Translated by Jason Laxamana

Tegurian ne ning United Nations General Assembly bilang Pang-Meto Yatung Banua Da Ring Amanu ing banuang 2008. Masigasig neng pánigobran ning UNESCO ing gampa na bilang mámuntukan a aptas a mirian tokang samasan la ring aktibidadis para king banua. Tune nang balu ning Aptas ing ulaga da ring amanu pelalu na patye pákikorkula no ring dakal a tinggasing malyaring arapan ning meto ketawan karing paratang a dekada.

Tutu lang kailangan ding amanu king identidad da ring balen ampong tau at bang kumabiye lang abe-abe masalese. Maragul la ambag king panyulung pataglus king kasaplalan at pamiyugne da ring bagebageng pang-meto yatu at pambalen.

Palak lang maulaga king pamanabut karing anam a tagimpan ning education for all (EFA) at ding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a píkasundu da ring king United Nations inyang 2000. Bilang mákáyambag king pamiyabeyabe da ring memalen, dakal la asasaup ding amanu king pamagwaksi king kakaluluan at karanupan (MDG 1); bilang suporta karing tenakan king pamamásâ, pamanyulat, pamanigaral, at kabiyayan, maulaga la ring amanu king kaganapan ning universal primary education (MDG 2); dápat ing laban king HIV/AIDS, malaria, at aliwa pang salun (MDG 6) masiwala ya king amanu da ring memalen nung ila ring pilit pákiabutan; at ing pamanyiguradu king kaligtasan ning tibuan a kabiasnan at tenakan, kambe ning kaburian da ring taung masalese ya bili ing karelang kapaligiran (MDG 7), atin ya mu namang ugne karing amanung sisuan.

Ing makuleng pamiyayaliwa da ring kultura makayugne ya mu naman king makuleng pamiyayaliwa da ring amanu, ngara pin ketang UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity at king binalak nang pangimut (2001), itang Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).

Ita mu pin, mánganib lang mabura ring mayigit kapitna karing pitung libung amanung magagamit keti yatu kilub ning mapilan a henerasyun. Manga sikapat mu karing salitang deta ring magagamit king iskuela at king Internet, at keraklan magagamit la mu pamisanmisan. Bista man masalese do pang agagamit ding memalen karing karelang pibalebale, libulibu lang amanu ring e mákátuklu karing iskuela, karing media, karing libru, magasin, at dyaryu, at karing sular a pampubliku.

Maulaga ing kímut ta’nang tambing. Makananu? King kapamilatan ning pamangawang batas pang-amanung mamiye upaya karing balang komunidad a gamitan ing karelang amanung sisuan angga’t malyari king nanu mang sular ning sosyedad, pati na ring iskuela, kabang pákiabutan ing kagalasgasan king metung a amanung pambansa o panlalawigan at king metung a banyagang amanu. King kapamilatan na mu rin ning pamanusig karing gagamit amanung makasiduan a magpakabiasa la pa karing aliwang pambansa o panlalawigan a salita at metung o adua pang banyagang amanu. Akit da ring keganaganang amanu ing lugal da king kekatamung yatu nung matanggap ya mung ganap ing multilingualismu.

Inya naman ágkatan no ning UNESCO ring kapanibalan, ding aptas a makapalalam king United Nations, ding lualung aptas karing balen, ding iskuela, ding aptas da ring propesyunal, at ding aliwa pang makarame, na magpasimula lang sarili rang aktibidadis a maglayung itanam karing pusu da ring sabla ing respetu, pakamal, at pamaglualu karing keganaganang salita, pelalu na retang bagya-bagya nang mamamate.

Agyang pang kapamilatan de ring miyayaliwang dapát king labuad ning pamanigaral, ning Internet, o ring matenakan; kapamilatan de man ding proyektung mánagimpang protektan ding mamamatdang amanu, proyektung mágnasang ipabalu karing memalen ing kagiwan da ring amanu king pamagpasibul pamisasanmetung karing memalen; o proyektung máglayung ipakit karing tau ing kaugnayan ning amanu at ekonomya, ning amanu at katutubung kabiasnan, o ning amanu at kalalangan—ing importanti malansangan ya king balang suluk ning yatu ing kasebian a “maulaga la ring amanu!”

