Mother Tongue-Based Multi Lingual Education

The mother tongue –based multi lingual framework for teaching and learning in the kindergarten and elementary education affirms its importance in linguistically and culturally diverse countries, including Philippines. It has on its foremost principle the use of teaches first language for as long as possible. Accordingly, its representation has proven to inculcate cognitive, academic, language and socio- cultural development, which would, as a result, make way for easier learning process of some other languages.

International research in education shows that for the second language learning and academic success to take place successfully, the first language needs to be strengthened and developed for 12 years. It also takes for 6-8 years for a child to learn a second language in school. In addition, language education models that retain the first language as a primary medium of instruction for at least 6 years can succeed under well reserved conditions only. Learners get discouraged when beginning their education in a language they are not familiar with; hence, the situation could become an obstacle in setting them up for long- term learning. On the other hand, it would build their confidence and develop a strong foundation on the language if they begin it with the language they understand.

Success and sustainability of the MTB-MLE depend on cooperation among those involved, including a variety of stakeholders and the local community. Its effectiveness depends on how it is being incorporated in the existing education system and active involvement of both teachers and children in the classroom setting. However, the very notion in this program, besides its outputs, is on how it awakens children’s knowledge and love for their own language and culture.

By: Amy G. Capacio
      Teacher 3, Casisang Central School