DepEd adds 7 mother-tongue languages in K to 12

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Local and international studies have shown that early learners' use of mother tongue inside the classroom produce better and faster learners

MANILA, Philippines – “Ay ri ka mako?” “Ay ri ka ibat?”

Residents of Zambales greet each other not with the usual “Kumusta ka?” (How are you?) but with these phrases translated as “Where are you going?” and “Where did you come from?”

Sambal, the local language of the province, and 6 other languages have been added to the K-to-12 curriculum under the Mother-Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual-Education (MTB-MLE), the Department of Education (DepEd) announced Friday, July 12.

The 6 other languages are:

  • Ybanag – Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, and Isabela
  • Ivatan – Batanes Group
  • Aklanon – Aklan, Capiz
  • Kinaray-a – Capiz, Aklan
  • Yakan – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
  • Surigaonon – Surigao City and provinces
Under the MTB-MLE, Kindergarten to Grade 3 pupils will use the mother tongue –  the common language in the area or lingua franca – as a medium of instruction and as a subject matter. 

“The use of the same language spoken at home, in the early grades, helps improve the pupils’ language and cognitive development in addition to strengthening their socio-cultural awareness,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement.

Local and international studies have shown that early learners’ use of mother tongue inside the classroom produce better and faster learners. It makes them adept at learning a second (Filipino) and third language (English) too.

DepEd already began using 12 languages last school year. These are:

  • Tagalog
  • Kapampangan
  • Pangasinense
  • Iloko
  • Bikol
  • Cebuano
  • Hiligaynon
  • Waray
  • Tausug
  • Maguindanaoan
  • Maranao
  • Chabacano

The mother tongue will be used as medium of instruction from Kinder to Grade 3, except in teaching Filipino and English subjects.

Starting Grade 4, Filipino and English will become the languages for instruction. – Jee Y. Geronimo/

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