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Primary schooling

Cultural Incongruities and Inequities of Schooling: Implications for Practice from Ethnographic Research?

Ethnographic studies, like all research studies, provide no easy answers about what teachers should do.  This paper supports that general point by showing the complexities surrounding issues of cultural congruity.  Although ethnographic studies sometimes reveal ways in which incongruity contributes to inequity, the research does not imply that teachers should always promote cultural congruity.  Unless teacher educators understand the problems underlying endorsement of cultural congruity, they may contribute to the miseducation of future teachers and their students.

What is Cultural Congruence, and Why are They Saying Such Terrible Things About It?

This paper attempts to clarify just what is meant by cultural congruence, and argues that most of these criticisms assume a far more total merger of community and school than the modest and limited model favored by proponents of cultural congruence, who are simply talking about minimizing differences in ways of speaking and social interactional styles in the classroom. In this limited form, cultural congruence can be a useful addition to educators' repertoire for dealing with minority schooling.

Reflecting language diversity in children's schooling: moving from "why multilingual education" to "how"

This research report documents insights and key findings from a multi-country action research project to learn about the prospects of (and challenges to) taking mother tongue-based multilingual education pilots to scale. The research looks at Save the Children MTBMLE projects in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and government-led MLE projects in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in India. A companion volume, "Closer to home," provides practical advice to push forward with multilingual education; it is also available on this site.

Closer to home: how to help schools in low- and middle-income countries respond to children's language needs

This publication is a companion resource to the CfBT and Save the Children action research "Reflecting language diversity in children's schooling: moving from "why multilingual education" to "how."  Building from research findings from mother tongue-based multilingual education programs in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India, this resource provides an overview of the challenges and current solutions for improving school language (Part 1), and outlines ideas for taking action (Part 2). Among the action ideas discussed in part 2 are:

Local stakeholder perspectives and language of education in sub-Saharan African communities

"This paper examines the perspectives of people living in several rural African communities regarding the purposes and outcomes of formal education, as well as their perspectives on the “proper” language choice for schooling. Examining data from language communities in Cameron (the Bafut, Kom and Nso’), Mali (the supyire and Bamanankan [Bambara]) and Kenya (the Kipsigis [Kalenjin] and Tharaka), the paper examines commonalities and distinctions among stakeholder groups across these language communities.

Math Activity Pages: Pre-School

These are collections of mathematics activity pages designed for use in pre-school classrooms.  The pages are designed using MIcrosoft Word and are intended to be used or edited to fit your specific needs.

Mango Tree and the Lango Literacy Project

The Mango Tree program based in Northern Uganda has produced and made available on the Internet a video describing the organization's goals and objectives. The video illustrates the organization's working procedures and methods for promoting first language literacy instruction in the primary grades within the context of the Lango Literacy Project.

How to Begin Program Evaluation

Chapter 8 of the manual Planning Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Programs in Minority Language Communities, provides an excellent brief overview of program evaluation and practical steps for documenting and evaluating your program.  It also includes sample forms and planning instructions.

Four Types of Language Education Programs

A one page chart of the four basic types of Language Education programs showing

  • types of students
  • purpose and motivation for the program
  • four stages of language teaching/learning

Using L2 & L1 for Teaching and Learning in Early & Middle Grades

This short document offers practical teaching techniques for using both mother-tongue (L1) and the official school language (L2) in the classroom.  The early grade technique assumes the availability of L1 activity books and the middle grade technique assumes the availablity of L2 textbooks.  Both techniques focus on effective bridging between the two languages.

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