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Innovations for teaching and learning—subject of conference

(March 2009) A joint event is being held 24–26 March in Bangkok to celebrate the Fourth World Teachers' Day in Thailand and the Twelfth UNESCO-APEID International Conference. The theme is Quality Innovations for Teaching and Learning. SIL International multilingual education (MLE) consultants Dr. Kimmo Kosonen and Ms. Catherine Young were invited to present a paper on first-language-based MLE.

The conference is co-organized by the Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), UNESCO Bangkok and the Thai Ministry of Education.

The conference was planned to provide a forum to explore, identify and synergize innovative approaches as part of ongoing efforts to address the many issues related to teachers, teacher educators, administrators, planners and policy makers in providing quality teaching and learning opportunities.

Ms. Young is leading a discussion session as well as presenting a plenary paper prepared with Dr. Kosonen, "First-language-based multilingual education can help those excluded by language." The presentation introduces the challenge of language use in education in Asia and ways the language issue is being addressed by means of MLE.

Plenary presentation by SIL consultants

Although most Asian nations are multilingual, their educational systems use primarily the national languages. Many learners, however, do not understand the languages of education. As a result, they are often excluded from many learning opportunities and are disadvantaged in educational participation and achievement. In most countries, the challenge is greatest in ethnolinguistic minority communities. The situation is particularly difficult for girls and women.

MLE that is based on learners' first language addresses this challenge. Both initial and recurrent literacy can be multilingual. More than one language can be used as the language of instruction and for lifelong learning. Research shows that learners benefit most from their education when it starts in their first language.

Sub-themes of the conference

Related links of interest