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Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences and Humanities

ISSN 2985-0541 (Print)

ISSN 2985-055X (Online)

Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE): an alternative to Monolingual Education Policy in Myanmar

  • Min Layi Chan, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani 12000, Thailand
  • Sasiphattra Siriwato, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani 12000, Thailand , Corresponding author, E-mail: sasiphattra.s@rsu.ac.th


Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) requires the use of a mother tongue as a medium of instruction to enhance the learning of the students. Most ethnic education stakeholders in Myanmar are asking to implement MTB-MLE in order to provide a better education quality to ethnic community’s students and also to maintain and promote their language and culture. This research aims to examine the long-term advantages and disadvantages of a monolingual education policy and to propose MTB-MLE. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data in this research. Approximately 13 participants were interviewed. This research found that the majority of ethnic children who are forced to learn and teach in Myanmar, officially recognized as one of two official primary languages of instruction-the other being English, are struggled in learning due to the language barrier. In order to improve education quality and access in Myanmar, MTB-MLE is recognized as an approach provides equal learning opportunity for the community linguistically diverse. Across the globe, international research demonstrates the significant benefits that a focus on MTB-MLE in the early grades brings to education quality and access. This study also points out the benefits of MTB-MLE in term of inclusive education, education quality, and decentralized education system

Keywords: Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education, Medium of Instruction, Monolingual Medium of Instruction, Ethnic Education Provider

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DOI: 10.14456/jcsh.2023.11


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