Good Answers to Tough Questions in Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education

Good Answers to Tough Questions (GATQ) in Mother Tongue–Based Multilingual Education

The idea of using local languages of instruction in the primary grades is catching the interest of governments, donors, and NGOs alike. National-level programs are aiming to develop and implement curriculum for teaching in the languages of the nation rather than international languages. Supported by large education donors, these programs have the scope and the backing to make a significant difference to education quality and access for speakers of the minority languages of the country.

However in the course of implementing mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education programs, some important questions are arising. These questions are generally very practical, and are highly relevant to the success of the program. In response to our partners, SIL has developed Good Answers to Tough Questions; this online resource aims to be of help to education practitioners who are experienced in their field, but who have come up against some tough obstacles to implementing MTB-MLE programs in their context.

   See below to download each question separately.

Trudell, B. and Young, C. (eds.) 2016. Good Answers to Tough Questions in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. SIL International.

The eight questions addressed are:

  • How can mother tongue–based MLE be carried out in classrooms where three or more local languages are represented as mother tongues? (Catherine Young, Carol Benson)  Download 
  • What is the most effective approach to transition to the use of a second language as medium of instruction when classroom policy and practice has used the learner’s home language/first language in the early primary years? (Dennis Malone)  Download
  • What can be done in contexts where teachers have inadequate oral fluency or literacy skills in one or more of the languages being used in the program? (Stephen L. Walter, PhD)  Download
  • How can pilot MTB-MLE programs be successfully scaled up? (Greg Dekker, Diane Dekker)  Download
  • How can instructional materials and supplementary reading materials be effectively developed for target populations speaking multiple dialects? (Diana Weber)  Download
  • When the orthography of the local language is not yet standardized or requires further review in order to adequately represent the linguistic features of the language, how should this challenge be handled in the program? (Leila Schroeder)  Download
  • How can informal and non-formal learning opportunities in the mother tongue best support or supplement school settings, particularly when the formal school system is unable to serve as a venue for mother tongue–based multilingual education? (Rudy Klaas)  Download
  • What approaches have been proven effective for managing the use of two or more languages in a bilingual/multilingual curriculum? (Kristine Trammell)  Download

In French De bonnes réponses à des questions difficiles qui se posent en éducation multilingue fondée sur la langue maternelle