DepED encourages Filipinos to support Philippine languages

The Department of Education (DepEd) is promoting the importance of language development for nation-building through investments in the education of Filipino children.

DepED Secretary, Bro. Armin Luistro said this in a press conference during the 60th anniversary of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) Philippines on Tuesday at the DepED central office in Pasig City themed, “Language Development for Nation-Building.”

Luistro highlighted its partnership with SIL in developing, documenting and pursuing the Philippine languages.

“It is important for us to recognize our roots and how we communicate with each other and most importantly rediscover our soul. And what other way to be in touch with that soul is by being rooted to our native languages,” he said.

He also emphasized the importance of DepED's Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) despite some difficulties that the department has experienced.

In July 2009, DepEd issued Department Order 74 which institutionalized the mother tongue-based multilingualeducation (MTB-MLE) as evidence showed that the use of mother tongue in early education develops better and faster learners.

“At the beginning, I thought that pursuing a mother tongue-based language multilingual education is just about language. It is only after I understood what it require to be a partner and after I visited a few of those classes that taught in their mother tongue that I realized that it was about the Filipino soul,” Luistro shared.

The DepEd also acknowledged that proficiency in the use of the first language makes students better understand the concepts of subjects.

“It is about young people speaking from the heart. It is about dreams of our indigenous roots being expressed in their learning environment. It is about teachers trying to contextualize their lessons in the communities where they serve. It is about a mission in search for its own identity,” he added.

To strengthen the Filipino identity, Luistro encouraged everyone to take a stand and become involved in personally supporting one language out of the 177 languages spoken in the country.

“Most of this languages are in the ICU and each one needs your help urgently,” he said. (PNA)