Integration of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in the Teacher Education Program in Bicol University, Philippines
The Mother Tongue–Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE), an important feature to the K to 12 Program in the Philippines, has been implemented since school year 2010-2011. This requires the teaching of Mother Tongue as a subject and as a medium of instruction from Kindergarten to Grade 3. Accordingly, the Teacher Training Institutions (TEIs) has to respond to the challenges of the MTB-MLE implementation by realigning the Teacher Education Program. This descriptive study identified and assessed the extent of integration of MTB-MLE integration in the Teacher Education Program in Bicol University, and proposed points of integration in selected professional, content and specialization courses. Data were gathered from focus group discussions and interviews with officials, faculty and students, and from analysis of 234 syllabi for all courses of the Teacher Education program for school years 2011-2014. Minimal MTB-MLE integration is noted during school years 2011-2014 but with an increasing extent throughout the three school years. The MTB-MLE concepts integrated in Teacher Education courses pertain to policies, history, foundations, goals and components, importance of MTB-MLE, and good practices in MTB-MLE while MTB-MLE competencies were found to be nil in the syllabi reviewed. Over-all, the University has been minimally responsive to the needs of the pre-service teachers as future MTB-MLE implementers, hence a comprehensive MTB- MLE Program for pre-service teachers, and a systematic and appropriate MTB-MLE integration in Teacher Education are deemed exigent.