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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.

Improving learning outcomes through mother tongue-based education

This four-page brief provides an overview of the benefits of mother tongue-based education, as well as key considerations for developing MTB-MLE programs. The document answers frequently asked questions about MTB-MLE and contains useful "talking points" for advocacy around mother tongue-based advocacy.

How to make the case for MTB-MLE

Often, policymakers, education officials and parents are unaware of the advantages of mother tongue-based education. Advocacy is necessary with each group to help them understand the benefits of MTB-MLE and to get their support for a proposed program. Key resources on this topic include:

Before you begin your advocacy, it is important to be prepared.

Expanding Educational Opportunity in Linguistically Diverse Societies

This report profiles educational programs in 13 countries around the world that address the linguistic needs of children who speak minority languages. Beginning with an overview of the current research on using native languages for initial instruction, this report describes how more than 20 innovative programs around the world have expanded educational opportunities for traditionally underserved minority language groups.

Promoting Literacy in Multilingual Settings

This comprehensive guide (geared towards Asia but with information applicable to other regions) examines the following topics: • Education in Ethnic Minority Communities: Questions to Consider and Problems to Solve • Multilingual Education Practice in Eight Asian Countries • Developing Low Cost and Effective Materials for Multilingual Education Programmes • Training Effective Community Teachers for Multilingual Education Programmes • Teaching Methods for Effective Multilingual Education Programmes This comprehensive guide (geared towards Asia but with information ap

In Their Own Language…Education for All

This brief document presents key advantages of MTB-MLE, with statistics supporting the arguments presented. The document is a useful overview that for those who need to "make the case" for MTB-MLE.

Raising awareness in the Philippines

Educators in the Philippines visited a local community to talk with parents about the MLE program that had been established in their school. Some parents still did not fully understand the purpose of the programme and were worried that their children would not be able to learn Filipino and English (the official languages of the country) well. The visitors explained that the MLE programme was meant to help their children to build a strong educational foundation in their home language and a good bridge to the official languages.

How to build parent and community support for MTB-MLE

Many parents send their children to school so they can learn a foreign or “official” language, so they may not see the need or purpose for their children to learn in their own language. Indeed, they may actually be opposed to children learning in their home language. This is usually because they do not necessarily understand the difference between learning in a foreign language and learning the foreign language as a subject. As a result, parents need to be informed about the advantages of MTB-MLE and that learning in one’s mother tongue does not preclude—but actually enhances—learning a second or third language.

Multilingual education

This resource guide addresses the rationale for MLE via the following points.

  • The voices of ethnolinguistic minority communities are often not heard. Therefore, advocacy is appropriate for these communities to meet their MLE needs.
  • Conventional instructional methods are not adequate for MLE programs. Educators at both community and national levels need to develop their capacity to design and implement MLE programs.
  • MLE gives children and adults a firm foundation for continuing to learn throughout their lives.
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