Welcome to the Rutu Library of Mother Tongue Education

The library contains a wide selection of books, articles and reports on mother tongue education, bilingual/multilingual education and education of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. It is ordered alphabetically by geographical location.

The library is continually being updated, so check back regularly. If you would like to add a book, article or report, please send us an email: info@rutufoundation.org.



Migrant children education The Resilience of Students with an Immigrant Background: Factors that Shape Well-Being (2018)
OECD report with a chapter on Language barriers, providing statistical information based on PISA results on the persistent performance gap between immigrant and native students in OECD countries.

Read the full report

Multilingual education The Multilingual Edge of Education (2018)
Edited volume by Piet van Avermaet a.o. with findings on educational approaches around the globe that use students' multilingual repertoires as pedagogical resource for learning and teaching."

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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice (2016) Piller Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice: An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics (2016)

This book by Ingrid Piller examines the connection between linguistic diversity and inequality in employment, education and community participation.

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Fixing broken promise Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All (2015)
Chapter 3 of this joint UNESCO/UNICEF report on out-of-school children focuses on the language barrier in education.

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Language Issues in Comparative Education Language Issues in Comparative Education (2013)
Comparative studies of education systems around the world, with a focus on non-dominant languages and cultures in education.

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Language Policies Education Language Policies in Education. Critical Issues, 2nd ed. (2013)
Edited volume by James Tollefson offers case studies from around the world.

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Language & Devt conference Opportunity, Equity and Identity beyond 2015 (2013)
Papers and presentations of the 10th International Language & Development Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Read more here

GCE Policy Brief Mother-Tongue Education: Policy Lessons for Quality and Inclusion (2013)
Policy Brief from the Global Campaign for Education to inform policy makers on increasing literacy rates, including latest developments from around the world.

Read the policy brief

AUSaid Introduction to Issues Introduction to Issues and Implications for Children Learning to Read in Multilingual Settings (2013)
A review of research and practices in second language literacy learning.

Read the paper

Why languages matter Why Language matters for the Millennium Development Goals (2012)
Unesco brochure outlining the linkages between language and the MDGs

Read the brochure

Reflecting Language diversity Reflecting Language Diversity in Children's Schooling (2011)
Moving from 'Why Multilingual Education' to 'How?'
Results of an action research project on how multilingual education initiatives can be scaled up.

Read the report

Indigenous language education Indigenous Children's Education as Linguistic Genocide and a Crime Against Humanity? A Global View (2010)
Powerful argument by two of the leading experts globally, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Robert Dunbar

Read the book
article icon (resized) Educational Equity for Children from Diverse Language Backgrounds (2010)
Mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education in the early years
Review of research and program reports on mother tongue based bilingual education.

Read the summary

Language and Education Language and Education: The Missing Link (2009)
Study aimed at senior policy makers as well as donor agencies supporting basic education in low and middle income countries.

Read the report
Article Addressing Challenges to Children's Rights to Use their Mother Tongue in Early Education and Schooling (2009)
Great summary of the mother tongue education land scape past and present by Jessica Ball, a leading global expert.

Read the report
Indigenous languages Indigenous Languages: A View from UNICEF (2009)
Based on UNICEF's rights based approach the author focuses on mother tongue based bilingual education for indigenous peoples.

Read the report
Indigenous languages Study on Lessons Learned and Challenges to Achieve the Implementation of the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Education: Report of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2009)
Important report on indigenous peoples' right to education.

Read the full report
Social Justice through multilingual ed Social Justice Through Multilingual Education (2009)
Examples from around the world showing how multilingual schooling can be provided for indigenous and minority children.

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Bilingual Ed in 21st century Bilingual Education in the 21st Century:
A Global Perspective (2009)

A comprehensive examination of the history and current state of bilingual education programs through the world.

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Mother tongue education Mother Tongue Matters: Local Language as a Key to Effective Learning (2008)
Four useful cases to help inform educators and decision-makers when to consider mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education programs.

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Girls, Educational Equity Mother Tongue Teaching Girls, Educational Equity and Mother Tongue Based Teaching (2008)
Rutu Advisor, Carol Benson, looks at mother tongue-based schooling as an effective strategy for addressing girls' school participation.

Read now
Article Education, Multilingualism and Translanguaging in the 21st Century (2008)
The author, leading expert Ofelia Garcia, questions dominant beliefs about bilingualism and asks what language practices we need to nurture minority language students.

Read the chapter
Indigenous Education OECD Seminar Seminar on Indigenous Education (2007):
Effective practice, mutual learning

OECD report providing government policy advisors and programme designers with insights on successful practices to support strong futures for indigenous peoples across the world.

Download the report

Promoting Multilingual Education Advocacy Kit for Promoting Multilingual Education: Including the Excluded (2007)
This UNESCO kit is designed to raise awareness on the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education

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Article In Their Own Language: Education for All (2005)
This World Bank paper outlines the benefits of first language instruction, covering increased access and equity; improved learning outcomes; reduced repetition and dropout rates; socio-cultural benefits and lower overall costs.

Read this article here
Intercultural Education UNESCO UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education (2005)
Guidelines for policy makers outlining the key issues concerning intercultural education.

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Article Mother Tongue Based Teaching and Education for Girls (2005)
UNESCO Advocacy Brief explaining how mother tongue-based learning breaks down barriers to girls.

Read the brochure
Mother Tongue Education The Importance of Mother Tongue-Based Schooling for Educational Quality (2004)
Background study for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

Read the study
Education in Multilingual World Education in a Multilingual World (2003)
UNESCO Education Position Paper including UNESCO Guidelines on language and education

Read the article
Bilingual children's Mother tongue- education Bilingual Children's Mother Tongue: Why is it Important for Education? (2001)
Summary of research findings by leading expert Jim Cummins.

