PNOY: “We should become trilingual as a country. Learn English well and connect to the world. Learn Filipino well and connect to our country. Retain your dialect and connect to your heritage.”

Our native tongue which we have grown with is the best language that we can use to express ourselves and the extreme language that can help us learn better.

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True enough, that the Policy Research Forum which linguists participated discussed the “Language of Learning: Models and Best Practices” which made it crystal clear that mother-tongue education should be considered so that basic education in the Philippines will improve.

Through the Lubuagan First Language Experiment, carried out by the Summer Institute of Linguistic in close partnership with DepEd, it was revealed that pupils taught in their native language performed much better in Math, Science, English, and Filipino Achievement Tests. With this, first language teaching in Lubuagan is no longer experimental. Instead they have adopted it in their school.

In only proves that mastery of content is best achieved through mother tongue-based teaching. Mother tongue education allows pupils to connect from first language to the second languages, including the two languages, Filipino and English.

First language-teaching does not have to be put into practice in formal school setting alone. This is also evident in the basic literacy experience of the Pulangiyen tribal community of Bukidnon where the presented approach was combined to culture–based education and the basic education curriculum of the DepEd, that started on mother-tongue education. This deepened the schoolchildren’s love of their own language and culture.

Parents are also supportive of mother-tongue education. Some Parents-Teachers Associations have already issued statements of support for House Bill 3719, which endorses mother-tongue education. Schools in the province of Pampanga have adopted “Lingua Franca” where mother-tongue is used as medium of instruction in Grades 1 to 3. The division is hopeful as well of its positive results.

House Bill 3719 is very simple yet it involves a significant principle that pupils learn better and more productive if they use their mother-tongue.

Arthur S. Cura

Alauli Elementary School

Masantol District