Multilingual education certificate course in Thailand

(June 2009) From May 18 to June 12, over 50 participants from 13 Asian countries are taking part in an advanced multilingual education certificate course at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Susan Malone and Dennis Malone, international multilingual education consultants with SIL, are course facilitators. The focus of the course is on theories and practices relating to mother-tongue-based multilingual education programs in non-dominant language communities.

The course is providing opportunities for participants to share challenges and strategies from their individual contexts and to develop resources to take back to their home countries for planning or strengthening their programs.

Payap University and SIL share a two-pronged vision of working together with ethnic communities:

  • to research and preserve ethnic languages and cultures
  • to serve communities that desire to participate in language development programs


In 1988, Payap University and SIL agreed to establish both an academic department of linguistics and a practical training center for local communities. Since 1991, over 250 participants from thirty-two ethnic groups have attended training workshops to learn various skills and produce materials in their mother tongues. In March of this year, Payap University and SIL celebrated 20 years of partnership by opening a new Linguistics Institute building.

SIL supports multilingual education that allows ethnolinguistic minority communities to participate in broader linguistic circles while functioning fully in the vitality of their own language. The SIL 2006 Update illustrates some of SIL’s involvement in multilingual education through advocacy, resource linking, and capacity development activities.

Related links of interest