TagsTeachers Language Acquisition Multilingualism Second Language First Language
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of students as the problems the mother tongue-based MLE seeks to address. On July

14, 2009, in what The Philippine Star columnist Isagani Cruz hailed as ―one of the

most significant and far-reaching contributions of (then DepEd) Secretary JesliLapus

to the history of Philippine education,‖the DepEd issued Order No. 74 series of 2009,

entitled ―Institutionalizing Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MLE).‖

DepEd Order No. 74 institutionalizes Mother Tongue-Based MLE—that is,

the use of more than two languages for literacy and instruction—as a fundamental

policy and program in the whole stretch of formal education, including preschool.

Under this framework, the learner‘s first language (L1) will be used as the primary

medium of instruction from preschool to at least Grade 3, and as the main vehicle to

teach understanding and mastery of all subject areas like Math, Science, Makabayan,

and language subjects like Filipino and English.

Sibayan (1967) suggests that the Filipino people have had to face the language

problem at practically every stage in their history. Spanish colonization from 1521

until 1898 and the period of American rule from 1900 until the establishment of the

Philippine Republic in 1946 have both had an impact upon language use in all walks

of life, but perhaps none more than in the area of education.

Sibayan (1985) notes that some of the problems of bilingual education among

the linguistic minorities in the Philippines are related to the lack of materials in the

language. The Council for the Welfare of Children Report (1999) states that schools

must change to serve the Filipino child - locally-developed learning materials using

vernacular language is suggested in order to maintain pupil's interest in the

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