Local Languages as medium of instruction from Kinder to Grade 3

The Department of Education, Philippines announced on a press release that starting this June, school year 2012-2013, 12 major local languages will be implemented to be used as medium of instructions for pupils in Kinder up to Grade 3. According to  Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC, the Mother Tongue-Based  Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) will help develop a well-rounded and life-long learners under the K to 12 basic education reform program.

Using the language spoken at home inside the classroom during the years of early schooling according to local and international studies can bring out faster learners who can simply adjust and adapt to learn a second (Filipino)  and third language (English)  

The Mother Tongue-Based  Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) is DepEd Order No. 16, series 2012.  It will be implemented in two modules: First, as a learning/subject area and Second as medium of instruction.

Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano are the 12 major local languages that will be used as a medium of instruction.

The implemented order will make the mother tongue as a subject that will focus on the development of reading and speaking from Grades 1 to 3. As a means of teaching the mother tongue will be used in all learning areas from kinder to Grade 3 except in the teaching of Filipino and English subjects.

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

Presently, there are 921 schools across the country which 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, Third Elementary Education Program, Translators Association of the Philippines, Save the Children Foundation, and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Related to this, 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.

“We are expanding the membership to include trainers in kindergarten because that is where we are going to start the reforms,” explained Luistro.

Also giving support to the project are 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.   

Press Release:  http://www.deped.gov.ph/updates/updateslinks.asp?id=1300


  1. Leah Niña Elsie VegaOctober 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    It's better for the children to learn their own area's language first before anything else. Give the kids the best and learn more about raising them at www.greatmoms.net.


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