MTB-MLE: Tool for the Development of Beginning Reading and Fluency from Grades 1 to 3

The implementation of the MTB-MLE starting school year 2012-2013 is based on the Department Order No. 16, series 2012. It shall be implemented in all public and private schools, specifically in kindergarten, Grades 1, 2 and 3 as part of K to 12 Basic Education Program that supports the goal of “Every Child-A- Reader and A- Writer by Grade One”.

MTB-MLE implementation is endorsed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. One of his famous quotes is, “Speak English to connect to the world speak Filipino to connect to your countrymen and speak your Mother Tongue to connect to your heritage”.

Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education is education, formal or non formal, in which the children’s mother tongue and the national language(s) are used in the classroom. Children begin their education in a language they understand, their mother tongue, and develop a strong foundation in their mother language.

The purpose of a multilingual education program is to develop appropriate cognitive and reasoning skills enabling children to operate equally in different languages –starting in the mother tongue with transition to Filipino and English.

MTB-MLE is a structured program of language learning and cognitive development providing

  • A strong education foundation in the first language
  • Successful bridging to one or more additional languages
  • Enabling the use of both/all languages for life-long learning.

MTB-MLE is based in the child’s own known environment and bridges to the wider world.

Multilingual Education maintains local language and culture while providing state/national language acquisition and instruction. It promotes learners’ integration into the national society without forcing them to sacrifice their linguistic and cultural heritage.

The implementation emphasizes on mother tongue as the learning /subject area and as a medium of instruction for the development of beginning reading and fluency from Grades 1 to 3.

Several Guidelines are disseminated through teacher’s training and preparation of  learning resources that served as concrete visual materials/ aid for teaching effectiveness for the benefit of the learners.

Mother Tongue Based-Multi Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) has its learning theories that help learners understand their own personal learning history and assist teachers in developing appropriate community-based learning activities.

These learning theories are, namely:  1) The Developmental Learning Theory by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Scientist(1896-1980) noticed that children learn by passing through a consistent series of stages in cognitive development; 2) The Schema Theory by R.C. Anderson, a respected educational psychologist organized knowledge as an elaborate network of abstract mental structures which represent ones understanding of the world; 3) The Social Learning Theory  by Albert Bandura asked the question, “How are societies so successful in transmitting their ideas of what is good and bad behavior, of what is valued, and of what skills are most important?” The learners in these societies often seem unaware that they have been “taught” these behaviors; and 4) The Socio-Cultural Learning Theory by Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist (1896-1934) states that everything is learned twice: first socially (that is, with the help of other human beings), then privately (internalized). All knowledge is socially constructed; that is, all learning is group learning.

Furthermore, this program will not hinder the learners to learn the second language instead it will be a concrete initiative for a strong knowledge formation for children to undertake discovery and exploration by themselves on other languages.

On the part of the teacher, it may take additional effort to implement the program because the teacher serves as the facilitator in providing opportunities for the children. He needs to also communicate, interact and express his thoughts with confidence in a manner that is comprehensible by everybody.

This is a challenge for us – to give our best for the welfare of the children – to achieve quality education.

By: MANNY B. PIMENTEL
School Principal-I
Zamboanguita Central School,
Caburanan ES, Kulaman ES

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