Maging yang makabaldugan ing aldong ka-21 ning Pebreru 2008, ing aldo ning kasiam a Pang-Meto Yatung Aldo Da Ring Amanung Sisuan. Aparti pa kanita, iya pin ing mamiye bageng tauling aldo para king pamagpakilala karing proyektung mágnasang magpalaganap karing amanu.

Ing para tamung págnasan iya pin ing siguraduang mapansin ya king pambansa, panlalawigan, at pang-sumangid laut a balitang ing kaulagan ning pamakiatin dakal a amanu at multilingualismu karing iskuela, kapanibalan, sistemang ligal, karing pangkulturang pamamasyag at media, king Internet at king pamangalakal.

Magdaun yang bukud a oportunidad ing Pang-Meto Yatung Banua Da Ring Amanu 2008 king pamanabut tamu karing mesambitlang kapagnasan.

Koïchiro Matsuura

Posted by: iylphilippines | February 16, 2008

LANGUAGES DO MATTER!

PRESS STATEMENT
(February 12, 2008)

LANGUAGES DO MATTER!
Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco, Ph.D.

A basic weakness in Philippine education is that many pupils do not nderstand what their teacher is saying.

Why? Because the language in school is one they can hardly speak or understand.

In a forum in UP last February 12, I urged congress to abandon moves to install English as the sole medium of instruction especially in the primary grades. Instead, a law should be passed mandating the primary use of the learner’s first language (L1) or mother tongue from pre-school to grade 6, or at least up to Grade 4. Filipino and English can be taught as separate subjects.

This change should provide learners (whose L1 is not English or Filipino) enough time to develop their cognitive and linguistic skills in their mother tongue. In the process a solid foundation can be built for learning subjects taught in the nationally prescribed languages, English and Filipino. These two languages can then be promoted to primary media in the secondary level.

What happens to L1 in high school? It can be used as auxiliary medium or as a separate subject. I define an auxiliary medium to be any language (other than the prescribed idiom) that can enrich and facilitate understanding of the content and academic language of the subject areas. This makes possible the classroom use of supplementary science and mathematics materials in the local or national language. The idea here is to extend the use of L1 as far as possible.

For multilingual based education to work, I can think of four (4) conditions that must be met (although there may be more). One, good curricula (i.e. cognitively demanding). Two, good teachers (i.e. competent in the required languages, content and methods). Three, good teaching materials (i.e. error free). And four, community support and empowerment (i.e. the community is allowed to make decisions on school matters).

The above proposal is based on numerous studies here and abroad on mother tongue education.

In a World Bank funded study, Dutcher and Tucker (1994) reviewed the international experience on the use of the first and second languages in education.

They found out that:

• Children need at least 12 years to learn their L1;
• Older children and adolescents are better learners of an L2 than younger children;
• Developing the child’s cognitive skills through L1 is more effective than more exposure to L2;

Will increasing the time for English improve our English? The Thomas and Colliers 1997 longitudinal study suggests otherwise. They found out that after 11 years, US children whose L1 is not English and who received an all-English education learned the least amount of English. They also had the lowest scores in standardized academic tests. On the other hand, students taught in their L1 for six years scored more than the average English native speaker in the tests. In the Philippines, the Lubuagan experiment by DEP-ED and the Summer Institute of Philippines belies the claim that using L1 as medium will adversely affect academic performance in English and Mathematics.

How about costs? Contrary to popular belief, L1-based education may actually cost less than one based in L2, that is, if we include wasted expenses due to drop-outs, repeaters and failures. The added costs, studies show, are higher in L2 than in L1 schools. A Guatemalan study, for instance, showed that it is costlier to produce a grade level passer (in Grades 1-6) in a Spanish medium school ($6,013) than in a Mayan school ($4,496).

Do we need to give up our ethnic languages in order to build “one nation, one language”? No.

