Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
  • DEFINITION

    Mother tongue instruction generally refers to the use of the learners’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction. Additionally, it can refer to the mother tongue as a subject of instruction. It is considered to be an important component of quality education, particularly in the early years (UNESCO, 2003: 13). 

    UNESCO. Education in a multilingual world: UNESCO education position paper, 2003. 

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    To ensure that children acquire strong foundation skills in literacy and numeracy, schools need to teach the curriculum in a language children understand. Mother tongue based bilingual (or multilingual) education approaches, in which a child’s mother tongue is taught alongside the introduction of a second language, can improve performance in the second language as well as in other subjects (UNESCO, 2016: 3)

    UNESCO. If you don’t understand, how can you learn? Global education monitoring report: policy paper 24, 2016.

  • DEFINITION

    Education which starts in the mother tongue and gradually introduces one or more other languages in a structured manner, linked to children’s existing understanding in their first language or mother tongue (Pinnock, 2009: 7).

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Effective mother-tongue-based multilingual education teaches linguistic and communicative competencies that are relevant to African multilingual economies characterised by a small formal economic sector and a large informal sector (Ouane and Glanz, 2010: 17).

  • DEFINITION

    Several grades or divisions are taught simultaneously in the same classroom by a single teacher.

    Brunswic, Etienne, et Jean Valérien. Multigrade schools: improving access in rural Africa? Fundamentals of Educational Planning 76. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2004.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    The failure of multigrade classes has important consequences: multigrade teaching being perceived as a cut-rate, unsuitable form of delivery, its failure causes families to lose interest in schooling and thus reduces social demand for education. In short, such failures contribute to under-development and poverty. It is therefore vital for planners to identify the factors that lead to failure so as to avoid recourse to the multigrade option if the minimum conditions for success are not met (Brunswic and Valérien, 2004: 51).

    Brunswic, Etienne, et Jean Valérien. Multigrade schools: improving access in rural Africa? Fundamentals of Educational Planning 76. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2004.