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HistoryWatch: International Mother Language Day

The theme of the 2022 International Mother Language Day, “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”, will discuss the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.

The webinar will explore the following two main themes:

  • Enhancing the role of teachers in the promotion of quality multilingual teaching and learning.
  • Reflecting on technologies and its potential to support multilingual teaching and learning

Technology has the potential to address some of the greatest challenges in education today. It can accelerate efforts towards ensuring equitable and inclusive lifelong learning opportunities for all if it is guided by the core principles of inclusion and equity. Multilingual education based on mother tongue is a key component of inclusion in education.

During COVID-19 school closures, many countries around the world employed technologybased solutions to maintain continuity of learning. A recent UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank and OECD survey on national education responses to COVID-19 school closures of 143 countries showed that 96 per cent of high-income countries provided remote learning through online platforms for at least one education level compared to only 58 per cent of low-income countries. In low-income contexts, the majority of countries reported using broadcast media such as television (83%) and radio (85%) to support continuity of learning.

Obviously, teachers lacked skills and readiness for using distance teaching. Many learners lacked the necessary equipment, internet access, accessible materials, adapted content, and human support that would have allowed them to follow distance learning. Moreover, distance teaching and learning tools, programmes and content are not always able to reflect language diversity.

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