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Education in Thailand’s Ethnic Languages: Reflections on a Decade of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Policy and Practice

  • Suwilai PremsriratEmail author
  • Kirk R. Person
Chapter
  • 461 Downloads
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 42)

Abstract

Thailand is home to some 70 diverse ethnic groups, each of which has its own unique language. Statistics reveal that many children from these communities living in remote northern, southern, and northeastern border regions have limited success in “normal” government schools, due in part to low Thai language abilities. This chapter chronicles efforts by academics, nongovernmental organizations, and language communities to integrate diverse ethnic languages into local schools via mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB MLE). Eight years of student testing demonstrates that children in these MTB MLE pilot schools outperform their peers in “normal” Thai-only schools in all subjects – including the Thai language. The positive results of these programs deeply influenced the Royal Society of Thailand’s new national language policy, which states that all Thai children have the right to education in their mother tongue.

Keywords

Ethnic Language Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education National Language Policy (NLP) Thai Language Office Of The Basic Education Commission (OBEC) 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Resource Center for Documentation, Revitalization and Maintenance of Endangered Languages and Cultures, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia (RILCA)Mahidol UniversitySalayaThailand
  2. 2.SIL InternationalPhayathai, Samsennai, BangkokThailand

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