Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Language technologies for the minorities

 

Kalika Bali’s talk on TED.com

There is a lot of technology involved in producing educational materials. However, most language technology is focusing on majority languages while the minority languages stay behind. In a recent TED talk, a language technology enthusiast working with Microsoft, Kalika Bali, is talking about how this gap can be bridged.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

International Mother Language Day 2021

 

The International Mother Language Day 2021 was last Sunday: Feb 21st. Together we proudly stand with communities worldwide and applaud their resilience and creativity in confronting the challenges of current world events. We celebrate the languages that most deeply express their unique identities, relate their distinct worldviews and help expand their opportunities for a better life.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Article: Policy, Advocacy & Programs for Multilingual Education

The book that contains the article


Dhir Jingran knows what he is talking about when he writes about Policy, Advocacy, and Programs for Multilingual Education. In his previous job in the government of India, he made policy; as a director of an NGO, he does advocacy; and, as a researcher and trainer of teachers, he knows all about programs. No wonder that this article is definitely worth reading!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Multilingual Education explained within an hour

 


With the New National Education Policy requiring the first grades to be taught in the mother tongue, we see an increased interest in the issue of language in the classroom. However, many teachers and policymakers have a hard time understanding what multilingual education is all about. I found this excellent lecture by Dhir Jingran online. From my perspective, its strength is that it deals with both the theory as well as the practice. As a former government policymaker, grass-roots level researcher, and NGO founder, Dhir knows very well how complicated the realities on the ground are and yet he provides a clear way forward.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Tribal Boarding Schools - help or threat? - languages & cultures

KISS website screen capture


A couple of weeks ago I was asking a few colleagues about the famous Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Boarding school in Orissa. A sponsored Internet article stated that they were involved in mother-tongue-based multilingual education. But this week I came across research which is questioning previously published reports about the tribal boarding schools and KISS in particular.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

School Teacher Translates Textbooks

Ranjitsinh Disale (Photo used with permission from the Varkey Foundation)

Congratulations to Ranjitsinh Disale on being nominated for a prestigious prize for innovations in girls' education. Good to read that "Disale not only translated the class textbooks into his pupils’ mother tongue, but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments."

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Role of Language in the New National Education Policy


Photo by Jaikishan Patel from Unsplash


Last week the Indian government cleared a new National Education Policy (NEP). An NEP sets the framework for education for approximately the next 10 years. It is therefore worth looking at it from a language perspective. The policy gives a push for multilingualism and at first glance it seems that the pedagogical principle of children being taught in their mother tongue is kept up. However a closer look reveals that it is more complex than that.