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Mother Tongue-Based
Multilingual Education
The Key to Unlocking SDG 4 - Quality Education For All
SDG4
Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) =
education that begins in the language that the learner speaks
most fluently, and then gradually introduces other languages.
7,097
known living languages
Equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all is only possible
when education responds to and reflects the multilingual nature of the
society. Children, youth and adults require learning opportunities that
are relevant to their lives and needs, in and through their own
languages.
Since SDG 4 is so foundational to the other Sustainable Development
Goals, without mother tongue-based multilingual education the other
16 goals will remain unachievable.
We live in a multilingual world. People use different languages for
different things; it’s their normal way of life. Yet, most education
systems ignore this multilingual reality.
Quality Education - Ensure inclusive
and equitable quality education and promote
lifelong learning opportunities for all
2.3
40%
lack access to education in their own languages
billion people
Most children grow up in a context where
more than one language is spoken
Hello
SDG4
How MTB-MLE contributes to
Youhavetospeakalanguagebeforeyoucanlearntoreadandwritethat
language(Targets4.1,4.4,4.6)
We are born to speak, but we learn to read. Oral language ability is the most
reliable predictor for literacy in that language. Many youth and adults who
have missed out on the opportunity to learn to read and write will only be
able to succeed if lifelong learning opportunities are provided in the
languages they know best.
Earlychildhoodeducationofhighqualityisonlypossibleinthechild’sfirst
language(Targets4.2,4.5,4.7)
Early childhood is the most important developmental phase of any human
being. Children at this stage learn best in a language they already know. By
providing learning opportunities in the languages that children use at home
we are also investing in individuals’ future development opportunities.
Welltrainedandsupportedmultilingualteachersboost learners’
performances(Targets4.1,4.5,4.c)
Inclusive training and management policies that diversify the composition of
teachers are an urgent need in most education systems. Teachers who
collaborate with local educators and community elders can better
understand the language and culture of learners, leading to more relevant
and improved learning outcomes. Where teachers are from non-dominant
communities, they also serve as strong positive role models for learners. At
the same time, using children’s home languages enables parents and other
community members to better support children’s learning.
MTB-MLEenableslife-longlearning(Targets4.2,4.4)
Learning in a learner’s home language provides a solid foundation on which
other languages and skills can be successfully built. This prepares learners better
to access higher education opportunities and the technical and vocational
skills necessary for employment. Using learners’ own languages in education
provides opportunities for all people to contribute to their full potential and be
active participants in breaking out of the poverty cycle.
MTB-MLEhelpstoaddressgenderinequalitybyallowinggirlsandwomento
engagefullyintheirownlearning(Targets4.1,4.3,4.5,4.6)
Globally, a disproportionate number of illiterate people are girls and women.
In places where the home language is not used in school this is even more
acute, with 30-50 percent fewer girls likely to enroll in school than boys. Given
an opportunity to learn and develop in a classroom where their languages are
used, girls and boys can also begin to redefine their role and norms within
their own cultures.
Respectforculturalandlinguisticdiversityleadstopeace,socialcohesionand
sustainabledevelopment(Targets4.5,4.7)
Peace, social cohesion and global citizenship are only possible when
people are confident in their own identity and have opportunities to participate
in finding solutions to their own problems. Policies and practices that embrace
cultural and linguistic diversity are essential for healthy and sustainable
social systems and ecosystems, and incorporating local knowledge
systems with innovative approaches through strong partnerships leads to
more effective care for our world.
MTB-MLE is a realistic and cost-effective way to make significant
progress towards SDG 4. Successful pilot projects in Asia-Pacific
continue to contribute to change in language policies that respect
and encourage the diversity of communities.
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and
quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and
effective learning outcomes
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early
childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they
are ready for primary education
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable
and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including
university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who
have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for
employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in
education and ensure equal access to all
levels of education and vocational training
for the vulnerable, including persons with
disabilities, indigenous peoples and
children in vulnerable situations
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a
substantial proportion of adults, both men
and women, achieve literacy and
numeracy
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills
needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others,
through education for sustainable development and sustainable
lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace
and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural
diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers,
including through international cooperation for teacher training in
developing countries, especially least developed countries and small
island developing States
Thematic Indicator
4.5.18 - Percentage of
students in primary
education whose first or
home language is the
language of instruction
D
SDG 4 Targets
per year is lost by some countries
by failing to educate girls at the
same level as boys.
$1 BILLION
Decrease in the risk of war
If the secondary school enrollment rate is
10% higher than average, the risk of war
drops by 3%.
+10%
-3%
Increase in political participation
Literate people are more likely to
participate in the democratic process
and exercise their civil rights.
Vote
people could be
lifted from poverty.
One extra year of school
increases earnings by
If all children left school
with basic reading skills,
10%
12%
20%
171 MILLION
for individuals for women
drop in
poverty
EDUCATION REDUCES POVERTY AND INCREASES INCOME
1 4 8
GOALS
Increase in per capita income
A 0.1% improvement in a country's
education equality can, over 40 years,
raise its per capita income by 23%.
