Multilingual Education Newsletter

Issue 13 | Asia Multilingual Education Working Group

International Mother Language Day 2014

Welcome to MLE e-Newsletter! 

This issue of MLE e-Newsletter compiles different materials that were produced for the celebration of International Mother Language Day (IMLD) last 21 February. 

This year's theme for IMLD was “Local languages for Global Citizenship: Spotlight on Science”, aiming to examine the role of local languages in the promotion of traditional and indigenous knowledge and its contribution to addressing major issues related to global citizenship.

MLE in the News

· What happens when a language's last monolingual speaker dies? - Code Switch: NPR; 8 January, 2014

· Iraqi Turkmens to have education in mother-tongue -;10 January 2014

· Language policy: Writers Support Govt - The New Indian Express; 17 January 2014

· Namibia: //Karas parents snub Khoekhoegowab - New Era; 24 January 2014

· Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI) Spring Newsletter - FLI; January 2014

· In Alor, the death of a language - The Jakarta Post; 4 February 2014

· Mother-Tongue instruction pushed for Burma's schools - The Irrawaddy; 4 February 2014

· Last native speaker of Klallam language dies in Washington state - Chicago Tribune; 6 February 2014

· Paradise lost in the land of smiles: The 'Thai Lao Question' - Prachatai English; 11 February 2014

· How can minority languages survive in the digital age? - The Guardian; 17 February 2014

· Our language tragedy - The News International; 19 February 2014

· Language black holes in cyberspace - UNESCO Bangkok; 20 February 2014

· Children learn better in their mother tongue - Global Partnership for Education Blog; 21 February 2014

· Having a way with words - The Phnom Penh Post; 21 February 2014

· Having their say: state of mother-tongue based education in region - UNESCO Bangkok; 21 February 2014

· Now you're talking (my tongue)! - The Bangkok Post; 21 February 2014

· Pan-ethnic network launches to promote multilingual education in Burma - The Irrawaddy; 21 February 2014

· Mother tongue day: Save indigenous languages, promote diversity - The Express Tribune; 22 February 2014

· Zimbabwe: Schools mark mother language day - The Herald; 26 February 2014

· Workshop on multi-languages education in Cambodia - Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; 27 February 2014

· Marrying science and indigenous knowledge to magnify benefits: Part 1 - SIL LEAD; February 2014 

· Marrying science and indigenous knowledge to magnify benefits: Part 2 - SIL LEAD; February 2014

· Teaching Bicol children in their native tongue - Philippine Daily Inquirer; 6 March 2014

· Fifth meeting of the standing committee on information, broadcasting and national heritage - National Assembly of Pakistan; 13 March 2014



IMLD 2014

Number of living languages in Asia-Pacific

Asia MLE WG Facebook

Please like our page!

Don't kill your language

TED Talk by Suzanne Talhouk

Early language and the brain: Smart talk

The Economist - The number of words a child hears in early life will determine their academic success and IQ in later life. >>Watch this video<<

Flexible Learning Strategies for Out-of-School Children

Watch how FLS transform the lives of disadvantaged children Maya, Ton and Lola. >>Watch this video<<

Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter

UNESCO Bangkok developed “Sai Fah” to raise awareness around flood safety issues following the 2011 deluge in Thailand, which resulted in scores of preventable deaths.  “Sai Fah” is available in both English and Thai languages. The English-language version was developed to help spread the importance of flood safety across other Asia-Pacific countries where floods pose a dangerous threat. “Sai Fah” is available for free download on both Android and iOS platforms.


· Mon state likely to pass mother-tongue teaching bill - The Irrawaddy; 24 March 2014

· At risk of digital extinction: Europe's smaller languages fight to survive - The Guardian; 26 March 2014

· Multi-lingual education sows cohesion after conflict - The Australian; 31 March 2014 


· 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific - Policies, Practices and Processes, Thailand; 6-8 November 2013

· Analysis of linguistic environment and instructional implications for preschool children in Ouré Cassoni Refugee Camp in Chad by SIL and IRC

· EdData II: Strengthening Information for Education Policy, Planning and Management in the Philippines - Workshop on EGRA results by SEAMEO INNOTECH and USAID/Philippines

· EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014 - Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all by UNESCO

· Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study -  Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by UNICEF ROSA and UNESCO-UIS 

· Household literacy survey 2011 in Eastern Highlands Province and Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea by UNESCO Apia

· A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All by UNICEF

· Inclusive Dimensions of the Right to Education: Normative Bases - Concept Paper by UNESCO


· Learning to Live Together: Education Policies and Realities in the Asia-Pacific by UNESCO

· Social Policy Report: Multilingual Children - Beyond Myths* and Toward Best Practices by Society for Research in Child Development, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2013

· Using an Additional Language as the Medium of Instruction: Transition in Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education by Agatha van Ginkel

· Why Language Matters for the Millennium Development Goals - Khmer by Asia MLE WG

· The winners of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2013: Literacies for the 21st Century by UNESCO

National EFA 2015 Reviews in Asia-Pacific

As we approach 2015, there is a need to review how Member States have delivered on their commitments to achieve the Education for All (EFA) goals and to critically identify the enablers and impediments towards their EFA targets which are also linked to the education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). To this end, Member States are currently engaged to conduct a critical review of EFA progress at the national level, taking into account different forms and types of disparities and inequities. Language is a vital tool for the achievement of the EFA and MDGs, this is a great opportunity for member states to reflect on their language in education policy. Findings of the EFA progress reviews will lead to a better understanding of the bottlenecks in providing quality learning for all and the implications for the post-2015 education agenda at the country level and in the region.

Past & Upcoming Events


· 58th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Toronto, Canada; 10-15 March 2014

· LEAD Community of Practice event: Funding LEAD Activities, Bangkok, Thailand; 26-28 March 2014

· LEAD Asia Training Workshop on Funding, Bangkok, Thailand; 29 March - 3 April 2014

· The Fifth Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium, Dubai, UAE; 9-10 April 2014

· ACEI: Global Summit on Childhood, Vancouver, Canada; 10-13 April 2014

· Regional Research Workshop: Promoting Quality Learning through Enhanced Multigrade Teaching in the Asia-Pacific Region, Bangkok, Thailand; 21-23 April 2014

· Regional Technical Feedback Workshop: National EFA 2015 Reviews in Asia-Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand; 29-30 April 2014

· Global Action Week on Education for All, Worldwide; 4-10 May 2014

· Global EFA Meeting, Muscat, Oman; 12-14 May 2014

· International Conference on Language: Enhancing Language Ability and Education for the 21st Century, Suzhou, China; 5-6 June 2014

· International Day of the World's Indigenous People, Worldwide; 9 August 2014

· The 15th Conference of the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA): Living in Harmony Through Early Childhood Care & Education, Bali, Indonesia; 8-10 August 2014


Welcoming MLE Updates

All members are invited to contribute related news, feature articles or recommend publications, websites, or other information sources as well as provide feedback to enrich the MLE E-Newsletter. Please use the template provided at UNESCO Bangkok MLE eNewsletter webpage send an email and attachments (if any) to


UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education,
920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles of this newsletter are those of the authors and editors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNESCO. All rights remain with the respective copyright owners, as indicated for each resource.