MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL
Presented by :
5 September 2012
❝If you talk to a man in a language he
understands, that goes to his head. If
you talk to him in his own language, that
goes to his heart.❞
Presentation Outline :
• Objective and Purpose
• Why mother tongue ?
• Theoretical framework
• Questions and important issues.
• Mother Tongue :
▫ The home language of learners (L1)
▫ That one has learnt first
▫ One identifies with or is identified as a native
speaker of by others
▫ One knows best
▫ One uses most
• In the case of TL 32 local languages.
Definition (Mother tongue-based multi
• An approach that uses a language in which the
learner is proficient (L1) to teach beginning
literacy (reading and writing) and curricular
content (maths, physics etc).
• One or more new languages (L2, L3) are taught
systematically, beginning with oral
communication, so that learners can transfer
literacy and knowledge.
Objective and Purpose
1. Cultural Identity
2. Enhanced and Transferable Literacy
3. Educations access, attainment and success
4. Preparation for later learning in official and
Why Mother tongue?
“Humans tend to think and dream in
their mother tongue”
Why Mother tongue? (History)
• Colonization history
▫ 450 years under Portuguese (Portuguese and
▫ 23 years under Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia
and melayu culture)
• 1,1 million of population with 32 local languages
• State constitution :
▫ Tetum (lingua Franca) as National Language.
▫ Tetum and Portuguese as Official languages
▫ English and Bahasa Indonesia as “ working
▫ Portuguese as “Education Language” … ?????
Why mother tongue (Education
• High repetition and drop out rates
▫ One in five children must repeat the first year of
▫ half of the students who enroll in primary school
do not complete their studies.
▫ Alienation and disengagement of student.
• Population composed mostly of young people
(55% of population aged below 15).
• Low adult literacy rate in Portuguese..(impact
on parent engagement with their children
Why mother tongue?
• Poor education quality
▫ Last Early Grade Reading assessment (EGRA) in
2009 showed a shocking result
▫ More than 70% of students at the end of grade 1
could not read
▫ 40% of children were not able to read a single
word at the end of grade 2.
▫ 20% at the end of grade 3
• MTBME is in line with the concept of place base
pedagogy and critical pedagogy
▫ Builds on what learners know
▫ Valorize and builds upon local community
▫ Preserve local culture and tradition
▫ Community based
▫ Makes learning relevant and enjoyable
▫ High degree of parent involvement
▫ Promotes learner-centered methodologies
• National unity and social issue
• Sensitiveness of the society regarding social
issue. (ethnic tension)
• Lack of writing system (orthographies and
• The problem of learning resources
• Teacher ability to cope with new language of
• Teacher and student mobility
• Financial issue
Issues and Questions ….
• Why it is called mother tongue and not “father
• whether to use a „mother tongue‟ or home
language for the first years of education or
whether to focus on building Tetum as a national
• National Disunity issue
“Those who know many languages live as many
lives as the languages they know.”