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Article The Use of First and Second Languages in Education: A Review of Educational Experience (1997)
Discussion paper by Nadine Dutcher of the World Bank on the experiences of seven countries in teaching multilingual pupils.

Read the paper

  Americas & The Caribbean
Article Undoing Appropriateness: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and Language Diversity in Education (2015)
Article by Nelson Flores and Jonathan Rosa, critical assessment of linguistic approaches in education that do not take account of the racialization of students in the U.S.

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Article Clarifying Translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: a perspective from linguistics (2015)
Article by Ricardo Otheguy, Ofelia García and Wallis Reid in which they explain the concept of translanguaging and why translanguaging of bilinguals should be encouraged rather than restricted in school.

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Translanguaging Guide Translanguaging in Curriculum and Instruction: Guide for Educators (2014)
Guide for educators explaining how translanguaging strategies can be used to help bilingual students. Intended for US educators but also useful for teachers elsewhere.

Read the guide

9780415522434 Indigenous Youth and Multilingualism (2014)

Language identity, ideology, and practice in the dynamic cultural world.

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9780415520676 Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice (2014)

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Article English Language Learners in Canadian Schools: Emerging Directions for School-Based Policies. (2012)
Overview by Jim Cummins and others aimed at English as Second Language (ESL) teachers and policy makers on what matters in promoting academic success among English learners.

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Educacion bilingue Queretaro 2014 Educación bilingüe y políticas de revitalización de Lenguas Indígenas (2014)
Collection of chapters on bilingual education and revitalization efforts for indigenous languages in Mexico (Spanish only).
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Meertaligheid onderwijs Suriname Meertaligheid in het onderwijs in Suriname (Multilingualism in education in Suriname) (2012)
Study on attitude and practices to serve as the basis for developing a language policy in education (Dutch only)

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9781847697998 Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism Beyond Heritage Languages in a Global City (2012)
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Intercultural Bilingual Education
Intercultural Bilingual Education (IBE) at Primary Level Aguacate Belize (2011)
A description of the Aguacate primary school in Belize as good practice in IBE.

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Intercultural multilingual ed in Latin Am Intercultural Multilingual Education in Latin America (2009) Background and overview of intercultural multilingual education in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, and Norway

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Reaching the Unreached Reaching the unreached: indigenous intercultural bilingual education in Latin America (2010)
An important overview by leading expert Luis Enrique López.

Download the paper

Article Indigenous Education for Cultural Survival: The Makushi Amerindians of Guyana (2009)
Paper on educational efforts by Makushi to maintain the culture and language.

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Improving Bilingual Educational Services to the Indigenous Population in Chiapas (2008)

Project Plan of the Inter-American Development Bank

Read the plan

Article Met open oren. Vreemde talenonderwijs aan jonge kinderen op Aruba (2008)
Handbook for teachers about multilingual education (in Dutch only).

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Building the Nests Building the Nests: Early Childhood Indigenous Immersion Programs in BC (2006)
Study of two language nests in indigenous communities in Canada

Read the study

Bilingual Ed in South America Bilingual Education in South America (2005)
An integrated vision of bilingual education in six South American countries: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

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Article The Revival of the Mohawk Language in Kahnawake (1992)
Results of a successful revitalization initiative by a Mohawk community in Canada.

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Culture Camps Culture Camps for Language Learning Handbook: Immersion Handbook
A resource for indigenous communities on planning and carrying out language and culture immersion camps

Download the handbook

Language and Culture Immersion Handbook Language and Culture Immersion Programs Handbook
Practical tool for elders, community members, teachers and others involved in language and culture immersion.

Download the handbook

Heritage language play schools Heritage Language Playschools for Indigenous Minorities (2013)

A how-to guide on establishing and operating playschool programmes for indigenous communities based on experiences in Malaysia.

Download the e-book

Action research vietnam Action Research on Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education in Vietnam (2012)
Programme Brief on a mother tongue pilot programme in Vietnam supported by UNICEF.

Read the Brief

MT as bridge language Mother Tongue as Bridge Language of instruction: Policies and Experiences in Southeast Asia (2009)
Compendium of language policies, case studies and general recommendations for mother tongue-based education in Southeast Asia, co-published by the World Bank

Download the report

article icon (resized) Language Development and Revitalisation: An Educational Imperative in Asia (2008)
A powerful argument for mother tongue-based multilingual education by the former director of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau

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article icon (resized) The Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore: Implications for Second Language Acquisition (2005)
Article on the underlying language planning of Singapore's bilingual education policy.

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Language Rights and Schools Language Rights and Schools
Booklet produced by the Education Rights Project in South Africa, aimed at parents, teachers and students

Download here

Giving space African voices Giving Space to African Voices. Rights in Local Languages and Local Curriculum (2014)
Collection of articles demonstrating the necessity for a locally grounded curriculum with local languages to enhance African children's rights to education.

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article icon (resized) The Kom Experimental Mother Tongue Education Project Report for 2012
Study of a mother tongue education pilot in Cameroon.

Read the report

article icon (resized) Language in Schools in Namibia: The Missing Link in Educational Achievement? (2011)
Study of attitudes to home language learning and educational success in Namibia.

Read the study

article icon (resized) To understand lessons, think through your own languages (2011)
An analysis of narratives in support of the introduction of indigenous languages in the education system in Senegal.

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article icon (resized) Steps forward and new challenges: indigenous communities and mother-tongue education in southern Africa (2008)
Article discussing the particular challenges facing the indigenous San community in southern Africa.

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article icon (resized) Bilingualism, language policies and educational strategies in Africa (2003)
Short overview article highlighting language policies in post-colonial Africa

Read the article here


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