As part of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) has been introduced and implemented in all public schools in the Philippines since June of this year. The MTB-MLE supports the goal to “Every-Child-a-Reader and a-Writer by Grade I”.
As stated in Deped Order No. 16, series 2012, the Lingua Franca Project (1999-2001) and the Lubuagan Project (1999-to present) have provided valuable inputs in the implementation of MTB-MLE.
Twelve major languages were offered as a learning area and used as language of instruction in MTB-MLE program, these were Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano. Each specific language shall be used to teach all learning areas from kindergarten up to Grade 3 except in Filipino and English subjects.
Under the directive of the department, Filipino will be introduced in the first semester of Grade I, to develop oral fluency, while English will be taught as a subject in the second semester.
“MTB-MLE is just a transition so English language shall be taught gradually,” Deped Regional Director Luz Almeda said in one of his interviews.
DepEd also stressed that “MTB-MLE program aims for language development which establishes a strong education for success in school and for lifelong learning and cognitive development which focuses on higher order thinking skills competencies in each of the learning areas.”
Several international and local studies, such as those which has long been documented by teachers in the University of the Philippines Integrated School, show that during the early years of development in a child’s life among Filipinos, the use of the language that is commonly used at homes results in easier and faster learning of the second language (Filipino) and third language (English).
This fundamental change in our educational system will necessitate resource materials like books and modules that contain local languages.
Let us all keep our fingers crossed for the success of the MTB-MLE program.
By: Ma. Leonora C. Balcos | Teacher II | Gabaldon Elementary School, Limay, Bataan