Mother tongue teaching emphasized

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By Lorenzo E. Mendoza

The Scribe's Corner

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DIRECTOR’S Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of DepEd 11 Regional Director Susana Teresa B. Estigoy, CESO IV to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education) I do not consider my job as plain work -- rather it is my LIFE. "We have to continually examine what succeeds and fails, and why. We have to uphold and live true to our battlecry and slogan of governance: "Education For All (EFA) 2015: Karapatan ng Lahat, Pananagutan ng Lahat"

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Anent to the department's thrust to implement the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE), DepEd will commence using 12 major local languages as medium of instruction and as subject matter during the opening of classes this June.


In a press release issued by DepEd recently, the department identified the 12 major languages asTagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.

DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC. Said that the department is institutionalizing the teaching of MTB-MLE as one of the subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 3 and as the medium of instruction from kinder to Grade 3 so that the country can develop well-rounded and life-long learners under the K to 12 basic education reform program.

Luistro based his statement from local and internationals studies which found out that using the language used at home (mother tongue) inside the classroom during the learners' early years of schooling produce better and faster learners who can easily adapt to learn a second (Filipino) and third language (English).

As specified in DepEd Order No. 16, series 2012, the MTB-MLE will be implemented in two modules: 1) as a learning/subject area and 2) as medium of instruction. The mother tongue as a subject will focus on the development of reading and speaking from Grades 1 to 3. As a medium of instruction the mother tongue will be used in all learning areas from kinder to Grade 3 except in the teaching of Filipino and English subjects.

Furthermore, Filipino will be 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. The four other macro skills which are listening, speaking, reading and writing in Filipino will continuously be developed from Grades 2 to 6.

English as a subject will be introduced in the second semester of Grade 1 while reading and writing in English will start in the first semester of Grade 2.

Based from the record released by DepEd Central Office, there are currently 921 schools across the country that have been pioneering the MTB-MLE including the children of indigenous peoples. The mother tongue pilot program is implemented with assistance from the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (Beam), Third Elementary Education Program, Translators Association of the Philippines, Save the Children Foundation, and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, DepEd has organized a team of MTB-MLE trainers for each region composed of education supervisors. The existing MTB-MLE regional training team organized for the pilot schools shall be the same team that will be responsible for the division and school-based training of teachers on MTB-MLE for the K to 12.

The DepEd Chief also added that they are expanding the membership to include trainers in kindergarten because that is where we are going to start the reforms.

The MTB-MLE trained writers who will continue to update their knowledge and skills in developing indigenized learning materials to provide the students with a variety of learning resources, are also giving their full support to the project.

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You can access DepEd Updates, latest issuances and other relevant information through our website: For comments, suggestions and/or contributions, email me at For queries, complains and other concerns, call DepED Region 11 at (082) 227-9342 or fax to (082) 227-1102 and (082) 221-6147.

Mr. Lorenzo E. Mendoza, M.A. is connected with DepEd Regional Office 11 and currently on study leave to pursue a degree in Diploma in ICT, Multimedia at TAFE South Australia through the Australian Endeavour VET Scholarship Grant under the management of Austraining International.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 14, 2012.


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