Mother tongue key to mastery of secondary language, says expert


FILIPINO STUDENTS should learn to speak their mother tongue language during their formative years to become multilingual and multicultural learners, an expert in Mother Tongue Language-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) told Artlets yesterday.

Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco said that the mastery of the first language leads to the understanding of the second language, which is English in the case of Filipinos.

Ang importante [is] you teach English as the second language. Improve our L1 (first language), and our English will come later,” he said.

MTB-MLE is a new language-in-education policy in the country that seeks to teach students to speak, read, and write in their first language or the language that they have learned during childhood.

Bisaya, Waray, and Iloko are examples of first language.

Nolasco, who is the author of the MTB-MLE system in the Philippines, added that using first language as the medium of instruction in teaching Math and Science gives the students a better understanding of the subjects.

Gaya ng mga Japanese at Korean, matataas ang mga grado nila sa Math at Science dahil ang L1 ang ginagamit nila,” he said. “Kaya sila pumupunta dito kasi gusto nilang mabihisan ang mga alam nila in English clothing.”

The MTB-MLE, moreover, should not be viewed as a “subtractive system,” Nolasco said.

Hindi pwedeng kapag natutunan mo na ang English, kakalimutan mo na ang L1. L1 should be an enabler for you to understand L2 (second language),” he explained.

English Language Studies Society spearheaded the forum titled Lingua, which aimed to provide an in-depth discussion on the MTB-MLE. F KRYSTAL GAYLE R. DIGAY

1 Comment

  • It’s nice that you got the word out about the importance of education in the mother tongue in improving overall learning. Medyo nabitin lang ako sa article kasi marami talagang interesting facts and reasons kung bakit talagang nakaka-improve ng learning ang education in Waray, Iloko, Cebuano, etc. instead of English, sana nasama yun sa article. Marami talagang nasasabi si Sir Ricky tungkol dito – feel ko kung mas mahaba yung article.

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