23%
EDUCATION PREVENTS INEQUALITY & INJUSTICE
5 10 16
GOALS
thanks to the global increase in
women's education.
Improved nutrition
child deaths prevented
A mother's education improves her
children's nutrition, especially as she seeks
higher levels of schooling.
4 MILLION
EDUCATION LEADS TO BETTER HEALTH
2 3 6
GOALS
46%
with a tertiary
education
Build and maintain clean energy
infrastructures
Show greater concern about the
well-being of the environment
Use energy and water
more efficiently
Recycle
Increased environmental concern
Educated citizens are
more inclined to:
25%
with less than a
secondary
education
37%
with a
secondary
education
A study of 29 countries found the percentage of
people concerned about the environment
increases with education.
EDUCATION HELPS US PROTECT THE PLANET
7 12 13 14 15
GOALS
As a country's inhabitants become better educated, they are
more likely to make cities and human settlements inclusive,
safe, resilient, and sustainable.
EDUCATION DRIVES SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
Hospital
9 11
GOALS
Our uniqueexperiencescanbuildasharedidentity!
The Transformative and Holistic Benefits of MTB-MLE
...who uses language effectively with
others and engages confidently and
proactively in discussions.
...who is engaged and motivated to see
progress and make a difference.
...who develops a strong and healthy
identity, has hopes and dreams for
his/her future, and empathises with
those around him/her.
...who uses his/her unique skills
alongside and together with others.
...who is prepared to step out on his/her own
path but also looks for points of connection
with others.
critical thinker,
decision maker
Individually,MTB-MLEhelpsdevelopalearner...
...who uses his/her own languages and
experiences as a resource to access
other opportunities.
...who sees new opportunities in
everything, including his/her own
culture and background.
lifelong learner, connector
confident sharer,
active participant
Determined, Passionate
Hopeful, sensitive
creative,
collaborative participant opportunity taker,
peace builder
Forsocietyasawhole,healthyindividuals
create strongcommunitiesthat…
… care for our world
“The environment is our
common home”
… engage all people
“Everyone can thrive,
when all are included”
… value diversity
“Our connections are far
greater than our
differences”
… work together
“Combining our skills and
resources can lead to
better solutions”
For more information, please check: http://www.globalpartnership.org/multimedia/infographic/education-and-global-goals
© Global Partnership for Education
planet
prosperity peace
partnership
TH/DOC/IQE/17/005-1500
Author:
Matt Wisbey
The information in this booklet is partly based on presentations and
discussions from the 5th
International Conference on Language and
Education: Sustainable Development through Multilingual Education,
held in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2016.
For more information about the conference or to view original
presentations and key messages please visit:
http://www.lc.mahidol.ac.th/mleconf/2016/program.htm
You can find a collection of resources on MTB-MLE here:
http://www.unescobkk.org/education/multilingual-education/resources/
publications
To find out more about the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working
Group (MLE WG) visit:
www.asiapacificmle.net
Editorial committee:
Kyungah Kristy Bang
Kimmo Kosonen
Philina Ng
Kirk Person
Cecilia Soriano

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Mother tongue-based multilingual education the key to unlocking SDG 4 quality Education for All.

  • 1. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education The Key to Unlocking SDG 4 - Quality Education For All
  • 2. SDG4 Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) = education that begins in the language that the learner speaks most fluently, and then gradually introduces other languages. 7,097 known living languages Equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all is only possible when education responds to and reflects the multilingual nature of the society. Children, youth and adults require learning opportunities that are relevant to their lives and needs, in and through their own languages. Since SDG 4 is so foundational to the other Sustainable Development Goals, without mother tongue-based multilingual education the other 16 goals will remain unachievable. We live in a multilingual world. People use different languages for different things; it’s their normal way of life. Yet, most education systems ignore this multilingual reality. Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 2.3 40% lack access to education in their own languages billion people Most children grow up in a context where more than one language is spoken Hello
  • 3. SDG4 How MTB-MLE contributes to Youhavetospeakalanguagebeforeyoucanlearntoreadandwritethat language(Targets4.1,4.4,4.6) We are born to speak, but we learn to read. Oral language ability is the most reliable predictor for literacy in that language. Many youth and adults who have missed out on the opportunity to learn to read and write will only be able to succeed if lifelong learning opportunities are provided in the languages they know best. Earlychildhoodeducationofhighqualityisonlypossibleinthechild’sfirst language(Targets4.2,4.5,4.7) Early childhood is the most important developmental phase of any human being. Children at this stage learn best in a language they already know. By providing learning opportunities in the languages that children use at home we are also investing in individuals’ future development opportunities. Welltrainedandsupportedmultilingualteachersboost learners’ performances(Targets4.1,4.5,4.c) Inclusive training and management policies that diversify the composition of teachers are an urgent need in most education systems. Teachers who collaborate with local educators and community elders can better understand the language and culture of learners, leading to more relevant and improved learning outcomes. Where teachers are from non-dominant communities, they also serve as strong positive role models for learners. At the same time, using children’s home languages enables parents and other community members to better support children’s learning. MTB-MLEenableslife-longlearning(Targets4.2,4.4) Learning in a learner’s home language provides a solid foundation on which other languages and skills can be successfully built. This prepares learners better to access higher education opportunities and the technical and vocational skills necessary for employment. Using learners’ own languages in education provides opportunities for all people to contribute to their full potential and be active participants in breaking out of the poverty cycle. MTB-MLEhelpstoaddressgenderinequalitybyallowinggirlsandwomento engagefullyintheirownlearning(Targets4.1,4.3,4.5,4.6) Globally, a disproportionate number of illiterate people are girls and women. In places where the home language is not used in school this is even more acute, with 30-50 percent fewer girls likely to enroll in school than boys. Given an opportunity to learn and develop in a classroom where their languages are used, girls and boys can also begin to redefine their role and norms within their own cultures. Respectforculturalandlinguisticdiversityleadstopeace,socialcohesionand sustainabledevelopment(Targets4.5,4.7) Peace, social cohesion and global citizenship are only possible when people are confident in their own identity and have opportunities to participate in finding solutions to their own problems. Policies and practices that embrace cultural and linguistic diversity are essential for healthy and sustainable social systems and ecosystems, and incorporating local knowledge systems with innovative approaches through strong partnerships leads to more effective care for our world. MTB-MLE is a realistic and cost-effective way to make significant progress towards SDG 4. Successful pilot projects in Asia-Pacific continue to contribute to change in language policies that respect and encourage the diversity of communities.
