Discipline: Higher Education Research
Language is the key to communication and understanding in the classroom. Thus, the emergence of mother tongue education has created numerous and recent researches suggesting the benefits of using a learner’s mother tongue. These issues on the use of mother tongue have led this paper to explore Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. Specifically, this study explored the strategies of teachers in using Mother Tongue – Based Instruction in a multilingual classroom and identified some problems that they have encountered in implementing them. Cognizant of the interesting and challenging roles of teachers, this phenomenological study had identically captured the collective experiences of 10 Grade-I teachers as they used mother tongue in a multilingual setting. Driven by the questions, What were your experiences with teaching Grade 1 using MTB-MLE?, What were the best strategies that you used to facilitate the learning of pupils?, What were the problems that you have encountered in using MTB-MLE?, and why do you consider these as your problems?, a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Field texts were transcribed and subjected to phenomenological reduction via thematic analysis. Through constant comparison method, six successful strategies in teaching MTB were employed: improvisation of instructional materials written in English to Iloco, utilization of Filipino as lingua-franca, utilization of multilingual teaching, remediation of instruction, translation of language, and utilization of team teaching; and four problems emerged: adaptation of mother tongue different from learner’s first language, lack of teacher-trainings and seminars, lack of vocabulary, and insufficient instructional materials written in Iloco. However, the study revealed that major attention and effort are still required to be given to the strategies.