Luz S. Almeda, DepEd-Northern Mindanao regional director, said they will use languages that are used at homes as a medium of instruction to children for them to understand clearly what has been discussed in their classes.
The MTB-MLE program uses the mother tongue (language at home) as a medium of instruction inside the classroom.
In Northern Mindanao, the Cebuano language is widely used in the region.
“This is a program that will be used so that the children will know and understand what they are saying and what the teacher is also saying. The English language will be taught gradually since the MTB-MLE program is just a transition,” Almeda said.
Based on DepEd’s Order No. 16 regarding the implementation of the MTB-MLE, the student’s mother tongue will be used to teach in all learning areas from kindergarten to Grade 3, except in Filipino and English subjects.
Almeda said the program is also a part of the K+12 basic education program.
Under the DepEd directive, Filipino will be introduced in the first semester of Grade 1, while English will be taught as a subject in the second semester.
Meanwhile, the teaching of Filipino and English will continue through Grade 6.
At least 12 major Philippine languages will be introduced beginning school year 2012-2013 to improve literacy and instruction. These include Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano.
The program stems from the findings of several international studies showing that the use of the language that is often used at home during a child’s early years results in easier learning of a second (Filipino) and third language (English).
The DepEd said the MTB-MLE program aims for language development which establishes a strong education for success in school and for lifelong learning and cognitive development which focuses on higher order thinking skills competencies in each of the learning areas.
The program also hopes to focus on academic development which prepares the learner to acquire mastery of language and culture and socio-cultural awareness which enhances the pride of the learner’s heritage. (Michael Andrew W. Yu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 27, 2012.