Linguistically Responsive Educational Framework for Multilingual Contexts: Mother Tongue in the Academic Achievements of a Child and Various Strategies for its Inclusion

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Dr. Rasak Annayat


Educational policy-makers are confronted with the challenge to ensure language educational standards for the whole population of a country, while as to protect the rights of those who belong to specific linguistic and ethnic minorities to ensure inclusive education for all. Mother tongue is the principal means used by human beings to communicate with one another, the most powerful form of symbolization and a divine gift bringing them a sense of solidarity in their culture. Moreover, it is well-established now that mother-tongue is crucial for their early success and better learning outcomes, resulting in higher retention, increased achievement and enrolment. In fact, in schools where MTB-MLE is promoted, children are able to convert and activate their funds of knowledge, identity, social capital by enabling them to learn in an environment where they can understand, expand and contribute their ideas, and situate themselves independently, linguistically and culturally within the wider educational and communication context. So, for mother tongue-based multilingual educational programs, regular training and seminars for teachers at teacher training institutions are essential to implement methodologies and pedogogies to orient and guide them on how to handle learners with different languages - to acknowledge the importance of linguistic diversity. Moreover, the educational basics - textbooks, learning materials – should be available in mother-tongue languages as well because the unavailability of appropriate literature and instructional materials is often identified as a constraint in the development of a localised curriculum. So, strong political and financial will, therefore, is necessary to support various mother-tongue based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) to effectively deliver a multi-language policy in our schools. Moreover, allocation and access to local budgets towards supporting and facilitating investment in mother-tongue teaching and learning is crucial. We also have to build a supportive community environment so that communities and families understand the necessity of mother-tongue learning and cultural values.

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