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Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education

How do teachers generally teach English?

-one of the most neglected education goals in many countries, especially among the poorest nations (UNESCO, 2009) -“forgotten goal in the EFA framework” (UNESCO,2011)
EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2010

Performance Indicators
2010-2011 Gross Enrolment Net Enrolment Cohort Survival Rate Completion Rate Drop out Rate Transition Rate 107.47% 89.89 74.23 72.11 6.29 96.87

National Achievement Test
2010-2011 Mathematics Science English HEKASI Filipino Total Test

68.43 60.37 65.12 70.40 76.45 68.15

Where do we want to be?

-Schools, community learning centers, libraries, books, shops, mobile libraries and ICT facilities are available and accessible -Materials are attractive and include local indigenous or the works of local authors and writers. Materials for all types of learners and neo-literates are of interest to them

-School, community and local businesses participate in the development of local educational and literary materials. To some extent, learners are also involved in their development
-People from all walks of life understand what it means to be literate and the importance of having a literate environment. They interact and have regular dialogue with each other to discuss the need for literacy and education programmes

-Learners effectively apply their acquired literacy skills in their practical daily lives. They have the means and opportunity to use and sustain these skills meaningfully -The different sectors of the community collectively work for a successful conduct of literacy activities such as reading campaigns -ICT is used as one of the cost-effective ways to publish and disseminate materials

Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda

- All Filipino adults should be made functionally literate

-All children aged six should be in school and be prepared to achieve the required competencies for Grades 1 to 3 instruction

Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda

-All children aged 6-15 should complete elementary and HS with satisfactory achievement levels at every grade/year -The government together with the civil society. Media, business and other institutions and organizations should be committed to attaining basic education competencies for all

1. Implement a 12-year BE 2. Universal kindergarten 3. Create a sub-system within the education system for all Muslim Filipinos 4. Bring back tech-voc 5. Ensure that every child is a reader by Grade 1


Improve Science and Math proficiency 7. Provide assistance to private schools as partners in BE 8. Use Mother Tongue (MT) as the MOI for Kindergarten to Grade 3 9. Improve quality of textbooks 10. Build more schools

What is the number 1 stated difficulty Filipino teachers find in the classroom today?


School is an alien place…
“failure to engage indigenous students in meaningful ways results in classroom experiences that are incomprehensible and culturally invalidating. The result is that indigenous children often lose interest, under-perform and drop out, and remain trapped in conditions of deprivation and marginalization.” (ICEF, 2006:22)

Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MLE) is education, formal or non-formal, in which the children’s mother tongue, Filipino and English are used in the classroom. Children begin their education in a language they understand, their mother tongue, and develop a strong foundation in their mother language.

• is a structured program of language learning and cognitive development providing a strong educational foundation in the first language successful bridging to one or more additional languages enabling the use of both/all languages for life-long learning • is based in the child’s own known environment and bridges to the wider world

- children have the opportunity to learn

concepts primarily in a familiar language, and, later, they learn the labels or vocabulary for those concepts in a new language - Students begin learning oral and then written second language

Legal Bases

DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 Institutionalization of MTBMLE

DepEd Order No. 74 s. 2009 Institutionalization of MTBMLE

Article 28 • 1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular: (a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all; (b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need; (c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means; (d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children; (e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention. 3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Article 30 In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.

Section 7.
For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein. Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.

Section 5. System Framework and Components. The ECCD System shall include the following components: (a) ECCD Curriculum - which focuses on children's total development according to their individual needs and socio-cultural background. It shall promote the delivery of complementary and integrative services for health care, nutrition, early childhood education, sanitation, and cultural activities. It shall use the child's first language as the medium of instruction.

Expand Early Childhood Care and Education

Provide free and compulsory Primary Education for All

Promote Learning Skills for Young People and Adults

Increase Adult Literacy by 50%

Achieve Gender Parity by 2005 and Gender Equality by 2015

Improve the quality of Education

“Education in a Multilingual World” UNESCO Position Paper (2003)‫‏‬

“UNESCO supports mother tongue instruction
as a means of improving educational quality by building upon the knowledge and experience of the learners and teachers.”

“UNESCO supports bilingual and/or multilingual education at all levels of education as a means of promoting both social and gender equality and as a key element of linguistically diverse societies.”

to learn basic communicative skills in L2
to learn a new language in order to use that language for learning new content

 Research studies show that the amount of formal schooling a child receives in his or her Mother Tongue or first language is the most “powerful variable” in second language.

(Collier, 1995 p.23).

 Children are more likely to become readers and writers of English when they have a strong foundation in their native language. (Collier, August 2002

The Thomas and Collier Study

• Notable empirical studies like the Lingua Franca Project and Lubuagan First Language Component show that:

First, learners learn to read more quickly when in their first language;

Second, pupils who have learned to read and write in their first language learn to speak, read and write in a second language, L2 and third language L3 more quickly than those who are taught in the second or third language first; and

Third, in terms of cognitive development and its effects in other academic areas, pupils taught to read and write in their first language acquire such competencies more quickly.

GRADE 1 CONTROL Reading Math Filipino 52.8 48.9 57.1 EXPER. 75.5 82.1 68.4

GRADE 2 CONTROL 54.9 61.9 51.9 EXPER. 78.3 80.3 81.4

GRADE 3 CONTROL 53.4 49.5 62.9 EXPER. 79.2 76.2 70.6















These studies show that…. • Use of L1 allows learners to learn to read and write more quickly • Learners learn an L2 and L3 more quickly when learning is first conducted in their L1

• Learners who begin in their L1 realize greater and more efficient cognitive development and are better prepared for more and more cognitively demanding subject matter later on in their learning experience

• Learner’s achievement and performance is better measured when done in the learner’s L1, which reflects the learner’s real knowledge of concepts rather than their knowledge/lack of knowledge of the language in which concepts are tested. The language of learning should also be the language of testing.

