Believing that the child's language will serve as the fundamental language for literacy and learning, the Department of Education (DepEd) recently announced that seven more local languages will be used in teaching Grade 1 pupils starting this school year.
According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, in addition to the languages of instruction mentioned in DepEd Order No. 16 series of 2012, "Guidelines on the implementation of the Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) under the K to 12 Basic Education Program," the additional languages "shall be used as the languages of instruction for Grade 1 pupils who speak the same languages."
As stated in DepEd Order No. 28 series of 2013, the seven additional languages which will be used in the specified regions and divisions starting SY 2013-2014 are Ybanag for Region II (Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, and Isabela); Ivatan also for Region II (Batanes Group of Islands); Sambal for Region III (Zambales); Akianon for Region IV (Aklan and Capiz); Kinaray-a for Region VI (Capiz and Aklan); Yakan for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Basilan province); and Surigaonon for Caraga (Surigao City and provinces).
The DepEd implemented the MTB-MLE last year with the introduction of 12 major languages Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.
"The MTB-MLE aims improve the pupil's language and cognitive development as well as his or her socio-cultural awareness," Luistro says.
Currently, the MTB-MLE is being implemented in two modules: first as a learning/subject area and second as medium of instruction.
"The mother tongue as a subject, focuses on the development of reading and speaking from Grades 1 to 3," Luistro says. "As a medium of instruction, the mother tongue is being used in all learning areas from kinder to Grade 3 except in the teaching of Filipino and English subjects."
Filipino is introduced on the first semester of Grade 1 for oral fluency (speaking). "For reading and writing purposes, it will be taught beginning in the second semester of Grade 1," he adds.
The four other macro skills which are listening, speaking, reading and writing in Filipino will continuously be developed from Grades 2 to 6. …