Introduction to these MTB MLE resources

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE) programs serve learners of non-dominant language communities who do not understand or speak the language of instruction when they begin their formal education. In MTB MLE programs, students begin with what they know—their language and culture, knowledge and experience—as the foundation for learning in school. Well-planned and well-implemented MTB MLE programs produce students who are multilingual and multicultural and who contribute to their community’s and their nation’s development goals.

The materials on these pages focus on the “essential components” of successful MTB MLE programs. All are based on sound principles of education and development and all draw on what I have learned in working with colleagues from non-dominant language communities, government agencies and non-government organizations in planning and implementing MTB MLE programs in Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

The Overview presents materials relating to the “big picture” of MTB MLE. Then click on one of the components in the circle graphic or in the list below for resources relating to specific components of strong MTB MLE programs.

Messages for Dr. Malone may be submitted via the contact page.

These materials are available as well in Russian and Chinese on the UNESCO website.

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Dr. Susan Malone began her career in mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB MLE) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) under the auspices of SIL International, a non-governmental organization. Her abbreviated curriculum vitae can found here. More information about Dr. Malone’s focus an approach can be found in our blog post, “Redirecting the Spotlight.

  • From 1982 to 1991, she served as technical advisor, first to the Kaugel language community in the Western Highlands Province and then to the PNG National Department of Education in support of mother tongue education for preschool children.

  • Dr. Malone received her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Indiana University in 1997.

  • Since then, she has served as an SIL Literacy and Education consultant, working with language communities, governments, and non-government organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, supporting their efforts to establish strong and sustained MTB MLE programs.

  • She has facilitated numerous workshops relating to MLE program planning, curriculum and materials development and teacher training.

  • Her MTB MLE resource materials are used by practitioners around the world.

  • As Asia Area Literacy Coordinator for SIL International (1998-2008), Dr. Malone, with UNESCO and Mahidol University, coordinated the first two Bangkok Language and Education Conferences.

  • She is the author of the 2016 “MTB MLE Resource Kit. Including the Excluded”, produced by UNESCO’s Asia and the Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (Bangkok).

If you are unable to use the links in the circle graphic to view the resources, please use the menu below: