Report on the workshop for planning mother tongue-based multilingual education programs-focus on teaching and learning materials

วันที่จัด :

20 ส.ค. 2007

วันที่สิ้นสุด :

31 ส.ค. 2007

เจ้าภาพร่วม :

RILCA, Mahidol University, SIL International, UNESCO, UNICEF, SEAMEO

Over the past several years, there has been a growing awareness of the difficulties that many students from ethnic minority communities face when they enter mainstream schools. A result of this awareness is that language communities, NGOs and government agencies throughout Asia have begun thinking about ways to improve educational access and success for ethnic minority students. The problem has been that education planners have had few resources to help them develop educationally sound teaching and learning materials appropriate for these programs.

With that in mind, the Workshop for Planning Mother Tongue-Based Multiliingual Education Programs – Focus on Teaching and Learning Materials was held at the Karn Manee Hotel, Bangkok, from 20-31August 2007. The workshop focused on issues and principles relating to implementing strong and sustainable Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MT-Based MLE) programs, with special attention given to planning MLE-specific teaching and learning materials that would help students build a strong educational foundation in their first language (MT) and a good bridge to learning in one or more additional language.

The workshop is sponsored by a number of key language and education organizations:

  • SIL International
  • United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
  • South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)
  • Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University

The intended outcomes for the workshop were that, at the end of the two weeks, participants would be able to

  1. Explain the rationale and purpose for MT-based MLE and for each component of a strong program;
  2. Understand and be able to explain theories and principles relating to Second Language Acquisition (2LA) and use them to develop educationally sound teaching and learning materials;
  3. Use what they had learned to raise awareness and mobilize support for MT-Based MLE in their own countries.
  4. Develop a plan with time frame for implementing MLE programs in their own context

A total of 77 participants attended the workshop. Participants work in 14 countries (13 in Asia, 1 in Africa); they represented 19 NGOs and 12 government agencies. Participants were provided with paper or electronic resources relating to all presentations and additional resource materials for planning teaching and learning materials for their own programs. At the end of the workshop, each participant was given a CD that contained all the presentations, country reports, and a variety of resource materials.

Main features of the workshop

  1. Opening session. Leaders from all the sponsoring agencies came to the opening and spoke to the participants. This clearly was meaningful and a big encouragement to them.
  2. Participants’ expectations. Participants were asked to write their expectations for the workshop (See Annex 1: Expectations). The schedule was revised to include topics requested by the participants.
  3. Presentations and group work. Each presentation described a different component of a MT-Based MLE program. (See Annex 2: Schedule.) After each presentation, participants, working in small groups, began planning for that component in their own programs.
  4. Country reports (current situation and next steps). On Thursday of week 2 each country team presented a presentation of their program—background, current situation and plans or recommendations for the future. The country reports were included in the Workshop CD.
  5. Plans and recommendations for individual countries / programs. Each group of participants left the workshop with at least a beginning plan for implementing MT-Based MLE in their own countries.
  6. Informal sharing among participants from different countries