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Regional Training Course on multilingual education (MLE) policies and practices


Linguistic diversity is a reality in classrooms all around the world. Diversity - social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic – often poses a challenge to all educational systems. Some countries find this diversity as a problem, and an obstacle to the achievement of national educational goals, while for others see as new opportunities and resources to improve learning for all in our increasingly rapidly changing world.

For ethnic minority children in particular, language often mediates the opportunities they have in their social lives. Access to education, especially in their first language is crucial to ensure their full participation in learning process and to overcome a vicious cycle of marginalization and discrimination. Enough evidence confirms that children learn best in their mother tongue and increase their ability to attend higher education and establish a successful career. Thus, expansion of access to Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) has been increasingly promoted and recognized as part of the Education for All (EFA) process, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. However despite the growing momentum, many countries in the region are still experiencing challenges in implementing and expanding their MLE programmes. It is vital that these challenges are identified and addressed to properly institutionalize MLE programmes and ensure all children gain access to them.

The 4th International Conference on Education and Language and the MLE High-level policy forum, which were held in November 2013 by key partners of Asia Multilingual Education working Group (MLE WG), has re-affirmed that clearer policy objectives, strong political will and a supportive policy environment are critical to achieving the objectives of an effective MTB-MLE system. To support countries of the Asia-Pacific region in strengthening their education systems in planning, financing and implementing MTB MLE, UNESCO Bangkok is organizing a five-day training workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. Drawing on wide range of case studies in the region, the workshop is aimed at strengthening capacity in developing and implementing language in education policies and deepening understanding of language of instruction issues in the education sector by addressing the broad spectrum of issues involved in the field of MTB MLE.

This workshop is designed for Government officials and programme/project managers from countries of the Asia-Pacific region, especially those involved in public policy, strategic planning and system management of the education sector. The workshop will involve an interactive approach to learning combining a mix of presentations and practical exercises on policy design and monitoring.

Goals and Objectives

Specifically, the objectives of the regional training course aim to:

  • Provide the participants with an understanding of key concepts, issues and current trends of Language policy and planning;
  • Provide the participants with an understanding of key concepts, issues and current trends of MTB MLE;
  • Build or reinforce analytical and technical skills concerning cost-benefit side of MTB MLE;
  • Learn about education policy and planning from a system-wide perspective;
  • Learn about how to link sector policy and planning from community and research perspectives;
  • Build or reinforce participants’ practical know-how in developing language in education policies, language of instruction and multilingual education;
  • Provide in-depth understanding of issues surrounding the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks specific to MTB MLE;
  • Strengthen a regional network of education managers and practitioners from countries of the Asia-Pacific region for successful MTB MLE.
Day 1
(20 April 2015)
Introduction to Language Policy and Planning in the Context of Multilingual Education – definitions, key issues, current trends, international perspectives, research evidence and current challenges
Day 2
(21 April 2015)
Policy and Planning in and beyond Education – literacy, mother tongues, national languages, international languages, Early Childhood and Care Education
Day 3
(22 April 2015)
Issues and Challenges in MLE in a Global Context – economic, social and identity issues associated with MLE
Day 4
(23 April 2015)
Planning and Budgeting Language in Education Policy – cost inputs, models of assessing cost, data gathering and reporting, information needed for language in education policy
Day 5
(24 April 2015)
Field Visit


Visa Requirement

Participants are responsible for obtaining their own visas at the Thai Embassy or Consulate near them. A formal letter of invitation can be provided by UNESCO Bangkok to facilitate this process.


Kyungah Kristy Bang


+66 2 391 0577 Ext.309