The Department of Education will start using 12 major local languages as medium of instruction and as subject matter when classes open in June as part of the department’s thrust to implement the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE).
“We are institutionalizing the teaching of MTB-MLE as one of the subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 3 and as the medium of instruction from kinder to Grade 3 so that we can develop well-rounded and life-long learners under the K to 12 basic education reform program,” said Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC.
Local and internationals studies have shown that using the language used at home (mother tongue) inside the classroom during the learners’ early years of schooling produce better and faster learners who can easily adapt to learn a second (Filipino) and third language (English).
The 12 major languages are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.
Based on DepEd Order No. 16, series 2012, the MTB-MLE will be implemented in two modules: 1) as a learning/subject area and 2) as medium of instruction. The mother tongue as a subject will focus on the development of reading and speaking from Grades 1 to 3. As a medium of instruction the mother tongue will be used in all learning areas from kinder to Grade 3 except in the teaching of Filipino and English subjects.
Filipino will be introduced on the first semester of Grade 1 for oral fluency (speaking). For reading and writing purposes, it will be taught beginning in the second semester of Grade 1. The four other macro skills which are listening, speaking, reading and writing in Filipino will continuously be developed from Grades 2 to 6.
Meanwhile, English as a subject will be introduced in the second semester of Grade 1 while reading and writing in English will start in the first semester of Grade 2.
There are currently 921 schools across the country which have been pioneering the MTB-MLE including the children of indigenous peoples. The mother tongue pilot program is implemented with assistance from the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao, Third Elementary Education Program, Translators Association of the Philippines, Save the Children Foundation, and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Related to this, DepEd has organized a team of MTB-MLE trainers for each region composed of education supervisors. The existing MTB-MLE regional training team organized for the pilot schools shall be the same team that will be responsible for the division and school-based training of teachers on MTB-MLE for the K to 12.
“We are expanding the membership to include trainers in kindergarten because that is where we are going to start the reforms,” explained Luistro.
Also giving support to the project are MTB-MLE trained writers who will continue to update their knowledge and skills in developing indigenized learning materials to provide the students with a variety of learning resources.