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SEAMEO workshop: Using the Mother Tongue as Bridge Language of Instruction

(February 2009) Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and World Bank are sponsoring the workshop "Mother Tongue as Bridge Language of Instruction," in Bangkok, Thailand on 24-26 February. The main purpose of the regional meeting is the identification of good functioning models in the use of mother tongue as bridge language of instruction.

Kimmo Kosonen and Catherine Young, SIL International Multilingual Education Consultants, chair a session at the 2008 Workshop. Kimmo Kosonen and Catherine Young, SIL International Multilingual Education Consultants, chair a session at the 2008 Workshop. © SEAMEO Photo

Participating in this regional consultative workshop are SEAMEO officers, representatives from the 10 SEAMEO Member Countries, SEAMEO Centers, development partners in multilingual education (MLE) and other related organizations. The SEAMEO Secretariat organized the regional meeting with support from the World Bank. Project MLE consultants from SIL International, Kimmo Kosonen, PhD, and Catherine Young, PhD candidate, will serve as resource persons and facilitate group work.

Expected outputs of this three-day event are a compendium of language policies and case studies from Southeast Asia on the use of mother tongue as bridge language of instruction, policy recommendations and region-wide action plans. Country teams will present papers on good functioning models in the use of the mother tongue as bridge language of instruction.

This conference is part of the SEAMEO Secretariat-implemented project, "Mother Tongue as Bridge Language of Instruction in Southeast Asian Countries: Policy, Strategies and Advocacy" which receives support from the World Bank. It provides opportunities to explore how Southeast Asian countries, through appropriate language policies, can achieve Education for All by widening access, reducing student repetition and dropout rates and improving learning outcomes. This gathering is a follow-up to the 19-21 February 2008 Consultative Workshop for the same Project. The Project started in June 2007 and advocacy of project results and related follow-up activities will continue through June 2009.

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