The Department of Education (DepEd) has added seven more languages from the current 12 major local languages as medium of instruction from Kinder up to Grade 3 under the Mother-Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE).
The additional languages are Ybanag for pupils in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, and Isabela; Ivatan for the Batanes Group; Sambal in Zambales; Aklanon in Aklan, Capiz; Kinaray-a in Capiz, Aklan; Yakan in Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao and Surigaonon covering Surigao City and provinces.
According to Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro FSC “The use of the same language spoken at home, in the early grades, helps improve the pupils’ language and cognitive development in addition to strengthening their socio-cultural awareness.”
Local and internationals studies have shown that using the mother tongue inside the classroom during the learners’ early years of schooling produce better and faster learners who can easily adapt to learn a second (Filipino) and third language (English).
The other 12 local languages used in MTB-MLE are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano. The MTB-MLE is implemented in two modules: 1) as a learning/subject area and 2) as medium of instruction.
The mother tongue as a subject focuses on the development of reading and speaking from Grades 1 to 3. As a medium of instruction the mother tongue is used in all learning areas from Kinder to Grade 3 except in the teaching of Filipino and English subjects.
Filipino is introduced in 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.