Mayoyao mother-tongue based multilingual education Project – Philippines – $96,920
Supporting national teachers to create classroom reading materials in the Mayoyao language
This project aims to build capacity in national teachers by supporting them to develop teaching principles and reading materials in their local Mayoyao language. These materials will be used to help students from Kindergarten to Grade 3 develop foundational literacy skills in their local language before also acquiring the national languages of Filipino and English.
Sixty teachers will participate in a series of workshops over three years (2017-2019) to create reading materials and other literacy resources in the Mayoyao language. Project funds will be used to provide stationery materials and access to literacy trainers who can offer technical advice as teachers create reading texts. These materials will then be made freely available to other schools, with workshop teachers equipped to train colleagues in using and creating their own texts to enhance student literacy and learning.
Developing foundational literacy skills requires access to reading materials. While the Mayoyao culture has a strong history of oral storytelling, there are a limited number of published texts for children to read. This leaves teachers with the challenge of having to create reading books and resources to facilitate student learning. The Mayoyao Mother-Tongue Education Project is working in partnership with the regional Department of Education staff and local cultural advisors to help address this need.
Why local languages?
Our sense of identity is linked to the culture we live in and the language we speak. With over 170 indigenous languages in the Philippines, the development of locally produced reading materials can help to perpetuate the unique cultural identities and languages of its people. When children are able to learn in the language they know best they achieve better outcomes and stay in school longer. Developing literacy skills in the local language also provides a firm foundation for concepts and strategies that children can then apply to learning additional languages, such as Filipino and English. These languages will help them to engage meaningfully with others from national and international communities.
The Mayoyao language context
The Mayoyao language is spoken within the municipalities of Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista and Mayoyao, situated in the province of Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines. The region is renowned for its rice terraces, with small industry, tourism and subsistence farming comprising the main sources of income for families in the province. There are approximately 75 schools across the three municipalities, with at least 1 teacher/class per year level at each school. This indicates there are 200+ teachers across Kindergarten to Grade 3 whose students are being impacted by the lack of reading materials in the Mayoyao language. Sixty teachers are participating in the project workshops and they will be equipped with knowledge and skills to train and support their colleagues in using and developing resources for their students.
This project was extended to 2020 to allow the final workshop to be conducted. The coronavirus pandemic and associated border closures and travel restrictions prevented that happening so the project has yet to be completed.