sound Policies on Multilingual Education: Language and Language-in-Education Policy and Planning in Asia and the Pacific.
- Track 2: MLE Teachers and Teacher Training for MLE
- Track 3: MLE Practice/Praxis in Early Childhood and Primary Education
- Track 4: Language and Cross-Cutting Issues of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
The Call for Papers is now open and the deadline for submission is 30 March 2016.
Usually there is quite a few delegates from India. Hopefully that will work out this year also!
Monday, December 14, 2015
Policy Brief - Reading Solutions for girls in a multilingual setting
The 2015 Echidna Global Scholars Policy Brief has this year been titled Reading solutions for girls; Combating social, pedagogical, and systemic issues for tribal girls' multilingual education in India.
The 28 page Policy Brief has been written by Suman Sachdeva, Technical Director Education, CARE India. Here are a few highlights taken from a summary on the brooking website:
- The current approach to delivering effective multilingual education (MLE) for tribal students where tribal populations are more than 30 percent of the local population and where there are more than three dialects is inadequate overall and ignores gender-specific educational challenges.
- Although evidence suggests there is a small gender gap in reading ability between tribal girls and boys, in general girls are more heavily impacted by inadequate language skills in the short and long term as they become more vulnerable to drop out and thus unable to complete a full course of education.
- To address the shortcomings of the current MLE approach, policymakers must look into the social, pedagogical, and systemic barriers tribal girls face when impeded from acquiring reading skills
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Textbooks in Jharkhand
The Telegraph reports this week: Ethnic kids of Classes I & II to open new page next year. Binay Pattanayak and his team at the Unicef Jharkhand office has been working closely with the Jharkhand Council for Education, Research and Training (JCERT) to prepare textbooks for langauge and maths for class 1 and 2 in five tribal langauges. The plan is that they will be introduced from the next academic session onwards.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Last week the British Council India hosted the 11th Language and Development Conference on Multilingualism and Development in Delhi.
The Statemam published this week an article with highlights of the conference Of course there was quite some attention given to the role that English plays in the sociolinguistic arena india. Prof Ajit Mohanty spoke in that regard about "a double divide: one between the elitist language of power and the major regional languages (vernaculars) and, the other, between the regional languages and the dominated indigenous languages."
While talking about the promises the parents are given while enrolling their children in private English medium schools, Giridhar Rao of Azim Premji University, "argued that it is a false promise for two reasons. The first is the poor condition of the education system in the country. ... private schools do not give better academic results compared to government schools. The second reason, according to Rao, is that the introduction and teaching of English do not emerge out of a mother-tongue-based multi-lingual education."
Relevant was also a presentations by Seemita Mohanty, National Institute of Technology, on Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in the Indian State of Odisha.. She concluded: "Even though the programme is progressing on the right track, there are still numerous issues that need to be handled at the implementation level before it can be designated a success."
Not to often we hear about the particular linguistic needs of Moslim learners. Sajida Sultana, English and Foreign Languages University, presented on Muslim Education and Multilingual Contexts: A Study of Madrasas in Hyderabad. It focused on the multi-lingual context of madrasa education and concluded that "there is a need to have a greater understanding of madrasa education and also to relate research insights into curricular innovations in the teaching of English in non-native contexts."
Many more presentation were given. The British Council website reports: "The event was the largest of the conference series so far, attracting over 260 participants and with a programme of more than sixty sessions. Over 30 countries were represented, from Afghanistan to South Africa, Bhutan to the Philippines."