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Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned in SHARE Education Program

Jacob, W. James (2016) Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned in SHARE Education Program. Project Report. Hulla & Co Human Dynamics KG, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (In Press)

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There is a growing body of evidence from the literature that mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) is the most optimal approach for young people who do not use national or international languages at home and/or local communities. In this monography, MTB-MLE is defined as classroom instruction that begins in children’s mother tongue and then gradually shifts toward national and/or international language(s) as the children advance through primary education. MTB-MLE focuses on helping children to gain a solid literacy foundation in their native language first, which enables them to better learn additional languages afterwards. MTB-MLE encourages the eventual transition to and use of national and/or international languages, but only after a solid literacy foundation is established in children’s native language. The author also outlines an Optimal MTB-MLE Framework, which identifies a combination of necessary elements that provide an enabling environment for sustained success. These elements include (1) a guiding policy framework coordinated by the government and adhered to by all pre-primary and primary education providers (public and private); (2) a strategic plan based upon the policy framework; (3) ensuring that schools are places of safety; (4) ensuring that language learning is stigma free; (5) strong advocacy at all levels from the government, media, and other stakeholders; and (6) sustained funding for quality teachers, curriculum materials, and adequate school infrastructure for the delivery of education. Once an enabling framework is established, there are four key areas that help ensure optimal MTB-MLE delivery: (1) widespread support from the government, families, local communities, and development partners; (2) qualified teachers; (3) MTB-MLE delivery efforts should be needs based and student centered; and (4) an outcomes-based curriculum. The final section analyzes MTB-MLE efforts in Bangladesh, with case study overviews of three SHARE Education Program MTB-MLE Projects, and because of its prominent influence in Bangladesh and its pioneering role in MTB-MLE, the education for indigenous children (EIC) initiatives of BRAC is also included in this analysis.


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Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Status: In Press
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jacob, W. Jameswjacob@pitt.eduWJACOB
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, or Units > Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE)
Monograph Type: Project Report
Date: 17 December 2016
Date Type: Publication
Number: 4
Publisher: Hulla & Co Human Dynamics KG
Place of Publication: Dhaka, Bangladesh
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18344/share.2016.1
Institution: SHARE Education Program
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mother, tongue-based, multilingual, education, Strategic, planning, Stigma, Microaggression, Bangladesh, Policy, framework
Funders: European Union()
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2016 19:54
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 04:56


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