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MTBMLE Rationale, Principles & Purposes

Define the goals/purposes of education as you see them.

prepares students to be

responsible, mature, and productive citizens who will uphold the pride of the nation and their parents.

What do parents say about the purpose of schooling?

I send my child to school to

learn English.

How do teachers generally teach English?

Through teaching reading of


What is the number one stated difficulty Filipino teachers find in the classroom today?
Comprehension lack of reading

Why do you think this is a difficulty?

Together read this paragraph

Melek aksara adalah kemampuan

untuk mengidentifikasi, mengerti, menerjemahkan, membuat, mengkomunikasikan dan mengolah isi dari rangkaian teks yang terdapat pada bahan-bahan cetak dan tulisan yang berkaitan dengan berbagai situasi. Wikipedia

Learning a second language How long does it take?

It takes at least 2 years to learn basic

communicative skills in a second language. According to studies, it takes 5 7 years minimum to learn a new language in order to use that language for learning new content (ie the curriculum).

What do you think happens if the mother tongue is not used?

Childrens 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

Thomas and Collier Study

School is an alien place

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

Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education what is it?

Mother tongue-based multilingual education is education, formal or nonformal, in which the childrens mother tongue and the national language(s) 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.

What is the purpose of MTBMLE?

The purpose of a multilingual education program is to develop appropriate cognitive and reasoning skills enabling children to operate equally in different languages - starting in the mother tongue with transition to Filipino and English.

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 lifelong learning is based in the childs own known environment and bridges to the wider world.

Multilingual Education
maintains local language and

culture while providing state/national language acquisition and instruction promotes learners integration into the national society without forcing them to sacrifice their linguistic and cultural heritage.

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.

The development of the childs 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)

Mother Tongue Based MLE

moving beyond the known
maintains local language and culture

while providing state/national language acquisition and instruction

promotes learners integration into the

national society without forcing them to sacrifice their linguistic and cultural heritage.




Language Learning KNOWN




Academic Learning



Access to education 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
Thomas and Collier, 2001

Childrenwith 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 tongueto the school language
Jim Cummins (2000).


Greg Dekker, 1998

Childs Knowledge Structures Childs World View Childs First Langauge


Continue to build fluency & confidence in using L1, L2 and L3 for everyday communication & for learning new concepts Introduce reading and writing in L3
Continue to build oral and written L1 & L2 Introduce oral L3 Continue to build oral and written L1 and oral L2 Introduce reading and writing in L2 Continue to build oral and written L1 Introduce Oral L2 Continue to build oral L1 Introduce reading and writing in L1 Build small childrens fluency and confidence in oral L1

ADD other languages

A strong foundation in the

mother tongue is necessary to learn L2 Never stop using the MT Build a strong bridge to L2

Lubuagan, Kalinga MTBMLE Program

N Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3


73 94[1] 60

53.47 56.9 53.9

69 42 56

75.87 77.8 75.1

Grade 1 Controls N Reading Math


Experimentals N

73 73

52.76 48.94
Grade 2

69 70

75.47 82.12



Grade 3



Reading Math

60 60

53.4 49.5

56 56

79.2 76.2

Grade 1 Controls N Filipino English 73 73 Percentage 57.08 52.76 Experimentals N 70 70 Grade 2 Filipino English 94 94 51.9 54.9 42 42 Grade 3 81.4 62.1 Percentage 68.42 72.41







As evidenced, using the Mother Tongue will not hinder the learning of second and third languages. Rather, use of the mother tongue strengthens the acquisition of other languages while respecting the learner.

6 Questions
MTBMLE what is the primary premise? What will MTBMLE do for the problems of

low attendance, high drop out and low achievement? Why? How can MTBMLE help schools be a child friendly environment? What will it do to help the Filipino childs learning processes?