A recent mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) course held in Chiang Mai, Thailand drew 42 participants representing seven different countries.
Running from June 24 to July 19, the course was administered by Wycliffe’s key partner, SIL International, and the linguistics institute at Payap University. It focused on theory and implementation practices of effective MTB-MLE programs.
The goals of the 2019 MTB-MLE course were to:
- increase participants’ understanding of multilingualism in minority language contexts
- develop basic skills in planning, implementing, and supporting multilingual education programs in these contexts
- develop an understanding of language and education policies and attitudes currently held in Asia and worldwide.
A group of experienced teachers shared their knowledge and experience with participants. Six interns co-ordinated activities and mentored participants throughout the course.
Those who took the course developed logical arguments for implementation in their own context, saw a successful MTB-MLE program in action, and created plans for programs in their contexts.
Participants visited a Thai government school that has been implementing MTB-MLE for five years, with technical assistance from the Foundation for Applied Linguistics. They observed four grades with both local-language speaking teachers and government Thai-speaking teachers implementing an excellent MTB-MLE education program.
“[The course] helped me see the big picture of MTB-MLE,” said student Paw Su Klay, “and helped me see my part in it.
“I feel more confident in the work and I got the technical support I needed for it.’