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The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.

The failure of

education represents the inability of society to properly perpetuate itself through

succeeding generations. Language is part of human existence and it plays a

significant various aspect of daily lives. It is not only limited to communication

but rather extends into the vast branches of knowledge and human sciences.

Languages can develop human knowledge and extend it for the benefit of

mankind (Zedan, A.M et al. 2012).

The Philippines is lagging behind Asian countries in terms of education.

This is due to lack of instructional materials and devices which greatly affect the

quality of education. It has been the objective of the government particularly the

Department of Education to improve the quality of education in the Philippines. It

is understood that the quality of educational system, the educational program,

and effectiveness of any teaching is gauged by the input, the way the teacher

performs, the process of teaching, the output and the quality of pupils


In 2009, the Department of Education (DepEd) challenged the Bilingual

Education Policy by issuing an order that called for institutionalization of mother

tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE). This order requires use of the

learners‘ first language as the medium of instruction for all subject areas in pre-

kindergarten through grade three with Filipino and English being taught as

separate subjects (Philippines Department of Education, 2009). Another order

was issued in 2012 that offered more specific guidelines for MTB-MLE and
embedded the reform in the newly adopted ―K to 12 Basic Education Program‖

(Philippines Department of Education, 2012). This order shifted from the original

mother tongue approach by specifying twelve major regional languages to be

used as the languages of instruction. Under this order, teachers are provided

government-issued materials in their regional languages but are expected to

adapt them to reflect the students‘ first languages.

Until recently, the MTB-MLE policy resided solely within DepEd. However,

in January 2013 the Philippines‘ Congress officially supported this effort by

passing the Enhanced Basic Education Act. In addition to shifting toward a K-12

educational structure, this legislation requires instruction, teaching materials, and

assessments to be in the ―regional or native language of the learners‖ from

kindergarten through grade three with a ―mother language transition program‖

from grades four through six. Despite the fact that President Benigno Aquino has

not yet signed the bill into law, nation-wide implementation of MTB-MLE has

begun. Gradual implementation started with grade one students in 2012 and will

be followed by grades two and three in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Filipino learners face various barriers in education and one of these

barriers is that our learners begin their schooling in a language where they do not

comprehend. They do not understand the language of education being used as a

medium of instruction in the classroom (DepEd 2011). The learners should begin

their education in a language they understand; it will develop a strong foundation

and a motivation to attend school. In addition, it will develop their cognitive and
reasoning skills enabling children to operate in different language starting in the

Mother Tongue with transition to Filipino and then English. (Ricablanca, J.D.


The use of Mother Tongue enables the young learners to immediately

construct and explain without fear of making mistakes, articulate their thoughts

and new concepts to that which they already knew. In turn, the teachers can

more accurately assess what has been learned and identify the areas where they

need help (Nolasco, 2010).

Mother Tongue - Based Multilingual Education is instruction in a child’s first

language (L1) usually with a planned gradual transition to a second language

(L2) or foreign language at a specified time in primary school. MTB instruction

usually takes place exclusively in the language most familiar to children. In some

cases, it may be provided as part of a bilingual or multilingual education program.

In MTB programs, students have the opportunity to learn core concepts primarily

in a familiar language and later, they learn the labels or vocabulary for those

concepts in a new language. MTB education is especially beneficial in early

childhood programs, preschool, and the early grades, when children are learning

to read and gaining new concepts (DepEd,2009). Mother Tongue instruction

promotes inclusion in education and improves the quality of education by building

on the knowledge and experience of both learners and teachers. UNESCO

believes and supports finding of studies showing evidence that mother tongue

instruction is a key factor for literacy and learning.

Teaching Mathematics at this stage is considered crucial. Mathematics is a

methodical application of matter. It is so said because the subject makes a man

methodical or systematic. It make our life orderly and prevents chaos. Certain

qualities that nurtured Mathematics are power of reasoning, creativity, abstract or

spatial thinking, problem solving ability and even effective communication skills. It

is one of the subjects recognized as a major factor in development, causing

national agenda to focus in this area. Performance of schools in all levels, the

kind of teacher quality and its teaching output became a national priority in

addressing the quality of education learners receive ( Ogena 2010).

The researcher was prompted to conduct a research on the use of Mother

Tongue - Based Multilingual Education among Grade 1 pupils because it deems

to find out if the use of methodology is effective and intends to find for some

difficulties in the use of the system. Mother tongue is an essential foundation for

all learning and it is important that all children use their Mother Tongue when

they enter the school for the first time. It provides also long-term benefits like

higher self-esteem, greater confidence and high aspirations for schooling and