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Building Back Better: Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education for Ethnic Minority Children
Date de l’évènement: 
dim, 2022/06/05
Lieu(ou Endroit): 
Online (Bangkok)
 © UNESCO 2022

Side Event for 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II)


Global research has demonstrated that children who speak ethnic minority languages at home yet study in majority languages at school exhibit lower levels of literacy and numeracy than their peers. More recently, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic these ethnolinguistic minority children have fallen even further behind, partly due to their inability to access distance learning materials in languages they understand. In addition, many of these children are representative of a ‘digital divide’ in their lacking electronic devices or internet access in low socioeconomic or geographically remote communities.


The side event, ‘Building Back Better: Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education for Ethnic Minority Children’ will discuss how mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB MLE) can significantly help such learners. Our expert panel will address fundamental issues with guiding questions, such as:

  • What is MTB MLE and how does it improve students’ learning outcomes?
  • How does MTB MLE help students learn other languages, including English?
  • What digital learning tools are most helpful for children who don’t speak the school language and have limited internet access?
  • How does MTB MLE engage local communities and promote social harmony and inclusion?
  • How would endorsing UNESCO’s Bangkok Statement on Language and Inclusion help a country achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4)?


Target Audience

The target audience for this side event consists of regional and national level education stakeholders, especially policy-makers and practitioners, to enhance their understanding of how multilingual education can play a role in the post-pandemic process of ‘building back better’ and achieving SDG 4 for all, especially ethnolinguistic minority children.


Working Language

English; no additional language accommodations provided.


Date, Time and Format

Sun, 5 June 2022
12.45 – 13.45 (Bangkok time; GMT+7)
Zoom Conferencing (Hybrid)



Registration is free but required in advance; upon registering, you will receive a unique join URL via email: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtceGgrzgtHNFKglDpoHF88tFDnBA7dMHi


For more Information

Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group Secretariat
E-mail: mlewg@unesco.org