“The development of the child’s first language with its related cognitive development is more important than the mere length of exposure to a second language; development of the mother tongue is critical for cognitive development and as a basis for learning the second language.” Tucker (1997)

MTBMLE – moving beyond the known




Language Learning


Academic Learning





Learners whose mother tongue is the language of instruction and the language of literacy.

Minority language learners who do not speak the language used when they enter school or an education program

Why do we need to begin with the mother tongue?

“The level of development of children's mother tongue is a strong predictor of their second language development…

“Children…with a solid foundation in their mother tongue develop stronger literacy abilities in the school language. “Children's knowledge and skills transfer across languages from the mother tongue…to the school language”
Jim Cummins (2000).

Weak education



Strong and Effective Education



Child’s Knowledge Structures

Child’s World View

Child’s First Language

Greg Dekker


• Reduced dropout • Reduced repetition • Children are attending school and staying there • Children are learning • Parents and community are involved • It is more cost effective to implement mother tongue programs


We create people who are illiterate in two or more languages
Children do not become sufficiently fluent in their mother tongue (orally and literacy)‫‏‬ Their vocabulary in L1 is limited, restricting their ability to learn L2.  A strong foundation in L1 is required for learning L2.

Children’s understanding of concepts is limited or confused if learning only in L2. It is a fallacy to think that children who are immersed in L2 from the beginning learn L2 better. They do not. Thomas and Collier 2001

Literate become illiterates
 literacy skills are not applied or used regularly

New generations of children enter adulthood without basic literacy and numeracy skills because they either dropped out of school or received a poor-quality education

Components of a Strong MTBMLE Program

Cooperation among supporting agencies

Writing System

Supportive political environment

A successful

Graded Reading materials
Relevant teaching & learning materials

Awareness Raising

Community Awareness & Involvement

Recruitment & training

Phases of a strong multilingual education program using two languages

Continue oral and written L1 and L2, for daily communication and for learning academic content
Continue oral and written L1, oral L2 Begin literacy in L2

Continue oral and written L1 Begin oral L2 Continue oral L1 Begin literacy in L1 Build oral L1
by Dr. Susan Malone, SIL International







Why 2 tracks?
“the most effective approaches to developing initial reading skills are those that combine extensive and varied exposure to meaningful prints (story track) with explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and letter-sound correspondence (Primer Track) (Jim Cummin’s, No 1)

STORY TRACK Emphasis: Meaning and Communication Focus: Whole Texts Listening Students listen in order to understand and respond to what they hear

PRIMER TRACK Emphasis: Accuracy and Correctness Focus: Parts of the language Recognize and distinguish sounds, syllables, words and sentences.


They speak in order Use correct vocabulary to communicate their grammar, pronunciation. thoughts and ideas to others

Emphasis: Meaning and Communication Focus: Whole Texts Reading Read for enjoyment and to understand and use new ideas and information Write to communicate their thoughts and ideas

Emphasis: Accuracy and Correctness Focus: Parts of the language They recognize parts of words, sentences and paragraphs and can sound them out Form letters properly and neatly, spell words correctly and use correct grammar


MEANING TRACK Shared Reading
Experience Story Listening Story and Library time Creative Writing

ACCURACY TRACK Picture and Key Word
Big Box Sentence-making

Spelling and Handwriting

This plan is based on a 5-day school week with 120 minutes allocated for L1 literacy(MT)
DAY 1 TRACK Meaning Accuracy Meaning Accuracy Meaning Accuracy Meaning Accuracy ACTIVITY Shared Reading & Creative Writing +Library Time Key Word Lesson Experience Story & Listening Story+ Library Time Next KWL Same as Day 1 Next KWL Same as Day 2 Next KWL Review Meaning and Accuracy Tracks

3 4 5

Proposed Time Allotment
Learning Area
MTB Filipino English EsP Araling Panlipunan Mathematic s

Grade 1
40 40 40 30 30 30 30

Grade 2
40 40 40 30 30 30 30

Grade 3
40 40 40 30 40 40 30 40

Grade 4
40 40 30 40 40 30 40 60 330 – 5 hrs. 30 mins.

Grade 5
40 50 40 40 50 40 40 60 380 – 6 hrs.

Grade 6
40 50 40 40 50 40 40 60 380 – 6 hrs.

MAPEH Science

200/240 4 hrs.

200/240 4 hrs.

300* 5 hrs.

Sample Class Program
Grades I & 2
TIME 7:20 – 7:30 7:30 – 8:10 8:10 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:20 LEARNING AREA Homeroom Mother Tongue Filipino EsP NO. OF MINUTES 10 40 40 30 Reading & Writing Oral Fluency, Reading and Writing MT MOI/FOCUS

9:20 – 9:40 9:40 – 10:10 10:10 – 10:40 10:40 – 11:10
11:10 – 11:50 TOTAL

RECESS Math Araling Panlipunan MAPEH
English (2nd Sem.)

20 30 30 30
40 200-240

Oral Fluency

Note: Schedule in the 2nd Semester maybe revised so that English will be taught in the morning.

Regular Program
MTBMLE Program

Based on PELC Use L2 for learning through primary school Outcomes and indicators build on mainstream students’ knowledge and experience Use mainstream textbooks Use reading materials in L2

Based on PELC Start with L1, bridge to L2, then use both languages Outcomes and indicators build on the knowledge and experience of students from each ethnolinguistic community Start with L1 activity books, later use mainstream books Start with L1 reading materials, add L2 materials and then use both

Angelika D. Jabines