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Following is a list of resources related to Making the Case for MTB-MLE. Resources are organized by priority, with those of most interest to most people toward the top.

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Girls, Educational Equity and Mother Tongue Based Teaching

This publication argues that language, specifically the language used in schools, is one of the principal mechanisms through which inequality in education is reproduced. It shows how the learner‘s mother tongue holds the key to making schooling more inclusive for all disadvantaged groups, especially for girls and women.


Presentations on MTB-MLE and Transition from Dr. Agatha van Ginkel

Dr. Agatha van Ginkel, an Education and Language Consultant with SIL Africa Area gave two presentations related to MTB-MLE issues at the recent 
All Children Reading, Africa 2012 workshops earlier this year. These workshops, hosted by the Global Partnership for Education and attended by various education experts and leaders, were designed with the purpose of finding innovative ways to improve early grade reading and boost children's literacy in developing countries. 

Dr. van Ginkel's presentations discuss both the importance and value of mother tongue instruction as well as provide guidance for teachers on deciding when and how students should be transitioned from their mother tongue to L2. 

Optimizing Learning and Education in Africa – the Language Factor: A Stock-taking Research on Mother Tongue and Bilingual Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

This must-read report presents a comprehensive overview of mother tongue and multilingual education issues in sub-Saharan Africa, including issues related to policy, program design and cost.

Why Language Matters for the Millennium Development Goals

This 45 page booklet was written by Sandy Barron for the Multilingual Education Working Group (MLE WG) based at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Bangkok.

Estimating the Impact of Language of Instruction in S African Primary Schools: A Fixed Effects Approach

The country of South Africa faces a difficult policy decision ahead as they seek to provide their citizens with adequate skills in both English and Afrikaans, the only two of the nation's eleven official languages that are currently used in academic contexts and literature, while continuing to provide mother tongue education. 

Multilingual Education for Social Justice – From Coercive to Collaborative Relations of Power

We are pleased to share Professor Jim Cummins' special presentation videos prepared for the 4th International Conference on Language and Education held in November 2013. 

Reading Essentials: Cognitive Science and the Gift of Fluency for All

Helen Abadzi, a senior education specialist at the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education (c/o World Bank; 1987-2013), prepared a set of e-courses for the training donor and government staff.  
The Reading Essentials course is now available for free.  To make access rapid and open, it has been uploaded to Udemy website. Click here to access the e-course.  

Optimising learning, education and publishing in Africa - The language factor

This publication presents the results of comprehensive research that assesses the experiences of mother-tongue and bilingual education programs in 25 sub-Saharan African countries in recent years.

In Their Own Language…Education for All

This brief document argues for creating MTB-MLE programs, especially in the early elementary grades, as means of effectively addressing Education for All initiatives. It summarizes some of the findings of experimental research that statistically show significant advantages of MTB-MLE over approaches immersing students in a language of instruction they do not understand. The report also lists and counters the most frequently presented reasons why communities and governments sometimes oppose MTB-MLE programs.

Enhancing learning of children from diverse language backgrounds: Mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education in the early years

This literature review discusses mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education for children starting in early childhood. The report: (1) informs policy-makers of existing research and practices in mother-tongue instruction in early childhood and early primary school years; and (2) raises awareness of the value of maintaining the world’s languages and cultures by promoting and resourcing mother tongue-based education for young children.

Bilingual Education in Africa: An Exploration of Encouraging Connections Between Language and Girl's Schooling

Mother tongue or bilingual programmes come in various forms. The general idea is to provide at least beginning instruction and initial literacy in a language spoken by the student, i.e. the mother tongue – known as the first language or L1 – or a reasonably close second language. Few programmes deny the necessity for children to learn the official language in addition; however, this language – often known as an L2 – should ideally be taught as the second or foreign language that it is, beginning with oral skills and later developing L2 literacy on the basis of transference of skills learned first in the mother tongue.

The Kom Experimental Mother Tongue Education Project Report for 2010

This report analyzes the impact of a mother tongue-based multilingual education in Cameroon. The report compares results from 12 experimental schools selected to implement a curriculum using the mother tongue (Kom) as the primary language of instruction to 12 matched schools selected as control schools. The 12 control schools implement the standard model of instruction of the area in which English is used as the medium of instruction for all subjects and classes. The results indicate a very large, statistically significant testing/learning advantage for students in the Kom-medium program.

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