The right to one’s own language is an inherent human right. Quoting UNESCO, languages are essential to the identity of individuals, groups, and nations and to their peaceful co-existence. Imagine the self-respect that a speaker or a community gains when their language is acknowledged in school and in government!

The Philippines ranks 10th in the world in linguistic diversity, with over 150 languages. Most Filipinos can speak three or four languages, including a regional language. In addition, they speak the national language for inter-ethnic communication. For international communication, they rely mainly on English which like Filipino is a second language to them.

Knowing more than one language is also the norm for the world’s citizens. Over 6,000 languages are packed into the world’s 200 nation-states. This means that most nations, if not all, have more than one language.

The year 2008 has been declared by UNESCO as the International Year of Languages. The year long celebration in the Philippines is being planned and coordinated by the International Year of Languages Committee-Philippines which is led by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines. Any one interested in joining the committee or its activities can visit its websites at iylphilippines.wordpress.com or iyl.komfil.gov.ph.

It is time to foster respect for ALL languages especially endangered languages, and to promote and protect them. Let us celebrate our linguistic diversity with the peoples of the world. Wika Mo. Wikang Filipino. Wika ng Mundo. Mahalaga!

(Dr. Nolasco is the acting chair of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and a faculty member of the UP Department of Linguistics. His email address is: rnolasco_upmin@yahoo.com.)

Source: LANGUAGES DO MATTER!

Posted by: iylphilippines | February 7, 2008

The Multilingual Challenge in Philippine Education

Program-IYLanguage-poster

Download and print the Lecture-Forum Program (PDF, 148kb)

Posted by: iylphilippines | February 4, 2008

2008 Pandaigdigang Taon ng mga Wika

Iprinoklama ng Pangkalahatang Asembleya ng United Nations sa pulong noong Mayo 2007 ang 2008 bilang Pandaigdigang Taon ng mga Wika. Bilang pagkilala sa tunay na multiliggwalismo na nagtataguyod ng pagkakaisa at pandaigdigang unawaan.

Kinilala ng United Nations ang pagtataguyod ng multilinggwalismo bilang isang paraan ng pagpapaunlad, pangangalaga at pagpapanatili ng pagkakaiba ng mga wika at mga kulturang global. Binigyan diin ang higit na halaga ng pagkakapantay-pantay ng anim na opisyal na mga wika ng Organisasayon (Arabik, Tsino, Ingles, Pranses, Ruso at Espanyol).

Iniharap ng kinatawan ng Pransiya ang resolusyon (kasama sa dokumentong A/61/L.56) na magtitiyak ng global na lapit sa multilinggwalismo at magpapaunlad ng makatwirang pananaw ng multilinggwalismo sa United Nations. Ito’y makatutulong na tiyakin ang pagtalima sa mga panuntunan ng multilinggwalismo sa pang-araw-araw na mga gawain ng Organisasyon at sa unang pagkakataon, ay magbibigay-diin sa halaga ng paglalaan ng tulong teknikal at pagsasanay sa lokal na mga wika ng makikinabang na mga bansa.

Posted by: iylphilippines | February 1, 2008

MENSAHE NI G. KOICHIRO MATSUURA

DIREKTOR-PANLAHAT NG UNESCO,
SA PAGDIRIWANG NG 2008, PANDAIGDIGANG TAON NG MGA WIKA

“MAY KABULUHAN ANG MGA WIKA!”

Ang taong 2008 ay naiproklamang Pandaigdigang Taon ng mga Wika ng Asambleya Pangkalahatan ng United Nations.  Ang UNESCO na siyang nakatalagang mag-ugnay-ugnay ng mga aktibidad para sa Taon,  ay determinadong gampanan ang tungkulin nito bilang namumunong ahensiya.

Ganap na nauunawaan ng Organisasyon ang mapagpasyang kahalagahan ng mga wika sa gitna ng mga hamon na kinakaharap ng sangkatauhan sa sumusunod na mga dekada.