  • 4. 4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes 4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education 4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university 4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship 4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations 4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development 4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States Thematic Indicator 4.5.18 - Percentage of students in primary education whose first or home language is the language of instruction D SDG 4 Targets
  • 5. per year is lost by some countries by failing to educate girls at the same level as boys. $1 BILLION Decrease in the risk of war If the secondary school enrollment rate is 10% higher than average, the risk of war drops by 3%. +10% -3% Increase in political participation Literate people are more likely to participate in the democratic process and exercise their civil rights. Vote people could be lifted from poverty. One extra year of school increases earnings by If all children left school with basic reading skills, 10% 12% 20% 171 MILLION for individuals for women drop in poverty EDUCATION REDUCES POVERTY AND INCREASES INCOME 1 4 8 GOALS Increase in per capita income A 0.1% improvement in a country's education equality can, over 40 years, raise its per capita income by 23%. 23% EDUCATION PREVENTS INEQUALITY & INJUSTICE 5 10 16 GOALS thanks to the global increase in women's education. Improved nutrition child deaths prevented A mother's education improves her children's nutrition, especially as she seeks higher levels of schooling. 4 MILLION EDUCATION LEADS TO BETTER HEALTH 2 3 6 GOALS 46% with a tertiary education Build and maintain clean energy infrastructures Show greater concern about the well-being of the environment Use energy and water more efficiently Recycle Increased environmental concern Educated citizens are more inclined to: 25% with less than a secondary education 37% with a secondary education A study of 29 countries found the percentage of people concerned about the environment increases with education. EDUCATION HELPS US PROTECT THE PLANET 7 12 13 14 15 GOALS As a country's inhabitants become better educated, they are more likely to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. EDUCATION DRIVES SUSTAINABLE GROWTH Hospital 9 11 GOALS Our uniqueexperiencescanbuildasharedidentity! The Transformative and Holistic Benefits of MTB-MLE ...who uses language effectively with others and engages confidently and proactively in discussions. ...who is engaged and motivated to see progress and make a difference. ...who develops a strong and healthy identity, has hopes and dreams for his/her future, and empathises with those around him/her. ...who uses his/her unique skills alongside and together with others. ...who is prepared to step out on his/her own path but also looks for points of connection with others. critical thinker, decision maker Individually,MTB-MLEhelpsdevelopalearner... ...who uses his/her own languages and experiences as a resource to access other opportunities. ...who sees new opportunities in everything, including his/her own culture and background. lifelong learner, connector confident sharer, active participant Determined, Passionate Hopeful, sensitive creative, collaborative participant opportunity taker, peace builder Forsocietyasawhole,healthyindividuals create strongcommunitiesthat… … care for our world “The environment is our common home” … engage all people “Everyone can thrive, when all are included” … value diversity “Our connections are far greater than our differences” … work together “Combining our skills and resources can lead to better solutions” For more information, please check: http://www.globalpartnership.org/multimedia/infographic/education-and-global-goals © Global Partnership for Education planet prosperity peace partnership
  • 6. TH/DOC/IQE/17/005-1500 Author: Matt Wisbey The information in this booklet is partly based on presentations and discussions from the 5th International Conference on Language and Education: Sustainable Development through Multilingual Education, held in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2016. For more information about the conference or to view original presentations and key messages please visit: http://www.lc.mahidol.ac.th/mleconf/2016/program.htm You can find a collection of resources on MTB-MLE here: http://www.unescobkk.org/education/multilingual-education/resources/ publications To find out more about the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group (MLE WG) visit: www.asiapacificmle.net Editorial committee: Kyungah Kristy Bang Kimmo Kosonen Philina Ng Kirk Person Cecilia Soriano