Language Situation in the Solomon Islands The number of individual languages listed for Solomon Islands is 75. Of these, 71 are living and 4 are extinct. Of the living languages, 5 are institutional, 24 are developing, 26 are vigorous, 8 are in trouble, and 8 are dying. Total population - 0.5 million Average language community size – 1000 speakers Scattered islands - 1,000 mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls English is the official language, but not used by majority of the population in their daily lives Most children not exposed to English until reaching school The number of individual languages listed for Solomon Islands is 75. Of these, 71 are living and 4 are extinct. Of the living languages, 5 are institutional, 24 are developing, 26 are vigorous, 8 are in trouble, and 8 are dying.
THE JOURNEY TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MTB-MLE PILIOTS FOR SOLOMON ISLANDS BEGINS HERE: 2004- 2006 “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” ― ConfuciusConfucius
Colonial Era to 2000 Mission schools in local languages Government education in English takes over in the 50’s and 60’s 1989 paper by Anga and Horoi Dr. Jeff Siegel, Vernacular Education in the South Pacific
2004 - 2006 Research on the importance of MTB-MLE has reached Solomon Islands Ministry of Education through non- government organisations. Eg. Literacy Association for Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Translation Association Group The Solomon Islands Ministry of Education agrees to fund the trialling of a vernacular pilot in the Sa’a language. 40 reading books were produced.
2007-2009 Formulation of a Technical Working Group to develop the language policy for Solomon Islands ▫ Consideration of global research ▫ Development of draft policy framework ▫ Consultations with education stakeholders in every province ▫ Completion of policy
2010-2012 POLICY STATEMENT AND GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF VERNACULAR LANGUAGES AND ENGLISH IN EDUCATION IN SOLOMON ISLANDS was approved by the Solomon Islands government in November 2010
The most Significant parts of the Solomon Islands Language Policy Follows a late exit/maintenance model of MLE ▫ MT is initial language of instruction and of literacy ▫ English is introduced in Gr. 1 and fluency built in Gr. 2 ▫ English literacy introduced in Gr. 3 ▫ Staged bridging of MT to English in Gr. 4 and 5 ▫ Maintenance of a MT language arts class through Gr. 9 Clear guidelines on how to implement the pilot as a whole Identifying relevant schools and languages to begin with
The Structure of Solomon Islands Pilot in MTB-MLE Languages: Sa’a & Arosi Total Number of Schools: 8 Schools Total number of teachers: 8 teachers per year Timeline: 7 years
Int’l TA & National MTB MLE Pilot Coordinator (collaboration with Sub-Committee) Curriculum Quality control Officer Primary Education Officer & ECE education officer 2 Local Coordinators for 2 vernaculars 8 teachers
Reasons for Choosing Sa’a and Arosi Languages for Pilot Basic linguistic research done, orthographies established Written materials for schools written in both languages such as story books, cultural calendar and teaching and learning materials have been developed and trialled Both areas have some positive experience with vernacular education Strong community support
The Progress of Solomon Islands Pilot Since 2012- Current Attending MTB-MLE in Bangkok in March 2012 was a good start for Solomon Islands Pilot The process of recruiting the Language Technical Adviser has completed and now currently working with the National Coordinator of MTB-MLE The process of recruiting the two Local Coordinators for Sa’a and Arosi languages has been done and they are now working with us
Continue… 40 Themes were developed in Arosi and more than 120 reading books were developed for Preparatory Around that same number of themes and reading books with pictures for Preparatory Class were developed for Sa’a Draft Prep Curriculum is complete with further consultation ongoing
Who is involve in what at the school level? Primary school principals involved in story writing process and advocacy for MTB-MLE for parents Teachers of Prep & Year 1 in writing stories and advocacy to parents Artists from the local communities of the target areas involved in picture illustrations of the story books
Continue…… Local translators of the local language areas were very useful in editing the stories Local coordinators who have crucial roles in ensuring that the teachers are doing the right thing and send the stories back to the MTB-MLE National Coordinator for printing of books at the Ministry of Education MTB-MLE Project Technical Adviser from SI Translation Association Group (SITAG)
Important Leaders of the Workshop Education Authority Officer Local Coordinator Local Translator Technical Adviser of the Solomon Islands MTB- MLE Pilot with the Artist
Challenges Inconsistency of weather patterns Inconsistency of shipping schedules to rural areas Lack of human capacity at MEHRD for shared responsibilities
Way forward for next year Prep curriculum and teachers’ manuals to be completed by the end of the year Teacher training workshops for both languages will be done in December 2013 Implementation of the vernacular prep curriculum is to begin next year (January)
Continue… Material production for Year 1 will begin Year 1 and year 2 teachers are going to be heavily involved in developing Year 1 curriculum and materials Year 1 curriculum is to be completed Teachers manual for Year one to be completed
Continue… Workshops for teachers on teachers manual Monitoring and evaluation of the prep programme
Conclusion!!! “All great achievements need time” Maya Agelou Solomon Islands MTB-MLE Pilot is not exceptional and one day we’ll be successfully up there in the world of MTB-MLE for all.