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A critical element of any mother tongue-based multilingual education program is the creation and use of teaching-learning materials appropriate to the language, level, culture and context of MTB-MLE learners. These teaching and learning materials build on the learners’ language and culture while also ensuring that curriculum-based competencies are being attained and mastered.

There is a broad range of instructional materials that can be used to support mother tongue-based learning. These may include real objects that can demonstrate concepts in the curriculum, picture cards to facilitate classroom discussion and other oral language activities, and text-based print materials to promote literacy development and provide content in the learners’ mother tongue.

Because reading and writing are central to learning skills and content in any curriculum, MTB-MLE programs need to consider the development of graded reading materials in the learners’ home language, as well as in other languages of instruction where needed. Print-based materials can be easily generated when there is an accepted and established orthography or writing system for a particular mother tongue. Where this is not the case, additional orthography development processes that involve broad community/education stakeholder participation will need to come into play.

This resource basket will provide initial references and resources on these broad areas of teaching and learning materials development under the following main topics:

Developing MTB-MLE reading materials

When developing reading materials for MTB-MLE learners, it is important to think about the characteristics, needs and interests of the learners, as well as the specific content and competencies that they will need to master as part of the curriculum.

Creating MTB-MLE materials through community and stakeholder involvement

There is no better resource for creating materials in the mother tongue than members of the language community themselves. Their involvement will not only build up community ownership and acceptance; it will also ensure that materials produced are interesting and relevant to the community’s needs, as well as develop a skilled corps of writers, illustrators and editors that can continually develop new materials appropriate to the curriculum, culture and context.

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