Building Multilingual Education – Multilingual education is a learning approach that recognizes and respects the diversity of languages owned by the community. Through this approach, the mother tongue or local language is used as a learning medium or at least integrated in the educational environment. The goal of this approach is to create learning that is inclusive and competitive, and allows students to develop their full potential without abandoning their language and cultural identity.
The importance of multilingual education has been recognized by many countries around the world, especially in countries with multilingual and multicultural societies. The diversity of languages in the educational environment brings various benefits, including increasing students’ understanding of learning materials, strengthening cultural identity, and preparing students to participate in an increasingly connected world.
How important is education now?
One of the main advantages of multilingual education is increasing students’ understanding of the learning material. When students can use their mother tongue or regional language in the learning process, they can more easily understand the concepts being taught and are more motivated to learn. Studies have shown that students who are empowered with their own language have the ability to develop better reading, writing, and speaking skills in that language. In addition, students who are in multilingual educational settings also tend to have a deeper understanding of their local culture and traditions, which can help strengthen their sense of identity and self-worth.
In addition to strengthening the understanding of learning materials, multilingual education also contributes to creating an inclusive environment in schools. When the mother tongue or regional language is recognized and valued in the learning process, students feel recognized and valued as individuals. This promotes a more harmonious social climate among students with different language and cultural backgrounds. They feel more motivated to participate in learning activities and actively interact with teachers and classmates. In the long term, this kind of inclusive environment can help reduce educational disparities and improve the overall quality of education.
Multilingual education also has an advantage in global competition
In this era of globalization, language skills are more important than ever. Countries that support multilingual education will produce graduates who are able to communicate effectively with communities around the world. The ability to speak more than one language provides a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global job market. In addition, students who are skilled in more than one language tend to have more flexible and creative thinking patterns, because they are used to adapting to differences in language and culture.
However, the implementation of multilingual education is also faced with several challenges. One of them is the availability of adequate resources and support from the government and the education system. This approach requires curricula, learning materials, and educators who are competent in the languages being taught. Support from the government is also needed in providing facilities and an environment that supports multilingual learning.
In addition, multilingual education can also face resistance from several parties. Some may perceive it as a threat to the dominance of the national language or even as a waste of resources. Therefore, this approach must be explained carefully and the participation of all stakeholders must be valued in the implementation process.
To overcome these challenges
Concrete steps must be taken to build a successful multilingual education. First, governments and educational institutions must allocate adequate resources to train teachers in the languages taught and develop appropriate multilingual learning materials. Second, the curriculum must be carefully designed to ensure that mother tongues or regional languages are recognized and integrated into the learning process. Third, collaboration with the local community and students’ families is also important to ensure ongoing support in implementing this approach.
Overall, multilingual education is a beneficial approach for a multilingual society. By recognizing and respecting language diversity, this approach creates inclusive and competitive learning. Through multilingual education, students can develop their full potential without having to abandon their language and cultural identity. Implementation of this approach certainly requires commitment and cooperation from various parties, but manfthe long-term goal is to create a generation that is skilled, inclusive and ready to compete in an increasingly connected world.