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A Professional Development Program for the Mother Tongue-Based Teacher: Addressing Teacher Knowledge and Attitudes about MTBMLE

Dr. Rebecca Paulson Stone, who recently completed her PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst presented her dissertation research to the MTB-MLE Network on July 23, 2012 at the Save the Children offices in Washington, DC. The purpose of her research was to help program designers develop professional development initiatives that successfully address some of the major identified challenges teachers face when implementing MTB-MLE. The research project was  implemented in Southern Mindanao, Philippines over a 3-month period in the Summer 2010. 

Research Reports on Teacher Preparation and Continuing Professional Development in Africa

Reports on research conducted by the University of Sussex in 2010 and 2011 on the effectiveness of teacher pre-service training and in-service professional development in 6 African countries.  

from the Executive Summary

The Teacher Preparation in Africa (TPA) Project, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, was set up to fill the gap in knowledge about how the initial and continuing education of teachers impacts on the practice of teachers through studies in six African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.  Because of the extreme importance of early reading and mathematics for future progress, it focuses on the preparation that teachers who teach in the lower primary grades receive and what support is available through continuing professional development (CPD) and other routes to teach these subjects.

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.

2012 MLE Workshop on Bridging Between Languages in Mother Tongue-Based Education

Mar 19 2012
Mar 30 2012

Plans are moving ahead for the March 2012 workshop on bridging between languages in MTB multilingual education. This workshop, part of a series on planning for strong and sustainable mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB MLE) programs, will focus on language education. For full details, download the attachment below.


Bangkok, Thailand


Susan Malone ( for information or Isara Choosri ( to register. Please copy Susan Malone when registering.

Training community teachers in Cambodia

The Highland Children's Education Project trained a cadre of teachers in Ratanakiri Province in Cambodia drawn from the local community in order to better serve children through mother tongue instruction. The project is described in Highland children’s education project: Good lessons learned in basic education (Middleborg, 2005). The project addressed the needs of the community for mother tongue instruction in part by building a teacher base from local community members, none of the initial group of community teachers had completed a primary education themselves.

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.

Promise and perils of mother tongue education

This paper discusses means for achieving this goal in linguistically diverse societies. It describes the promises
and perils of education through the child’s first language or mother tongue, drawing from the speaker’s
experiences with three national programs, each in different phases:
• those that are in the preparatory phase, such as the mother tongue education program in Vanuatu
• relatively new programs, such as the mother tongue primary education program in Eritrea

National languages and teacher training in Africa

This document provides responses to common questions regarding the feasibility of mother tongue instruction of African languages. It provides suggested methodologies for teaching reading and math, using African culture and games as references. It provides a thorough overview of how linguistic properties of African languages need to be considered when teaching reading and transitioning to a foreign language.

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