Tunay na mahalaga ang mga wika sa identidad ng mga grupo at indibiduwal at ng kanilang mapayapang pakikipamuhay sa isat isa.  Ang mga ito ay estratehikong sangkap para maging tuluy-tuloy ang pag-unlad (sustainable development)  at  magkaroon ng maayos na pag-uugnayan ang global at lokal na kapaligiran.

Importante ang mga wika  sa pagkamit ng anim na layunin ng edukasyon para sa lahat (education for all o EFA) at ng Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) na pinagkasunduan ng UN noong 2000.

Bilang mahalagang sangkap ng integrasyong panlipunan,  gumaganap ng estratehikong papel ang mga wika sa pagsugpo sa malubhang karalitaan  at kagutuman (MDG 1);  bilang suporta sa literasiya,  pagkakatuto at kasanayan-sa-buhay ay mahalaga ang mga ito sa pagkamit ng edukasyong pamprimarya para sa lahat (MDG 2);    ang pakikibaka laban sa HIV/AIDS,  malaria at iba pang sakit (MDG 6) ay kailangang ilunsad gamit ang wika ng mga apektadong  populasyon para sa mas mabisang pag-unawa;  at mahigpit na nakaugnay sa mga lokal at katutubong wika  ang proteksyon  sa kaalaman at kaparaanang lokal at pangkatutubo upang matiyak na magiging tuluy-tuloy ang pag-unlad (sustainable development [MDG 7]).

Dagdag dito,  ang dibersidad pangkultura ay may malapit na kaugnayan sa dibersidad pangwika,  gaya ng nakasaad  sa Deklarasyong Pandaigdig ukol sa Dibersidad Pangkultura ng UNESCO at ang planong pang-aksyon (2001),  ang Kumbensyon sa Proteksyon ng mga Di-Nahahawakang Pamanang Pangkultura  (Intangible Cultural Heritage)  at  ang Kumbensyon para sa Proteksyon at Pagsusulong ng Dibersidad ng mga  Sawikaing Pangkultura (2005).

Gayunpaman,  pagkaraan ng ilang henerasyon ay mawawala ang mahigit na 50% ng 7,000ng wikang  sinasalita sa buong daigdig.    Walang isang kapat ng mga wikang ito ang ginagamit ngayon sa mga eskuwelhan at cyberspace,  at  karamihan ay ginagamit lamang nang panaka-naka.  May ilang libong wika–kahit na kabisado ng mga populasyon na gamitin ang mga ito sa pang-araw-araw—ay hindi matatagpuan sa mga sistemang pang-edukasyon,  sa midya,  publikasyon at sa pampublikong larangan sa panlahatan.

Kailangan nating kumilos agad.  Paano?  Sa pamamagitan ng paghihikayat at pagpapaunlad ng mga patakarang pangwika na  makatutulong sa mga pamayanang pangwika na gamitin ang kanilang unang wika o wikang kinagisnan,  sa pinakamalawak at pinakaposibleng paraan,  kabilang na rito ang sa edukasyon,  pero kasabay nito ay kailangang matuto rin ang nasabing mga pamayanan ng isang pambansa o pangrehiyong wika at ng isang wikang pandaigdig.  Gayundin, kailangang hikayatin  ang mga tagapagsalita ng isang dominanteng wika na matuto ng isa pang wikang pambansa o pangrehiyon at ng isa o dalawa pang wikang pandaigdig.  Sa sandaling ang multilinggwalismo ay natanggap na nang ganap,  noon lamang magkakaroon ng puwang ang lahat ng wika sa ating globalisadong daigdig.

Inaanyayahan ng UNESCO ang lahat ng pamahalaan,  organisasyong pang-UN,  organisasyon ng lipunang sibil,    institusyong pang-edukasyon,  asosasyang pampropesyonal at iba pang stakeholder na dagdagan ang kanilang sariling mga aktibidad upang mabigyan ng karampatang paggalang,  maisulong at maprotektahan ang lahat ng wika,  laluna ang mga wikang nanganganib na mawala,  sa lahat ng indibiduwal at kolektibong konteksto.

