Mother Tongue

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Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education in Philippine Schools Mar 8, 2012 by braincontour

Scenario: A Waray-speaking couple from Samar decided to relocate in Cebu for job opportunities. Tagging along with them is their first-grader girl. Deficient of finances, they decided to enroll the kid in a public school. It so happened that the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) has introduced the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) program. This is a program that uses your mother tongue (language at home) as a medium of instruction inside the classroom. Will the girl be given special attention knowing that she speaks Waray and be separated from the rest of her Cebuano-speaking classmates? If the language at home will be the medium of instruction from Kinder to Grade 3, how will this affect a multi-language group?

According to DepEd, 12 major Philippine languages will be introduced beginning this school year 2012-2013 to improve literacy and instruction: Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano. The objectives of the program include: l. language development which establishes a strong education for success in school and for lifelong learning; 2. cognitive development which focuses on Higher Order Thinking Skills competencies in each of the learning areas; and 3. academic development which prepares the learner to acquire mastery of language and culture. 4. socio-cultural awareness which enhances the pride of the learner’s heritage. The program hopes that by using the mother tongue (first language or L1) as a medium of instruction inside the classroom in the early grades, it will hasten the basic communication skills of the students. When students develop fluency in speaking, reading and writing in the first language, the L1 can then be utilized as a bridge or transitional to learning the second (L2) and third (L3) languages (e.g. Filipino and English). The...
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