Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism
Title First language first: Literacy education for the future in a multilingual Philippine society
Volume 5
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Page numbers 221-232
URL http://www.sil.org/system/files/reapdata/15/36/22/153622458364957309640123608863687672483/Young02Fir​stLanguageFirstIJBEB.pdf
The Philippines Bilingual Education policy emphasises the need to develop literacyin
Filipino as a linguistic symbol of national unity and identity and in English as a
language of wider communication. However, many Filipino children begin their
educationin a language they do not speakor understand as well as theirfirstlanguage.
In this setting, only the learners’ first language can provide the kind of bridge to a personal identity that incorporates both an ethnic and a national dimension. The
author contends that a technical model of literacy acquisition that emphasises literacy
primarily as an economic skillfor use in the workplace cannot achieve the policy goals.
An alternative, ideological model of literacy is proposed which develops the critical
thinking skills ofthe students,builds cognitive and affectivedomains, andvalues their
locallanguage experienceand culture.Thus, by first establishingthe empowering role
oflanguage in the social systemofthe students’ community, groundwork is laidforthe
expansion of the students’ identity to include theirrole in the largernational and international

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