Maging ito ma’y sa inisyatiba sa edukasyon,  cyberspace at kaligirang pangliterasiya;  maging ito ma’y sa pamamagitan ng mga proyekto upang mapangalagaan ang mga wikang nanganganib na mawala;  o para isulong ang mga wika bilang kasangkapan para sa integrasyong panlipunan;  o para tuklasin ang relasyon ng wika at ng ekonomiya,  wika at katutubong kaalaman,  o  wika at anumang uri ng paglikha—mahalaga na ang ideya na “may kabuluhan ang mga wika!” ay kailangang mapalaganap sa lahat ng dako.

Ang petsa na Pebrero 21, 2008,  na siyang ika-9 na Pandaigdigang Araw ng Wikang Kinagisnan,  ay magkakaroon ng espesyal na kabuluhan at magsisilbing angkop na araw para mapasinayaan ang mga insiyatiba sa pagsusulong ng mga wika.

Ang aming komon na layunin ay upang tiyakin na ang importansya ng dibersidad panglinggwistika at ng multilinggwalismo sa mga sistemang pang-edukasyon,  pang-administratibo at legal,  mga sawikaing pangkultura at ng midya,  cyberspace at kalakalan,  ay makilala sa antas pambansa,  pangrehiyon at pandaigdig.

Magkakaloob ng pambihirang pagkakataon ang Pandaigdigang Taon ng mga Wika 2008 para gumawa ng mapagpasyang mga hakbang  upang makamit ang mga layuning ito.

KOICHIRO MATSUURA

The year 2008 has been proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations General Assembly. UNESCO, which has been entrusted with the task of coordinating activities for the Year, is determined to fulfil its role as lead agency.The Organization is fully aware of the crucial importance of languages when seen against the many challenges that humanity will have to face over the next few decades.

Languages are indeed essential to the identity of groups and individuals and to their peaceful coexistence. They constitute a strategic factor of progress towards sustainable development and a harmonious relationship between the global and the local context.

They are of utmost importance in achieving the six goals of education for all (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on which the United Nations agreed in 2000.

As factors of social integration, languages effectively play a strategic role in the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1); as supports for literacy, learning and life skills, they are essential to achieving universal primary education (MDG 2); the combat against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6) must be waged in the languages of the populations concerned if they are to be reached; and the safeguarding of local and indigenous knowledge and know-how with a view to ensuring environmental sustainability (MDG 7) is intrinsically linked to local and indigenous languages.

Moreover, cultural diversity is closely linked to linguistic diversity, as indicated in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and its action plan (2001), the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).

However, within the space of a few generations, more than 50% of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world may disappear. Less than a quarter of those languages are currently used in schools and in cyberspace, and most are used only sporadically. Thousands of languages – though mastered by those populations for whom it is the daily means of expression – are absent from education systems, the media, publishing and the public domain in general.

We must act now as a matter of urgency. How? By encouraging and developing language policies that enable each linguistic community to use its first language, or mother tongue, as widely and as often as possible, including in education, while also mastering a national or regional language and an international language. Also by encouraging speakers of a dominant language to master another national or regional language and one or two international languages. Only if multilingualism is fully accepted can all languages find their place in our globalized world.

UNESCO therefore invites governments, United Nations organizations, civil society organizations, educational institutions, professional associations and all other stakeholders to increase their own activities to foster respect for, and the promotion and protection of all languages, particularly endangered languages, in all individual and collective contexts.

Whether it be through initiatives in the fields of education, cyberspace or the literate environment; be it through projects to safeguard endangered languages or to promote languages as a tool for social integration; or to explore the relationship between languages and the economy, languages and indigenous knowledge or languages and creation, it is important that the idea that “languages matter!” be promoted everywhere.

The date of 21 February 2008, that of the ninth International Mother Language Day, will have a special significance and provide a particularly appropriate deadline for the introduction of initiatives to promote languages.

Our common goal is to ensure that the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism in educational, administrative and legal systems, cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade, is recognized at the national, regional and international levels.

The International Year of Languages 2008 will provide a unique opportunity to make decisive progress towards achieving these goals.

Koïchiro Matsuura

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