Is this a good move?
The Department of Education said it will start using 12 major languages as medium of instruction and as subject matter when classes open in June as part of the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education program.
“We are institutionalizing the teaching of MTB-MLE as one of the subjects and as the medium of instruction so that we can develop well-rounded and life-long learners under the K to 12 basic education reform program,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement Tuesday.
Based on the DepEd order, 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.
The 12 major languages are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.
DepEd said studies have shown that using the language used at home or the 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 Filipino subject will be introduced on the first semester of grade 1 for oral fluency while for reading and writing purposes, it will be taught in the second semester. The four other skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – in Filipino will continuously be developed from grades 2 to 6, the statement said.
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.
According to DepEd, there are 921 schools across the country which are pioneering the MTB-MLE program. Related to this, the department has organized a team of trainers for each region composed of education supervisors.
“We are expanding the membership to include trainers in kindergarten because that is where we are going to start the reforms,” Luistro said.