First manual for teaching Mirandese

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As of today, the first textbook for teaching Mirandese is available to Miranda do Douro (AEMD) pupils in the Bragança district.

Entitled “Cachapin”, the textbook is part of a curricular initiative to teach the Mirandese language, and is the first of two textbooks available for the 1st cycle of basic education.

“This is the first structured textbook for teaching the Mirandese language in schools in this department for pupils in the 1st cycle of basic education. Until now, the teaching materials used were prepared by Mirandese language and culture teachers,” AEMD president António Santos told Lusa.

The official added that this is also the first time that Mirandese teachers have had teaching materials to “use in the classroom”.

“Although we already have a first manual for teaching Mirandese, it will be necessary to continue working in this area. We teach Mirandese from kindergarten to 12th grade, and there’s plenty of room to continue working on didactic projects”, concluded António Santos.

The manual is the result of a partnership between AEMD, with the collaboration of Mirandesa language teachers, the Associação de Língua e Cultura Mirandesa (ALCM) and the Comunidade Intermunicipal das Terras de Trás-os-Montes (CIM-TTM).

The study for the development of teaching resources for the teaching of the Mirandesa language is included in the Plan Intégré et Innovant de Lutte contre l’Échec Scolaire dans les Terres de Trás-os-Montes (PIICIE-TTM), which has been allocated 20 thousand euros.

“The need to create teaching materials and resources that guarantee greater motivation, effectiveness and accessibility [to teachers and students] is an essential aspect of Mirandese teaching,” said CIM-TTM Executive Secretary Rui Caseiro.

For the CIM-TTM, it is now necessary to give continuity to the project with the development of materials associated with teaching and learning the language through “the development of fundamental digital content for good teacher practice”.

“This exercise is of particular importance in defining regional intervention strategies for the Mirandese language”, said Rui Caseiro.

Alfredo Cameirão, president of ALCM, said that the lack of teaching materials “multiplies the difficulties in teaching and learning the Mirandese language”.

In the 2022/23 school year, 584 students were enrolled in AEMD, 439 of whom chose the theme of Mirandese language and culture for their extracurricular activities, representing 75% of the school population in the municipality of Miranda do Douro.

Mirandese has been an official language since January 29, 1999, when the law officially recognizing the linguistic rights of the Mirandese community was published in the Diário da República.

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